12 days in California Deserts Itinerary

12 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Deserts trip itinerary builder

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Borrego Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Joshua Tree National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Death Valley National Park
— 4 nights
Bus to Las Vegas, Fly to New York City

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1

Palm Springs

— 2 nights
Change things up with these side-trips from Palm Springs: Palm Desert (The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens & Desert Holocaust Memorial).

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Palm Springs visit planning website.

New York City to Palm Springs is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from New York City to Palm Springs. Traveling from New York City in April, you will find days in Palm Springs are warmer (89°F), and nights are somewhat warmer (61°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Borrego Springs.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Nature

Side Trips

Borrego Springs

— 2 nights
Borrego Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. On the 18th (Sun), view the masterpieces at Borrego Art Institute, admire nature's extreme beauty at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and then trek along Slot Canyon. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Mon): explore the stunning scenery at Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail, don't miss a visit to Galleta Meadows, and then look for all kinds of wild species at California Overland Desert Excursions.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Borrego Springs trip itinerary app.

Drive from Palm Springs to Borrego Springs in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In April in Borrego Springs, expect temperatures between 90°F during the day and 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Joshua Tree National Park.

Things to do in Borrego Springs

Outdoors · Nature · Parks · Wildlife

Joshua Tree National Park

— 3 nights
Joshua Tree National Park takes its name from the Joshua tree, a twisted, spiky tree with bayonet-shaped leaves at the top that's one of the few plant species hardy enough to thrive in the extreme climate of the Mojave Desert.
Joshua Tree National Park is known for nature, parks, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the verdant scenery at Hidden Valley Nature Trail, take in the dramatic natural features at Skull Rock, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arch Rock Nature Trail, and identify plant and animal life at Barker Dam Trail.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Joshua Tree National Park journey planning app.

Drive from Borrego Springs to Joshua Tree National Park in 2 hours. When traveling from Borrego Springs in April, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Joshua Tree National Park: temperatures range from 81°F by day to 55°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks · Trails · Nature · Outdoors

Death Valley National Park

— 4 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Death Valley National Park is known for nature, scenic drive, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Badwater Basin, explore the striking landscape at Ubehebe Crater, make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and stroll through Salt Creek Interpretive Trail.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Death Valley National Park trip planner.

You can drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Death Valley National Park in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Joshua Tree National Park in April, plan for slightly colder nights in Death Valley National Park, with lows around 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Trails