185 miles long.
An intermittent waterway in southern Nevada and eastern California. Spanish word for "bitter," the name "Amargosa" was first recorded in 1844 and no doubt refers to its alkaline water. The Amargosa is an ancient stream one that follows an antecedent canyon; evidence of human habitation along the river goes back more than 10,000 years.
The Amargosa flows completely underground for 185 miles from just north of Beatty to southern Death Valley near the Dumont Dunes, emerging only twice along its length or during significant, rare rainstorms. The river's underground aquifer supplies valuable water for the production of agriculture in the Amargosa Valley of Nevada and as a life-giving oasis to residents of Furnace Creek in California.
The flow of the Amargosa follows that of a backwards "C," from Pahute Mesa (Nye County) south through the Amargosa Valley, turning south-southwest around the Amargosa Range near Shoshone, California and north to its terminus in Death Valley. The few times it emerges though, is quite magical. The rare and endangered Amargosa River Pupfish, a 2-inch species of endemic fish swims freely in its few pools and slow, meandering patches of open water, found nowhere else in the world. In March 2009, as part of the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, a 26-mile stretch of the river between Shoshone and Dumont Dunes (in California) was protected as a National Wild and Scenic River.