21 days in California Deserts Itinerary

21 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Deserts trip planner

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Route & dates

21 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Start: Milan
Fly:  18​h
1
Palm Springs
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Borrego Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Joshua Tree National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Yermo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Death Valley National Park
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Palmdale
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  16​h 45​min
End: Milan

4
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. Do your shopping at Brandini Toffee and VillageFest. Explore hidden gems such as Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness and Wet 'n' Wild Palm Springs. Step out of Palm Springs with an excursion to Lake Fulmor in Idyllwild--about 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: hike along Indian Canyons Hiking Trails, take in the awesome beauty at San Jacinto Mountain, explore the stunning scenery at Indian Canyons, and shop like a local with Antique Galleries of Palm Springs.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Palm Springs trip planner .

Milan, Italy to Palm Springs is an approximately 18-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, flight, and bus. The time zone changes from Central European Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -9 hour difference. While traveling from Milan, expect much hotter days and a bit warmer nights in Palm Springs, ranging from highs of 49°C to lows of 31°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Borrego Springs.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Idyllwild
Highlights from your plan
Escena Golf Club ©
Escena Golf Club
Brandini Toffee ©
Brandini Toffee

3
nights
Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs ©
Borrego Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. Take a break from the city and head to Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail and Hellhole Canyon Trail. Step off the beaten path and head to Slot Canyon and Ghost Mountain. And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Santa Rosa Mountains, explore the fascinating landscape at Yaqui Well, appreciate the history behind Pegleg Smith Monument, and take in the exciting artwork at Borrego Art Institute.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Borrego Springs using our trip planner.

You can drive from Palm Springs to Borrego Springs in 2 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 49°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can drive to Joshua Tree National Park.

Things to do in Borrego Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Hellhole Canyon Trail ©
Hellhole Canyon Trail
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ©
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Borrego Art Institute ©
Borrego Art Institute

4
nights
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park ©
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.
Visiting Keys View and Hidden Valley Nature Trail will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Skull Rock and Cottonwood Spring Oasis. The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Barker Dam Trail, hike along Split Rock, take a memorable drive along Geology Tour Road, and stroll through Boy Scout Trail.

For more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Joshua Tree National Park trip itinerary builder app .

Drive from Borrego Springs to Joshua Tree National Park in 2 hours. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Borrego Springs in August: highs in Joshua Tree National Park hover around 45°C, while lows dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel to Yermo.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Keys View ©
Keys View
Skull Rock ©
Skull Rock
Cottonwood Spring Oasis ©
Cottonwood Spring Oasis

1
night
Yermo

Yermo ©
Yermo is a town in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. On the 14th (Fri), stroll through Mojave Trail, look for gifts at Eddie World, then see a world frozen in time at Calico Ghost Town, and finally revel in the low prices at Outlets at Barstow.

To find reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Yermo road trip website .

You can drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Yermo in 2.5 hours. In August, daytime highs in Yermo are 46°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yermo

Trails Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Mojave Trail, Outlets at Barstow
Highlights from your plan
Outlets at Barstow ©
Outlets at Barstow
Eddie World ©
Eddie World
Calico Ghost Town ©
Calico Ghost Town

6
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Visiting Zabriskie Point and Mosaic Canyon will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Titus Canyon and Panamint Range. Change things up with a short trip to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Amargosa Valley (about 1h 15 min away). There's still lots to do: explore the stunning scenery at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, explore the striking landscape at The Devil's Speedway, explore the activities along Badwater Basin, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Hunter Mountain.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Death Valley National Park trip itinerary builder site .

Getting from Yermo to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 3.5 hours. When traveling from Yermo in August, plan for little chillier days in Death Valley National Park, with highs around 43°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Palmdale.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Titus Canyon ©
Titus Canyon
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge ©
The Racetrack ©
The Racetrack

1
night
Palmdale

Palmdale ©
Palmdale is a city in the center of northern Los Angeles County in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): stop by Charlie Brown Farms, wander the streets of The BLVD, and then have some family-friendly fun at Mulligan Family Fun Center.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Palmdale trip maker .

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to Palmdale takes 3.5 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 42°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Palmdale

Fun & Games Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Charlie Brown Farms, The BLVD
Highlights from your plan
Mulligan Family Fun Center ©
Mulligan Family Fun Center
Charlie Brown Farms ©
Charlie Brown Farms