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Desert Rivers - Amargosa Desert:
Amargosa River

Hiking Trails Today

Several different hiking experiences are available in the Amargosa River Natural Area. While plans are being developed to create a trail network in the Tecopa Basin, existing trails are limited to hiking and horseback riding.

Hiking trails include the Amargosa River Trail and the Slot Canyon trail. Highways, county-maintained roads, and federally-approved routes of travel are available for motorized touring and mountain biking. These include California State Highways 127 and 178, the Old Spanish Trail Highway, Furnace Creek Road, Mesquite Valley Road, and the Sperry Wash Route, which follows the Amargosa River north from Dumont Dunes.

The Amargosa River Trail was established on the historic T&T railroad grade, through Amargosa Canyon. This trail retraces portions of the Old Spanish Trail. The nearly level grade provides easy hiking and horseback riding opportunities. The only trailhead available to access the Amargosa River trail is located at the China Ranch Date Farm. 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. 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.

The Grimshaw Lake Watchable Wildlife Site is an easy, one-mile stroll on the relatively level, abandoned T&T railroad grade. Enjoy here the wide open views of Tecopa Basin. Access to the railroad grade is from a dirt road that turns west from Tecopa Hot Springs Road, located halfway between the communities of Tecopa and Tecopa Hot Springs, a distance of approximately one mile. Look for the sign which reads "Grimshaw Lake Watchable Wildlife Site." Take the dirt road around a small hill and park adjacent to the railroad grade, which has the appearance of an old, elevated road.

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