60 days in California Deserts Itinerary

60 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Deserts visit planner

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Route & dates

60 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Start: Detroit
Fly + Drive:  9​h 30​min
1
Needles
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Death Valley National Park
— 11 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Lone Pine
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Lancaster
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Yermo
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Joshua Tree National Park
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Palm Springs
— 10 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Borrego Springs
— 8 nights
Drive + Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Detroit

5
nights
Needles

Needles ©
Needles is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Needles is known for parks, wildlife, fun & games, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at GoZip Pirate Cove, look for all kinds of wild species at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, walk around Moabi Regional Park, and stroll through Mystic Maze.

To find ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Needles trip planner .

Detroit to Needles is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Detroit to Needles is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Detroit in December, expect nights in Needles to be a bit warmer, around 45°F, while days are much warmer, around 65°F. On the 6th (Fri), you'll travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Needles

Parks Fun & Games Nature
Highlights from your plan
Jack Smith Memorial Park ©
Jack Smith Memorial Park
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge ©
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
Moabi Regional Park ©
Moabi Regional Park

11
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Death Valley National Park is known for nature, scenic drive, historic sites, museums, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, get great views at Dante's View, admire all the interesting features of Artists Dr, and take in the dramatic natural features at Artists Palette.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park trip itinerary website .

Traveling by car from Needles to Death Valley National Park takes 4.5 hours. Traveling from Needles in December, things will get little chillier in Death Valley National Park: highs are around 56°F and lows about 33°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive to Lone Pine.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Dante's View ©
Dante's View
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point

6
nights
Lone Pine

Lone Pine ©
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Change things up with these side-trips from Lone Pine: Ridgecrest (Red Rock Books, China Lake Naval Weapons Center, & more). The adventure continues: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Alabama Hills, steep yourself in history at California Historical Landmark 507, trek along Horseshoe Meadow Trail, and see the interesting displays at Museum of Western Film History.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Lone Pine vacation builder app .

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Lone Pine in 2 hours. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Lone Pine, with lows of 22°F. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll travel to Lancaster.

Things to do in Lone Pine

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Ridgecrest
Highlights from your plan
Alabama Hills ©
Alabama Hills
Mount Whitney Trail ©
Mount Whitney Trail
Lone Pine Creek ©
Lone Pine Creek

6
nights
Lancaster

Lancaster ©
Lancaster is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. Get out of town with these interesting Lancaster side-trips: Route 138 - Pearblossom Highway (in Palmdale), Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center (in Pearblossom) and El Mirage Lake (in Adelanto). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, explore the world behind art at Museum of Art & History (MOAH), walk around Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, and examine the collection at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark.

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

Drive from Lone Pine to Lancaster in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Lone Pine in December, Lancaster is a bit warmer at night with lows of 30°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel to Yermo.

Things to do in Lancaster

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Palmdale, Charlie Brown Farms, Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center, El Mirage Lake
Highlights from your plan
Prime Desert Woodland Preserve ©
Prime Desert Woodland Preserve
Apollo Community Regional Park ©
Apollo Community Regional Park
Museum of Art & History (MOAH) ©
Museum of Art & History (MOAH)

6
nights
Yermo

Yermo ©
Yermo is a town in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Yermo: Tecopa (China Ranch Date Farm & Amargosa River Project), Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch (in Oro Grande) and Baker (World's Tallest Thermometer & Ibex Dunes). And it doesn't end there: see a world frozen in time at Calico Ghost Town, get engrossed in the history at The California Route 66 Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at Rainbow Basin Natural Area, and learn more about the world around you at Mojave River Valley Museum.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Yermo online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Lancaster to Yermo in 2 hours. Traveling from Lancaster in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Yermo, with lows around 36°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Joshua Tree National Park.

Things to do in Yermo

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Barstow, Tecopa, Baker, Amboy Crater, The California Route 66 Museum
Highlights from your plan
Mojave River Valley Museum ©
Mojave River Valley Museum
Calico Ghost Town ©
Calico Ghost Town
Ibex Dunes ©
Ibex Dunes

7
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.
Joshua Tree National Park is known for nature, parks, trails, wildlife, and scenic drive. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the verdant scenery at Hidden Valley Nature Trail, take in the dramatic natural features at Keys View, hike along Ryan Mountain, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lost Palms Oasis Trail.

To find where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Joshua Tree National Park trip itinerary planning tool .

Traveling by car from Yermo to Joshua Tree National Park takes 2.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Joshua Tree National Park are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 40°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can go by car to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Hidden Valley Nature Trail ©
Hidden Valley Nature Trail
Wonderland of Rocks ©
Wonderland of Rocks
Keys View ©
Keys View

10
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Palm Springs: La Quinta (La Quinta Library & Old Town La Quinta), Joshua Tree (Joshua Tree National Park, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours, & more) and Shields Date Garden (in Indio). There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Palm Springs Air Museum, see Off-Road Tours, take a stroll through El Paseo Shopping District, and browse the eclectic array of goods at VillageFest.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Palm Springs trip planner .

You can drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Palm Springs in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In January, Palm Springs is a bit warmer than Joshua Tree National Park - with highs of 71°F and lows of 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Borrego Springs.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Palm Desert, Joshua Tree, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Cabot's Pueblo Museum
Highlights from your plan
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Tahquitz Canyon ©
Tahquitz Canyon
Palm Springs Air Museum ©
Palm Springs Air Museum

8
nights
Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs ©
Borrego Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Borrego Springs: Mecca (Ladder Canyon Trail & Box Canyon Road), Niland (East Jesus & Imperial Sand Dunes Cahuilla Ranger Station) and Palomar Observatory (in Palomar Mountain). There's still lots to do: explore the fascinating landscape at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, take in the awesome beauty at Santa Rosa Mountains, identify plant and animal life at Hellhole Canyon Trail, and take in breathtaking views at Slot Canyon.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Borrego Springs day trip planning tool .

Drive from Palm Springs to Borrego Springs in 2 hours. Traveling from Palm Springs in January, Borrego Springs is little chillier at night with lows of 40°F. On the 29th (Wed), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Borrego Springs

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Niland, Mecca, Palomar Observatory
Highlights from your plan
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ©
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Hellhole Canyon Trail ©
Hellhole Canyon Trail
Rams Hill Golf Club ©
Rams Hill Golf Club