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Death Valley Closure & Alternative Options

As most of you have seen in the news, read online, or heard about through our weekly newsletter, Death Valley National Park closed on August 21, 2023, after receiving more than 2 inches of rainfall. Many roads were damaged, and the park service will be re-opening the park section by section. For updates, please visit

During the closure, we are inviting guests to visit some of our wonderful sites and have put together some of our family's favorites.

Ash Meadows Nature Preserve

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a true oasis nestled within the arid landscapes of the Mojave Desert. This remarkable nature preserve spans over 23,000 acres and is renowned for its unique and fragile ecosystems, making it a haven for both wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

One of the most captivating highlights of Ash Meadows is its extensive network of crystal-clear springs and wetlands. The refuge is home to 24 individual spring systems, some of which are among the purest in the world, maintaining a constant temperature of 87°F (30.6°C). These springs feed into emerald-hued pools, creating a lush contrast against the desert backdrop and providing crucial habitat for a multitude of species. Visitors can explore the boardwalks and trails that wind through these vibrant wetlands, marveling at the vibrant aquatic vegetation and the diverse array of wildlife that calls this place home, including the rare and endemic Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish and Devil's Hole pupfish, which are found nowhere else on Earth. The vibrant blue and green hues of the springs create a surreal and tranquil environment, making it a photographer's paradise and a serene spot for contemplation and connection with nature. Birdwatchers will also delight in the refuge's role as a migratory stopover point for numerous bird species, including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and the charismatic western yellow-billed cuckoo.

Amargosa Dunes

Amargosa "Big Dune" stand as a magnificent testament to the ever-shifting beauty of desert landscapes. Rising dramatically from the desert floor, this towering dune is a geological marvel and a captivating destination for those seeking an adventure nearby. Guests should visit Big Dune to experience the awe-inspiring sight of nature's handiwork – a colossal sand formation that stretches as far as the eye can see. Ascending the summit of Big Dune promises breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valley, offering an opportunity to witness the stark contrast between the windswept dunes and the rugged mountains beyond. As the sun sets, the dune takes on a surreal, golden glow, making it a photographer's dream and a serene spot for meditation. It's a place to reconnect with nature, appreciate the vastness of the desert, and embrace the profound sense of solitude that only such a remote and mesmerizing location can provide.

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite offers a glimpse into the remnants of the American West's boom and bust era. This well-preserved ghost town, once a thriving gold mining town at the beginning of the 20th century, now stands as a captivating historical relic. Visitors should explore Rhyolite for its remarkable blend of eerie abandonment and the enduring spirit of the past. The ghostly remains of buildings like the famous Cook Bank and the Bottle House, constructed entirely of discarded beer bottles, provide a stark contrast to the harsh desert surroundings, making for remarkable photo opportunities and a hauntingly picturesque atmosphere. Moreover, Rhyolite offers a valuable lesson in the transient nature of human endeavors and the enduring allure of the Wild West's tales.

Tecopa Hot Springs

Tecopa offers both a natural hot springs experience (mud & reeds) as well as a commercial experience with developed pools. The Hot Springs provide an opportunity to rejuvenate the body and soul amidst the serene desert landscapes. Thenatural geothermal springs offer a therapeutic oasis, renowned for their soothing, mineral-rich waters that provide a sense of relaxation and healing. Check current road closures and combine the hot springs with a visit to the China Ranch.

China Ranch Date Farm

This hidden gem is not just a working date farm but a picturesque haven of lush date palms, crystal-clear streams, and vibrant flora that defies the arid desert surroundings. Visitors can embark on a scenic stroll along well-maintained trails, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the desert canyon. The farm's welcoming atmosphere and informative tours offer an educational and delicious experience, where you can learn about date cultivation and taste an array of delectable date-based treats. Whether it's for a taste of the world-famous date shakes, a chance to appreciate the unique desert ecology, or simply to savor the serenity of this unexpected oasis, a visit to the China Ranch Date Farm promises a memorable and enriching adventure.


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