Zzyzx Road & Healing Center on Highway 15

On the road to Las Vegas on Highway 15, Zzyzx Road is a place that has undoubtedly sparked many debates as to what the name stands for and what is located at the end of that road. I have been a few times, with the most recent being in 2017 and this historic spot continues to have new adventures to hold each time I check it out. If you are interested in what sits at the end of Zzyzx Road, then read on or watch the video at the end of this post.

Zzyzx Road 1

Details

  • 5 miles off the road, at least a quarter-mile is dirt
  • Free parking

History

Zzyzx Road 7

In 1944, Curtis Springer, a radio evangelist from Los Angeles, decided that he would reinvent the area formally known as Soda Springs by turning the mineral springs found there into the basis for a resort. After filing a mining claim with the government, he got permission to use the lands (under false pretenses) and called it Zzyzx because he wanted to have the last word in the dictionary.

He hired several workers to help him create his resort, developed an area for people to stay, and imported various types of plants to add to the atmosphere. From there, his resort took off and brought people from all over to try his fake medicines and experience the “relaxation and healing” that he provided. In the 1970’s the government realized what he was doing on the land he claimed to have got for mining and kicked him and his followers out. Thus the land was taking over and eventually given to the CSU system which runs it now as a desert research center. 

Zzyzx Road

Zzyzx Road 3

When you exit the freeway onto Zzyzx road, you will proceed South about 5 miles until you start to see the resort, located up against the massive salt flats. This road is paved for most of the way but does still have a small section that is dirt so make sure to drive slow (I drove this in a Toyota Matrix with no problems).

Zzyzx Road 21

As I rounded the bend to the resort, I saw a group of big horn sheep blocking my way. They bolted almost instantly, but it was quite a sight to see.

There is a dirt parking lot on your right-hand side which you are directed by signs to park in. When you reach the parking lot, you will see an interpretive sign that tells you where you are and more about the history of the area.

As I proceeded to walk around and explore and what I immediately noticed was the crazy street names like “Boulevard of Dreams” and “Castle Way.”

Zzyzx Road 12

I saw some other cars but did not see any other people the entire time I was there.

The first thing I went to see was the famous lake. If you look up this place online, all of the pictures will show this lake with its rock island in the middle. There is a short path that takes you around the lake and that has information for you to read on the area.

After that, I just walked around and explored, with many of the places being closed up and not accessible. Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Zzyzx Road 9

My favorite shot by far was this one of the old swing set, just looking very post-apocalyptic.

Zzyzx Road 13

When I returned in 2017, it was much more lively than the first visit. There were three or four other cars in the parking lot, people walking around, and even people that looked like they may be renting a room here or something.

I took the opportunity to go visit the old bathhouse that is still on the property and that I missed last time I was there.

Also, there are a few abandoned old buildings on the trail out from the bath house, that would be pretty creepy to see by yourself. Like I said though, there were a bunch of people here this time.

Video

Here is a video I made of the spot in 2017.

All in all, it was an interesting place to explore and I am glad I got to check it out. If you are into things with strange histories, then this stop on the way to Vegas is a good one. I would love to hear if others are as crazy as me in the comments.

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  • haha! we just got back from vegas and had that convo in the car wondering what was down that road.. now we know! 🙂

    • haha Glad I could help!

  • Shawn Johnson

    We made the short detour on the way back from Vegas. There were two older couples that may have lived there? They were very friendly and told us to have a look around. We saw a sand dune tour taking off into the canyon. All in all a cool little detour to break up the monotony of the desert drive home

    • Ya I agree, it is a fun detour for sure. Some unique stuff down there and the salt flats are pretty crazy.

  • Last Resort

    We’re probably more crazy. We drove to the fork of Zzyzx and drove the off-road through the lake basin for an hour or so before we decided to post camp at the base of a small mountain. I’d like to mention I had brought my kitty with us. It was about 110 degrees outside and 10pm by the time we made it to our rural destination hoping the temp would drop as the night moved on. Well we stuck it out till about 1am but realized that the temperature would never dip below 100 so we packed our cat up, and our stuff and drove out of the rural road in the dark, which was REALLY weird, and drove on to Vegas.

    • Wow that is crazy, I am glad you didn’t stay all night int hat heat!

  • Krister Karlsmoen

    I will visit this area in march when coming from Sweden. Great! I ve seen the Zzyzx sign before when driving L.A. to L.V.

    • Its a unique spot for sure, I hope you have fun!

  • kathryn

    We’ve been there twice! just to check it out in different weather. Very hot, but interesting. Made the long trek to Vegas more interesting. And then on to Peggy Sue’s – delicious!

    • Ya I agree, it not the best in the summer as it can be really hot. It is a unique place for sure!

    • sunlover

      Peggy Sue’s is now closed. 🙁

  • Janice

    Catching a few Zz’s on the way home from Vegas.

  • Kirsten

    Can you swim in the water?

    • I have never heard of anyone swimming there and I would say it is probably off limits.