A visit to China Ranch Date Farm is a trip to a historic oasis in the desert and a working date farm. This can be a short trip of walking around the date orchard, exploring the gift shop and nursery, and of course eating a delicious date shake or one of the date infused baked goods. Or, if you wish you cand make this an entire day adventure. The gift shop has a booklet one can purchase for $2.00 that describes the rich history of the area and several hiking trails that start from the grounds. Available for exploration is the Armagosa River Valley(about a 6 hr. round trip), the Mesa Trail, not for the faint of heart with its steep ascent, or the more flat, but adventureous hike on the badlands trail, discovering selenite layers and great examples of erosion and layering of sedimentary rock. Regardless of your choice, you must be quite independent because personnel on the ranch are sparse or working very hard in the gift shop and can offer little advice or direction. The curvy narrow road leading to the ranch is and adventure of its own and well worth the trip.