Amargosa Canyon


China Ranch Date Farm Trail in Amargosa River valley.

The China Ranch Trail provides access to a network of hiking trails along Willow Creek and the Amargosa River—the beating heart of the Amargosa Basin where perennial streams support some of the best migratory bird habitat in the southwestern United States.

This canyon is home to the critically endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis), a small rodent found only near Tecopa, CA.

This highly specialized mammal can only live in the thick bulrush vegetation that grows around natural springs and nearby pools. It breeds mostly in spring and summer and faces imminent extinction if its habitat is degraded.

Learn more about the Amargosa Wild and Scenic River.


Along the hiking loop, you will experience to exquisite natural beauty and rich cultural history of the Amargosa River. Look carefully to find evidence of the people who called this region home. You will follow the same path as those early explorers who came on the Old Spanish and Mormon Trails. Along the trail there are interpretive signs to guide your walk into this natural cultural gem of the Amargosa.

The trail is a 3.0 mile loop at a mild grade with even, hard-packed gravel. There is a possible, seasonal stream crossing to access the slot canyon trail at the top of the loop.


Know Before You Go

  • Weather: The area is hot and arid, with summer high temperatures ranging from 100 to 120 degrees F.
  • Make sure to pack plenty of water.
  • Wear sun protection even in Winter. There is very little shade.
  • Please keep cats and dogs under control and out of the marshes. Any unrestrained dogs and cats can harass critically endangered species!
  • Please do not modify the pool banks or streams. Changing the pool shape or creating beaches removes sediment and disturbs vegetation.
  • No campfires. Even in a marsh, fire can be devastating and could remove all the dead vegetation nearby which many animals use for shelter.



Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

35.8002014, -116.1952066


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External Map