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.
- 5 miles off the road, quarter-mile is dirt
- Free parking
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.
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).
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.
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.”
I saw some other cars but did not see any other people the entire time I was there.
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.
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.
My favorite picture by far was this one of the old swing set, just looking very post apocalyptic.
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.