While researching for unique spots near my hometown, I came across Zzyzx, CA. Zzyzx (ZYE-zix) is, for the most part, an abandoned complex located off the 15 Freeway off of the Zzyzx Road exit.
It was created in the 1940’s by a man named Curtis Howe Springer, who was a radio evangelist and a self-proclaimed medical expert. He sought to make a profit off of people by building and promoting a mineral springs and health spa that provided all the “remedies” necessary to heal any ailment.
In reality, it was a scheme that lasted several decades. Interestingly enough, he did not even purchase the land before he started the construction. Springer had apparently only acquired a mining permit, and had no rights to the land. When he tried selling off parts of the land, the federal government caught up to his fraudulent actions. Everyone was evicted from the area. Springer was eventually tried and convicted of squatting on federal property and on charges of false advertising.
Zzyzx is now home to the Desert Studies Center of the California State University.
I have always been intrigued by places that are off the beaten path or places that are pretty isolated. Thus, I thought Zzyzx would be a great place to check out. My husband and I decided to take a whole day to visit multiple areas around the Mojave Desert. Zzyzx was our first stop. Visiting Zzyzx was quick, and I highly recommend it as a roadside stop for anyone in the area. Plus, it was totally free!
My husband and I arrived there at around 11:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning, and there was nobody else around. We had the place to ourselves, which was great for photos and walking around the area. It was quite serene. I only wish that I had gotten a picture of the Zzyzx Road sign.
I would like to point out that Zzyzx Road starts out as a paved road and it ends on gravel, so be mindful of that. There are also restrooms near the parking area. If you like visiting strange and unique places, definitely stop by!
Reminder: Please be sure to pick up after yourself if you decide to visit. It is important for each of us to be respectful of each location and the natural life and beauty that surrounds it.