46 days in California Desert Itinerary

46 days in California Desert Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Desert trip itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Palm Springs
— 16 nights
Drive
2
Niland
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Essex
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Tecopa
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Barstow
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Ridgecrest
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Lone Pine
— 4 nights
Drive to McCarran International Airport, Fly to New York City

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Palm Springs

— 16 nights
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Indian Canyons Hiking Trails and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Get outdoors at Painted Canyon and Escena Golf Club. Venture out of the city with trips to Mission Creek Preserve (in Desert Hot Springs), Horseback Riding Tours (in Morongo Valley) and Desert Christ Park (in Yucca Valley). Spend the 20th (Tue) exploring nature at Joshua Tree National Park.

For more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Palm Springs itinerary 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. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from New York City to Palm Springs due to the time zone difference. While traveling from New York City, expect warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Palm Springs, ranging from highs of 89°F to lows of 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Niland.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trips

Niland

— 5 nights
Niland is a census-designated place in Imperial County, California. Explore hidden gems such as Imperial Sand Dunes Cahuilla Ranger Station and Holtville Hot Spring. Escape the urban bustle at Davis-Schrimpf Seep Field and Glamis Sand Dunes. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Niland: Fossil Canyon (in Ocotillo) and Mecca (International Banana Museum, Box Canyon Road, &more). There's more to do: make a trip to East Jesus.

For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the Niland trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to Niland takes 1.5 hours. In April in Niland, expect temperatures between 89°F during the day and 59°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Essex.

Things to do in Niland

Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive · Trails

Side Trips

Essex

— 5 nights
Escape the urban bustle at Kelso Dunes and Mitchell Caverns. Step off the beaten path and head to Providence Mountains State Recreation Area and High sierra oasis/ route 66.

For other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Essex trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by car from Niland to Essex takes 4 hours. In May in Essex, expect temperatures between 94°F during the day and 69°F at night. You will leave for Tecopa on the 10th (Mon).

Things to do in Essex

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Tecopa

— 5 nights
Tecopa is a census-designated place in the Mojave Desert, in Inyo County, California, United States. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tecopa Hot Springs and Amargosa River Project. Change things up with a short trip to Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Museum in Death Valley Junction (about 42 minutes away). There's lots more to do: get a taste of life in the country at China Ranch Date Farm, mingle with the ghosts of the past at Dublin Gulch, take an in-depth tour of Shoshone Museum, and make a trip to Castle in Clay.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tecopa day trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Essex to Tecopa takes 2.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Essex in May, with highs in Tecopa at 82°F and lows at 59°F. On the 15th (Sat), you're off to Barstow.

Things to do in Tecopa

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Nature

Side Trips

Barstow

— 5 nights
Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Get in touch with nature at Rainbow Basin Natural Area and Mojave Trail. Step off the beaten path and head to Barstow Harvey House and Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Barstow: Painted rocks (in Fort Irwin) and Edwards (NASA Dryden Flight Research Center & Air Force Flight Test Museum). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Route 66 Mother Road Museum, mingle with the ghosts of the past at Calico Ghost Town, contemplate the long history of Calico Early Man Site, and take an in-depth tour of Mojave River Valley Museum.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Barstow driving holiday planning site.

Getting from Tecopa to Barstow by car takes about 2 hours. Traveling from Tecopa in May, you will find days in Barstow are somewhat warmer (88°F), and nights are about the same (60°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can go by car to Ridgecrest.

Things to do in Barstow

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

Ridgecrest

— 5 nights
Ridgecrest is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Step off the beaten path and head to Red Rock Canyon State Park and China Lake Naval Weapons Center. Get in touch with nature at Trona Pinnacles and Little Petroglyph Canyon. Get out of town with these interesting Ridgecrest side-trips: Hole in the Wall (in Cima), Indian Wells Brewing Company (in Inyokern) and Fossil Falls (in Little Lake). Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Maturango Museum, contemplate the long history of Randsburg City Jail, stop by Red Rock Books, and don't miss a visit to Mojave Air and Space Port.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Ridgecrest tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Barstow to Ridgecrest in 1.5 hours. May in Ridgecrest sees daily highs of 87°F and lows of 56°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to travel to Lone Pine.

Things to do in Ridgecrest

Parks · Nature · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

Lone Pine

— 4 nights
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Mount Whitney Trail and Museum of Western Film History. Escape the urban bustle at Alabama Hills and Lone Pine Creek. Take a break from Lone Pine with a short trip to Gus's Fresh Jerky in Olancha, about 30 minutes away. There's lots more to do: trek along Horseshoe Meadow Trail, contemplate the long history of Cerro Gordo Mines, explore the activities along Owens River, and stroll through Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead.

To find reviews, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Lone Pine road trip app.

You can drive from Ridgecrest to Lone Pine in 1.5 hours. In May, Lone Pine is a bit cooler than Ridgecrest - with highs of 82°F and lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Lone Pine

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

California Desert travel guide

4.4
Golf Courses · Zoos · Art Museums