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“A Palmy Oasis of Wonder”

China Ranch Date Farm
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Tecopa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: When traveling through the Death Valley area consider visiting beautiful China Ranch, near Tecopa California. China Ranch is a family owned and operated small farm, a lush piece of greenery amidst the forbidding Mojave Desert near Southern Death Valley. Imagine towering cottonwoods and willows by a wandering stream, date palms and abundant wildlife, all hidden away in some of the most spectacular scenery the desert has to offer.The Ranch is also rich in history. The Old Spanish Trail is within walking distance, as is the historic Tonopah & Tidewater railroad bed. Hike to nearby abandoned mines if you wish, or just relax and browse through our store.We offer several varieties of California dates as well as our own hybrids. Try some delicious date nut bread, muffins or cookies, or take home one of our unique hand-crafted gifts.If you are interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants or history of the area, try one of our interpretive guided nature walks. Learn about the geology, botany, birds, and early man in the area. The Old Spanish Trail comes alive again and much more. Visiting China Ranch can be a wonderful one day adventure or highlight of any trip to Death Valley.We are not a resort or tourist development, but rather a working family farm in a truly unusual setting.
San Jose, California
Level 6 Contributor
217 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“A Palmy Oasis of Wonder”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

I was expecting something a little more dive-ish, but the China Ranch Date farm is a marvelous oasis full of history and a great shop. Getting there doesn't prepare you. First you head down a bare desert road away from Tecopa, then turn onto dirt, and end up on dirt snaking downhill through abandoned gypsum mines. We stopped and read the signs about the "Gypsum Queen" and the heyday of the mines. Most are now fenced off to keep out the unwary. (The mines were abandoned after a cave-in killed a couple miners.)
The ranch itself goes back to the 1900s, when a Chinese man planted fruit trees, and has been through several owners since. There are huge old date palms near the original ranch house, and many date plantations throughout the valley, as well as greenery around the Alamagosa River. Lunch is served in one of the buildings, but we were too late for that. However, the shop serves lucious creamy date shakes.
In the shop, you can sample the various dates offered for sale, plus date nut bread. There are also salsas and olives, etc. offered for sale. The shop behind the edibles shop is a wonderful eclectic collection of everything from vintage pottery, mexican blankets, yard decor, kitchenware, clothes, and books. Some are antiques, some are thift-store sorts of things, but all are fun! I left with an 1875 medical book.
My one regret was we were there late in the day. If we had realized it was a jumping-off-point for a collection of trails, we would have planned accordingly! Beautiful vistas of sculpted cliffs are visible from the main parking lot. Stick around for a little while and read all the informative placards. Fremont and Kit Carson camped near here, and the area has a rich history.
We plan to return for a day trip. Their is easily enough here to keep you busy for a full day, so plan accordingly!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jilara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A Date with Wonder”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

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.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank TortugaTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Station, New York
Level 6 Contributor
253 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“An Oasis in the Mojave desert!”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

The ride from Pahrump NV, to the the ranch was amazing, since we took a short cut across a dry lake bed and went off road. This in itself was terrific. So much beauty in the desert! As you drive through the mountain passes you can't see China Ranch until you are there. We saw mine shafts, and lots of mountains. As you exit the pass, there is China Ranch all green and beautiful. Date nut palm trees are all around. Enjoy hiking and taking photos. We tried a date shake which is scrumptious, different varieties of dates to sample and buy as well as wandering around the gift shop area. This was a spectacular area to see. It is worth the drive.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sharon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newark ohio
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“What a find!!!”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Down, down in the valley of the little town, Tecopa, California is a great find. It is the China Ranch Date Farm. The scenery of the rocks, boulders and sky getting there is worth the drive alone. But, the scenic farm you find is awesome. Beutiful and informative. The people running the gift shop, eatery are friendly and informative. We got a date milkshake, yummy , and info with it. The dates on the trees were not in season, so just heard about there growing and harvesting. Cute little shop to look around in and lots of free samples of all the various dates. You can go out and look through the date grove. Very informative and educational. Take time to visit. You'll be glad you did.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Who knew dates are so tasty?”
Reviewed January 18, 2013 via mobile

Yeah some palm trees grow dates, mmmmmm. There are some great hikes here. One is to a slot canyon with an easy hop over a river. Get the shake, take home some cookies and share some dates with friends who will be surprised at their sweet goodness. You can take a 4x4 road out the back way that takes you to the 15, 20 miles south of Vegas, fun addition to an already fun day.

Helpful?
Thank JerkHusband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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