As a Southern California traveler, I know that many people love driving to Las Vegas and why not, it’s a relatively easy 4 plus hour drive.
However, the drive can be grueling, so its important to take breaks. On our last drive to Las Vegas, we made a pit stop at an interesting place in California that most don’t know about. Let me share with you!
Located within the Mojave Desert preserve in a town named Zzyzx (known to be the last word of the alphabet) is a cool little research center called Desert Studies Center.
Desert Studies Center is owned by California State University and used by most of the campuses like Cal State LA, Long Beach, Fullerton, Northridge. San Bernardino & Cal Poly Pomona.
Cal State Universities provides student field trips and retreats to the Desert Studies Center. Biology, geography, geology and history students come here to learn, do research and experience the Mojave Desert.
This center was once a mineral spring and health spa from 1944 to1974, but without federal permission. The crooked owner of the health spa was finally kicked out by the government. Cal State University came in and took over the abandoned buildings in 1976.
This location is perfect for school research because of all the interesting and unique species of animal and plants in this region. One especially interesting species is the Saratoga Springs pupfish and the Mojave tun Chub fish, as well as over 200 species of birds!
While this center isn’t really for public use, you can rent it out for desert related retreats or you can also just stop by to use the bathroom, picnic, take a hike around the lake and enjoy the Mojave Desert.
This is a great spot to take a break from the drive to Las Vegas! Its’ not crowded and most don’t even know about this area…until now! So, enjoy! Located at 49441 Zzyzx Road, Baker 92309