Essex is a small desert town along National Old Trails Highway/Route 66 and one of the many desert towns that was by-passed with the construction of Interstate 40.  It once was an important stop for the railroad.  Look for the old water well that was built by the Automobile Club of Southern California.  The well was a popular stop for desert travelers as it provided free water at a time when many desert locations charged for water by the gallon.


To the east of town is Camp Essex – one of the World War II Desert Training Center camps that trained service members for combat in North Africa.  Remains of the air field are still visible.

To the west of town look for the collection of “public rock art” along the north side of Route 66.  Over decades, hundreds of people have used rocks to form their name in the desert sand.