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Hike the Amargosa River Trail

Tecopa, California



8.9 miles

Elevation Gain

561 ft

Route Type



Added by Darlene Taylor

Opportunities for bird watching, rock climbing, rock collecting, scenic touring, nature study, astronomy, and photography.

Explore the beauty of the Mojave Desert and its wide-open tranquil spaces with this easy 5 mile hike beginning in the parking lot at the China Ranch Date Farm. This is a primitive trail that follows the historic T&T railroad grade, through Amargosa Canyon with washed out remnants of the old tracks. This trail also retraces portions of the Old Spanish Trail which connected Santa Fe, New Mexico with Los Angeles, California prior to 1821. The nearly level grade provides easy hiking opportunities. Six miles of trail are maintained up the canyon to the north. This includes a two-mile loop trail from China Ranch to the confluence of Willow Creek and the Amargosa River, and then back up the east side of the creek.

The Slot Canyon Trail is a four mile round-trip hiking and equestrian trail that leads to a unique and interesting side canyon. To get here, take the Amargosa River Trail, from China Ranch, to the Amargosa River. Go north, along the T&T railroad grade, to the rock-lined side trail, leading west. Access to the Slot Canyon Trail is clearly marked. Follow this trail a short distance to the river, cross the river, and follow the wash, up along the west bank. Cross the river with care. This is a shallow river, and you should have no difficulty. Continue up the wash, which ends in a narrow and twisted "slot canyon," with vertical walls.

There are opportunities on this trail to view abundant wildlife including the endangered pupfish and crawdads in the waters surrounding the trail as well as a variety of birds.

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