60 days in California Deserts Itinerary

60 days in California Deserts Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Deserts visit planner

©
This plan was created by another inspirock user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

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, and fun & games. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at GoZip Pirate Cove, walk around Moabi Regional Park, take in the waterfront activity at Pirate Cove Resort, and take an unorthodox tour of Mystic Maze.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Needles road trip website.

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. While traveling from Detroit, expect warmer days and a bit warmer nights in Needles, ranging from highs of 65°F to lows of 45°F. You'll set off for Death Valley National Park on the 6th (Fri).

Things to do in Needles

Parks Nature Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Jack Smith Memorial Park ©
Jack Smith Memorial Park
GoZip Pirate Cove ©
GoZip Pirate Cove
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge ©
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge

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, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, take in breathtaking views at Golden Canyon, take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, and get great views at Aguereberry Point.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Death Valley National Park itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Needles to Death Valley National Park takes 4.5 hours. Traveling from Needles in December, expect Death Valley National Park to be slightly colder, temps between 56°F and 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
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Dante's View ©
Dante's View

6
nights
Lone Pine

Lone Pine ©
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Explore Lone Pine's surroundings by going to Ridgecrest (Red Rock Books, China Lake Naval Weapons Center, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take in the awesome beauty at Alabama Hills, examine the collection at Museum of Western Film History, explore the stunning scenery at Lone Pine Creek, and contemplate the long history of California Historical Landmark 507.

To find reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Lone Pine trip itinerary planning app.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Lone Pine in 2 hours. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Lone Pine, with lows around 22°F. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll travel to Lancaster.

Things to do in Lone Pine

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Ridgecrest
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Alabama Hills ©
Alabama Hills
Museum of Western Film History ©
Museum of Western Film History
Maturango Museum ©
Maturango Museum

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. Venture out of the city with trips to El Mirage Lake (in Adelanto), Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center (in Pearblossom) and Route 138 - Pearblossom Highway (in Palmdale). Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Civic Musical Road, stroll around Apollo Community Regional Park, hike along Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, and see the interesting displays at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Lancaster travel itinerary planner.

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

Things to do in Lancaster

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Palmdale, El Mirage Lake, Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center, Charlie Brown Farms
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Prime Desert Woodland Preserve ©
Prime Desert Woodland Preserve
Civic Musical Road ©
Civic Musical Road
The BLVD ©
The BLVD

6
nights
Yermo

Yermo ©
Yermo is a town in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Yermo: Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch (in Oro Grande), Baker (World's Tallest Thermometer & Ibex Dunes) and Tecopa (China Ranch Date Farm & Amargosa River Project). There's much more to do: see a world frozen in time at Calico Ghost Town, examine the collection at Route 66 Mother Road Museum, contemplate the geological forces at Amboy Crater, and stop by Eddie World.

To find maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Yermo trip itinerary maker tool.

You can drive from Lancaster to Yermo in 2 hours. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Yermo when traveling from Lancaster in December, with lows around 36°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Joshua Tree National Park.

Things to do in Yermo

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Barstow, Baker, Tecopa, Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch, Trona Pinnacles
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Trona Pinnacles ©
Trona Pinnacles
Calico Ghost Town ©
Calico Ghost Town
Rainbow Basin Natural Area ©
Rainbow Basin Natural Area

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, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Keys View, take in the awesome beauty at Eureka Peak, tour the pleasant surroundings at Split Rock, and hike along Lost Palms Oasis Trail.

For traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Joshua Tree National Park tour itinerary maker.

You can drive from Yermo to Joshua Tree National Park in 2.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Joshua Tree National Park are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Hidden Valley Nature Trail ©
Hidden Valley Nature Trail
Keys View ©
Keys View
Arch Rock ©
Arch Rock

10
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Venture out of the city with trips to La Quinta (La Quinta Library & Old Town La Quinta), Shields Date Garden (in Indio) and Joshua Tree (Joshua Tree National Park, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours, &more).

To see traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Palm Springs trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Joshua Tree National Park to Palm Springs takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Joshua Tree National Park in January, with highs in Palm Springs at 71°F and lows at 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, Rancho Mirage, Joshua Tree, La Quinta, Shields Date Garden
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Palm Springs Air Museum ©
Palm Springs Air Museum
San Jacinto Mountain ©
San Jacinto Mountain

8
nights
Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs ©
Borrego Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. Venture out of the city with trips to Palomar Observatory (in Palomar Mountain), Mecca (Ladder Canyon Trail & Box Canyon Road) and Niland (East Jesus & Imperial Sand Dunes Cahuilla Ranger Station). There's still lots to do: immerse yourself in nature at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, admire nature's extreme beauty at Coyote Canyon, trek along Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail, and explore the stunning scenery at Slot Canyon.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Borrego Springs trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to Borrego Springs takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Palm Springs in January, Borrego Springs is little chillier at night with lows of 40°F. You will leave for home on the 29th (Wed).

Things to do in Borrego Springs

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Mecca, Niland, Palomar Observatory
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ©
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Galleta Meadows ©
Galleta Meadows
Hellhole Canyon Trail ©
Hellhole Canyon Trail