Leaving the Amargosa River behind, a side trip will take you up the China Ranch Wash. Along the way are the ruins of an old rock house with a pole and dirt roof.
In 2001, restoration work began on this structure. Once it's completed, we'll add some updated pictures.
If you've looked into the wash, and it's not been raining, the small creek you saw is the outflow from Willow Springs area.
China Ranch Wash continues past the date farm, then turns southeast, and climbs up towards the Noonday Mine area.
The walk is going straight up the trail, past the date shop and up to the site of Acme. If you need the rest, stop a the shop first. A date shake will cool you off just fine!
Two additional views of the Ruins.
Near the top of China Ranch was the loading point and end of the Tonopah & Tidewater's spur to the Gypsum Queen Mine. The sign tells of the spur and the runaway train mentioned on the Morrison page of the walk. The Amargosa Canyon is down through the low notch [right-center] of the photo.
Behind this location and continuing up a canyon are the openings through which the mined Gypsum was hauled out, moved here and loaded onto box cars for the trip to the processing plant.
The graded dirt road is the exit from the ranch to Furnace Creek Road (paved) and the return to the Old Spanish Trail Highway and Tecopa.
Seen from the Mesa Trail is the ranch house and the older growth date trees. New lines of Dates are being planted, and the ranch offers many types for your selection.
Water for irrigating the trees is derived from the Willow Springs area. Willow Springs is located about 1/2 mile further up the wash in the left of the photograph.
At one time there was a dam and pool at the springs, complete with shaded picnic area and a diving board/ramp. Nearby, there still is a shady grove for you to rest up for the remainder of the walk.
The visitor's area of China Ranch is about 270 feet above the level of the Amargosa River. Quite a climb for the locomotives of the Tonopah and Tidewater, even when backing up the grade with 'empties'!
When we first started out walking through the canyon, Jeb would come with us to make sure we could find the way back. Since then, he and his human partner have moved on to walk in other locations. We miss you boy.