Mojave National Preserve
< East Mojave Desert
Mineral Bath & Resort
Near the mouth of the
Mojave River, where the intermittant
waters seep into Soda Lake, a mineral
wells up near a basalt outcropping.
Father Francisco Garces
this place, Soda Springs in his journey through the Mojave desert. Over 50 years
Jedediah Smith passed south of the springs up into
Afton Canyon (he instructed his
Mohave indian guide to take him the most direct route) on his excursion. In
the 1860s, the US Army used this spot as the location of Fort Soda Springs.
In the mid-1940s, at this western end of the vast Soda dry lake,
the charismatic quack, Curtis 'Doc' Springer built a health resort.
He named the resort Zzyzx. It was designed to be the final word in the English language --
Also, the cure to end all cures. He promoted it wildly on his quasi-religious
Los Angeles based radio show. He sold his celery and carrot juice tonics, herb tea concoctions
and bread all over the world. He claimed his mineral springs spa and special diet could cure
everything from hair loss to cancer.
He wouldn't charge to stay at the resort, but he urged all to send donations. He attracted
much attention and built up a thriving business that lasted over 30 years.
The American Medical Association gave Springer the dubious title of "King of Quacks".
The government discovered he built the spa on land he didn't own. In 1974 he was
evicted, arrested for food and drug law violations and spent several months in jail.
He retired to Las Vegas and died in 1986.
A Brief History of Zzyzx & Soda Springs
Soda Lake lies at the terminus of the Mojave River. In wet years, the playa may contain standing ...
Fort Soda Springs
This desert camp, variously named for the dry soda lake in its vicinity, was first established south of
Baker, San Bernardino County, in the spring of 1860 by ...