China Ranch Date Farm: An Oasis In Sierra Nevada
China Ranch Date Farm has a rich geological history that spans as far back as 12 million years ago. It is located at the southern end of Death Valley National Park, that is one of the hottest and driest parks in the entire USA. As one of the prized oases in Sierra Nevada, China Ranch shines out with a variety of rare species of plants and animals, a unique date bakery, gift shop and museum. A very unique ranch it is, that is tailored for visitors of all kinds such as tourists, scientists and even filmmakers.
You may very well see some of these animals at the Ranch:
- over 225 species of migratory birds
- gray and kit foxes
- kangaroo rats and pack rats
- cotton tail and jack rabbits
- snakes (non-poisonous ones are more common than the posionous)
- black widow spiders
The main plant defines the China Ranch - The Date Palm. Its origin is the Middle East, and the dates are highly nutritious and are used at the China Ranch Date Bakery to make delicious ice cream, shakes, cookies, bread and much more. You can even have the chance these naturally sweet fruit at various stages of drying.
The "A Modest Museum" is a great place on the China Ranch for visitors to see Indian artifacts, archeological findings, a glimpse of the geological progress of the ranch and also a revelation of the China man who is believed to be the first resident.
At the Gift Shop, you will find a range of authentic items from the southwest and from local artisans.
"In addition, we feature a variety of jams and jellies, canned items, local honey, custom made soaps, jewelry, and dozens of other items."
I visited there back in 2005, and was pleasantly surprised to know that just about 77 miles outside of Las Vegas I could be in such an open oasis in the desert with beautiful plants, animals and people. All these photos except one, are my personal photos on my trip there. The China Ranch website may not say much about the hosts, but I can tell you they are real and friendly. It only made the visit all that much better. China Ranch Date Farm gets 5 stars from me.