Zzyzx Road & Healing Center

I sure you have probably seen that crazy named road on way to Las Vegas off the 15 freeway called Zzyzx; but I would guess for most you have never actually gotten off and explored what that road has to offer. Believe it or not there is some crazy history associated with that road, you can check out what I found out below when I visited this desert oasis.

Zzyzx Road 1

Details

  • 5 miles off the road, 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, a clever marketing ploy.

He hired various workers to help him create his resort and even developed an area for people to stay and 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. All of this adds to the fun history of the area.

Zzyzx Road

Zzyzx Road 3

When you exit Zzyzx road you will proceed South about 5 miles until you start to see the resort, located right along 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).

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.

Zzyzx Road 4

I pulled into the small dirt parking lot for the research center and 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.

Zzyzx Road 17

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.

Zzyzx Road 6

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

Zzyzx Road 16

Zzyzx Road 15

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

Zzyzx Road 13

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.