29 days in California Deserts Itinerary

29 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Deserts trip itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Palm Springs
— 8 nights
Drive
2
Joshua Tree National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Borrego Springs
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Barstow
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Lone Pine
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Death Valley National Park
— 6 nights
Drive
7
Tecopa
— 1 night
Drive

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Palm Springs — 8 nights

You'll explore and learn at Integratron and Ruddy's General Store Museum. Get outdoors at Indian Canyons Hiking Trails and Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness. Explore Palm Springs' surroundings by going to Riverside (Mission Inn Museum, March Field Air Museum, &more), Palm Desert (Palm Desert Country Club & Palm Desert Cross Hiking Trail) and La Quinta (Old Town La Quinta, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, &more).

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs holiday planner.

Seattle to Palm Springs is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from Seattle in November, plan for warmer days and a bit warmer nights in Palm Springs: temperatures range from 79°F by day to 55°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Joshua Tree National Park.
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Outdoors · Wineries · Parks · Museums
Side Trips

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Arch Rock Nature Trail and Split Rock. Visiting Skull Rock and Lost Palms Oasis Trail will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Mecca (Salton Sea State Recreation Area, Ladder Canyon Trail, &more) and General George S. Patton Memorial Museum (in Chiriaco Summit). There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Cholla Cactus Garden, tour the pleasant surroundings at Cottonwood Spring, steep yourself in history at Keys Ranch, and hike along Wall Street Mill.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Joshua Tree National Park trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to Joshua Tree National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, Joshua Tree National Park is little chillier than Palm Springs - with highs of 61°F and lows of 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Borrego Springs.
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Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Side Trips

Borrego Springs — 4 nights

Borrego Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum and Imperial Valley Desert Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Get in touch with nature at Slot Canyon and Ocotillo Wells SVRA. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Borrego Springs: Jacumba (Desert View Tower Jacumba & Coyote's Flying Saucer Retrievals and Repairs), Stonewall Peak Trail (in Descanso) and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area (in Mount Laguna). Spend the 13th (Sun) exploring nature at Cleveland National Forest. Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Galleta Meadows, shop like a local with Borrego Art Institute, admire nature's extreme beauty at Desert Gardens, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Ghost Mountain.

Start your trip to Borrego Springs by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Borrego Springs in 2 hours. While traveling from Joshua Tree National Park, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Borrego Springs, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can drive to Barstow.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums
Side Trips

Barstow — 3 nights

Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Get some historical perspective at Calico Early Man Site and The Kill Bill Church. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Rainbow Basin Natural Area and Western America Railroad Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Barstow: Twenty Mule Team Museum (in Boron), Big Bear Lake (Cougar Crest Trail, Alpine Pedal Path, &more) and Big Bear Valley Historical Society (in Big Bear City). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Route 66 Mother Road Museum, explore the galleries of Desert Discovery Center, fly down the slopes at Mountain High Resort, and stop by Eddie World.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Barstow online route planner.

You can drive from Borrego Springs to Barstow in 3.5 hours. Traveling from Borrego Springs in December, expect nights in Barstow to be about the same, around 36°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can go by car to Lone Pine.
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Museums · Parks · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips

Lone Pine — 3 nights

Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Escape the urban bustle at Alabama Hills and Horseshoe Meadow Trail. Popular historic sites such as Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery and California Historical Landmark 507 are in your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Lone Pine side-trips: Gus's Fresh Jerky (in Olancha), Fossil Falls (in Little Lake) and Eagle Mountain Casino (in Porterville). The adventure continues: examine the collection at Museum of Western Film History, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead, fly down the slopes at Diamond Peak, and see a world frozen in time at Cerro Gordo Mines.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Lone Pine journey planner.

Getting from Barstow to Lone Pine by car takes about 2.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Barstow in December since evenings lows in Lone Pine dip to 22°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Death Valley National Park.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips

Death Valley National Park — 6 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Visit Harmony Borax Works and Charcoal Kilns for their historical value. You'll explore and learn at The Ranch at Furnace Creek and Goldwell Open Air Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Death Valley National Park: Beatty (Beatty Museum & Historical Society, Rhyolite, &more) and Goldfield (Gold Point Ghost Town & Goldfield Cemetery). There's lots more to do: take in the awesome beauty at Panamint Range, explore the stunning scenery at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, make a trip to Stovepipe Wells Village, and explore the activities along Salt Creek Interpretive Trail.

To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park online trip builder.

Getting from Lone Pine to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 2 hours. Traveling from Lone Pine in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Death Valley National Park, with lows around 33°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tecopa.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trips

Tecopa — 1 night

Tecopa is a census-designated place in the Mojave Desert, in Inyo County, California, United States. Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Tecopa using our trip planner.

Getting from Death Valley National Park to Tecopa by car takes about 2 hours. December in Tecopa sees daily highs of 57°F and lows of 38°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can go by car back home.
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Parks · Museums · Nature · Wildlife
Side Trip