15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Fly to Palm Springs International Airport, Drive to Joshua Tree National Park
1
Joshua Tree National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Redwood National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Mount Shasta
— 3 nights
Drive to Redding Municipal Airport, Fly to Washington

S M T W T F S
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1

Joshua Tree National Park — 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): explore the striking landscape at Wonderland of Rocks and then trek along Split Rock. Keep things going the next day: trek along Arch Rock Nature Trail.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Joshua Tree National Park trip planning tool.

Washington to Joshua Tree National Park is an approximately 12-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. Traveling from Washington to Joshua Tree National Park, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Washington in September, things will get a bit warmer in Joshua Tree National Park: highs are around 93°F and lows about 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can fly to Big Sur.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Big Sur — 2 nights

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Wed): admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, immerse yourself in nature at Limekiln State Park, then enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and finally hike along Partington Cove. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Thu): visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park, then cruise along Old Coast Road, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Big Sur trip itinerary planner.

You can fly from Joshua Tree National Park to Big Sur in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. While traveling from Joshua Tree National Park, expect colder days and little chillier nights in Big Sur, ranging from highs of 72°F to lows of 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Yosemite National Park — 4 nights

Massive granite mountains, towering waterfalls, groves of Giant Sequoia trees, and wilderness as far as the eye can see distinguish the landscape of Yosemite National Park.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Valley View and Cloud's Rest. Get in touch with nature at Glacier Point and Vernal Fall. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, get great views at Yosemite, Tunnel View, take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass, and take in the dramatic natural features at North Dome.

For photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park trip builder site.

You can drive from Big Sur to Yosemite National Park in 5.5 hours. Traveling from Big Sur in September, plan for a bit cooler nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel to Redwood National Park.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Redwood National Park — 2 nights

Redwood National Park is home to a tremendous collection of the world's tallest type of tree.
Take a break from the city and head to Redwood National Park and Tall Trees Grove. Step off the beaten path and head to Enderts Beach and California Coastal Trail.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Redwood National Park travel planning website.

Explore your travel options from Yosemite National Park to Redwood National Park with the Route module. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, you will find days in Redwood National Park are little chillier (66°F), and nights are somewhat warmer (50°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Mount Shasta.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Mount Shasta — 3 nights

Mount Shasta is a city in Siskiyou County, California, at about 3600ft above sea level on the flanks of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. On the 23rd (Fri), get curious at Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Shasta, and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Castle Lake. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Shasta-Trinity National Forest and then get outside with McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Mount Shasta trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Redwood National Park to Mount Shasta in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Redwood National Park in September, expect nights in Mount Shasta to be about the same, around 46°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 79°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) to allow time to drive back home.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trip

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.
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