Nipton – Oasis of Tranquility

Nipton – Oasis of Tranquility

A sign touting the best cheeseburger around lets you know you are approaching the eucalyptus-shaded desert oasis of Nipton, Calif. Gently situated on the sloping bajada leading down to the Ivanpah Valley, Nipton is a tiny spot of green in the vast eastern Mojave Desert west of Searchlight, Nevada, just ten miles off Interstate 15 — and 43 miles and a world away from Las Vegas.

Now, instead of old-time laborers coming to Nippeno Camp on their way to work in the mines, or people traveling through on their way to and from Searchlight, folks come for the great lodging accommodations at Hotel Nipton, a Spanish Territorial-style adobe building or in the unique tented cabins. They come to watch the trains, buy lottery tickets, have a conference or just have a meal. Or they come to spend time in the quiet openness of the Mojave.

Nipton owner Gerald Freeman said, “To my mind, people who live in the desert, or who like and are comfortable and prefer the desert as an environment, are quite a bit different than the type of personality that might like to live in a remote area up near San Francisco for example. Desert people are a special breed. There has been a fair amount written about the psychology of what it is that allows a person to be comfortable in the desert, and in their own skin.

“Most people are not.”

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