Spring is a great time of year to explore the Mojave Desert, and there are more than just sage and creosote bushes to see. For a truly unique eco friendly experience just outside of Las Vegas head to the China Date Ranch. The China Date Ranch, is just that, a date ranch (the kind you eat). It is the setting and the operation that makes it unique, and China Date Ranch's business practices that make it eco-friendly.
China Date Ranch is near the Shoshone entrance to Death Valley and makes a great side trip if you are already heading in that direction. The whole drive itself is a great submersion into the raw terrain of the Mojave Desert. China Date Ranch is a great leg stretcher stop for the long haul to and from Death Valley.
Their homemade date products, including a date ice cream shake, make a great road trip snack and the area is great to explore on foot. Visitors are encouraged to explore the grounds, visit their date shop and a newly opened small museum. Towards the back of the property you can follow short trails that lead you across the desert floor and through small canyons.
The China Date Ranch operates under a conservation easement agreement with the Nature Conservancy, committing them to operate in a manner that protects the fragile desert that surrounds the ranch. Tours can be arranged for those groups who wish to know more about the area by calling and reserving ahead of the visit. Visit http://www.chinaranch.com for hours of operation and contact information.
Besides being a unique desert destination for local Las Vegans and tourists who want to see more than the resort corridor, China Date Ranch is an eco friendly destination. Their operation recycles paper and the farmed dates are herbicide and pesticide free. Also in the name of being greener, China Date Ranch employs a sustainable practice to protect the dates from being eaten by birds during the fall ripening season. Rather than using the paper that is typically wrapped around the dates, China Date Ranch buys castoff clothing rejected by the local thrift stores, cuts them open and makes re-usable cloth wraps to cover the dates. It is less expensive, re-usable, and more sustainable, a win, win, win business practice.
China Date Ranch is approximately 77 miles southwest of Las Vegas. Heading south on HWY 15, take the turn off for HWY 160 towards Pahrump, to Tecopa HWY, which becomes the Old Spanish Trail HWY in California. From there turn left on Furnace Creek Road and follow the signs to China Date Ranch.
Make a weekend out of it by visiting the nearby Tecopa Hot Springs. Relax in the naturally occurring hot springs in public pools and pools divided into a men's pool and a ladies' pool. Some establishments also have private rooms. If you have left the kiddies at home try Delight's Resort. Delight's is an adult only resort and it has a great word-of-mouth reputation for providing relaxing and recharging experiences. It is one of the local Las Vegas’ favorite places to go when they need to escape.
Tecopa Springs are considered to be of very high quality compared to the hot springs destinations in the US. Long enjoyed by travelers, this experience is a great way to experience the Mojave Desert. For more information visit http://www.delightshotspringsresort.com