If you’ve ever driven I-15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, you’ve probably noticed the exit for Zzyzx Rd. You’ve probably asked yourself what the heck is up with that name? And what the heck is down that road anyway?
From the I-15 exit, Zzyzx Road goes south. For six miles passing along a dried up soda lake bed, which was used for soda mining from 1907?–?1912. The stretch of hot desert coated with salt gives it a real Bonneville style feel. It’s a weird place, and turns out it actually used to be a spa. In 1944, a crazy evangelist dreamt up the concept and the Zzyzx Mineral Springs Resort opened on the land. The owner of the resort named it Zzyzx and came up with the slogan “the last word in health” to guarantee his spa would appear last in any alphabetical listing. Crazy genius…
For years the resort was a happening place, and then the gov’t shut it down after the evangelist tried to sell parcels of land. Today it serves as a Desert Studies Center for California State University. There are makeshift streets with whimsical names like Boulevard of Dreams that criss-cross the area. A number of buildings, which were undoubtedly the resort suites back in the day, now serve as dormitories / apartments for students, staff and employees. There is a natural spring here, which is surrounded by palmtrees and cattails and a family of ducks lives in the spring.
For a small, isolated place in the California desert, it’s pretty cool to check out once!