Short hike to the China Ranch waterfall

China Ranch Date Farm is located southeast of Tecopa, California in a rare oasis-like setting where Willow Creek flows into the mighty Amargosa River. The John C. Fremont expedition camped near the present-day ranch in 1844 and eventually the site was developed into a productive truck farm by a Chinese settler prior to 1900. Since then, the property has been held by a succession of owners until acquired by the present owner, Brian Brown.

Mr. Brown has generously provided access to this historic and unusual locale where numerous hiking trails lead to interesting natural features. We have visited many of the destinations on trails leading from the ranch. Some of the hikes are strenuous and others quite easy. It is best to choose a cool day to attempt the longer treks.

The hike to the small waterfall, a short distance above the ranch, is a moderate one with some steep uphill ascents. We undertook it on a fairly warm day and it became a real test for some of the hikers. Nonetheless, we all made it and saw a rare desert wonder.

Pictures and commentary follow:

Tecopa Cyn
Willow Creek begins at springs a couple of miles
east of the ranch forming a large picturesque canyon.

Ranch 1
A dirt road takes you off the pavement and down a precarious-looking
wash past old talc mines to the oasis.

Many exotic cacti are on display and for sale in the store. Date products
and souvenirs are also available and we highly recommend a "DATE SHAKE"
after a long, hot hike.

Hikers heading up the trail to the waterfall location. It seemed a lot further
than it actually was due to the 90 degree- plus day.

The falls trickle about 20-30 feet into a wash that eventually flows
past China Ranch on the way to the mighty Amargosa River.

Looking downstream from the waterfall toward China Ranch
which is beyond the ridge on the right.

The hikers return to the date farm ready for a delicious (and fattening)
date shake made with real ice cream liberally blended with bits of dates.


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