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Worth Visiting

Zzyzx Road
Looking south on Zzyzx Road along Soda Dry Lake on the way to the Desert Studies Center
Desert Studies Center
The Desert Studies Center Administration Building, once the main building for the historic spa. The unpaved divided street in front is the Boulevard of Dreams.
Why "Zzyzx"?

In 1944, Curtis Howe Springer settled on three by eight miles by Soda Dry Lake in the middle of the Mojave Desert. There he built a spa with nine mineral pools in the shape of a cross, and he wanted to give it name with no vowels that sounded like sleep, and so "Zzyzx" (pronounced Zee-zix) was born.

The self-proclaimed Methodist minister and physician (he was neither) broadcasted daily a folksy, fundamentalist religious program from the radio station he built there asking listeners to send donations for miraculous cures, which were a mix of vegetable juices, shipped throughout the United States and abroad.

The spa flourished with the elderly spending their life savings to spend time in the sparse rooms and to relax in the mineral waters until 1974, when Springer was arrested for alleged violations of food and drug laws and unauthorized use of federal land. The spa was confiscated, Springer spent a few months in jail, and now the spa is administered by the California State University at Fullerton as the Desert Studies Center.

Pond at Zzyzx
Looking north at the pond at Zzyzx. Notice the fountain head in the middle. The pond is on the other side of the Administration Building.

More images of Zzyzx