Things to do in the California Desert Regions

California has two deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado. Both of these regions offer many interesting places to explore. From the hottest place in the United States, Death Valley to the cool swimming pools and golf courses of Palm Springs you will never run out of things to do. When you visit, always travel lightly. Let the desert leave its mark on you, don’t leave your mark on the desert. Always bring extra water for your desert trips and don’t forget your camera.

The Living Desert

The Living Desert was established in March 1970 as a 360 acre wilderness preserve. Today it is one of the most unique institutions in the country. Allow 3-4 hours to see the park.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The largest desert state park in the contiguous United States. Seasonal temperatures can be extreme, carry plenty of water in your vehicle and while hiking.

China Ranch

China Ranch is a family owned and operated small farm, a lush piece of greenery amidst the forbidding Mojave Desert near Southern Death Valley. Try some delicious date nut bread, muffins or cookies.

Death Valley National Park

One of the hottest places on the surface of the Earth with summer temperatures averaging well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Scotty’s Castle and the Furnace Creek Visitor Center & Museum are some of the points of interest.

Joshua Tree National Park

In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of Joshua Tree National Park also includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California.

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

There are numerous trails to walk and hike, including a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk through the marsh and riparian habitats.

Amboy Crater

Hike one mile to the west side of the crater where a steep and rocky trail leads to the crater rim. You can explore the inside of the crater or hike the rim

Palm Springs

Palm Springs has been a favorite getaway for celebrities, health seekers and visitors for over 100 years. From fall through late spring, days are warm and nights are cool. Summer temperatures of 100 or more are common.

Palm Springs Air Museum

In addition to the magnificent aircraft, there is an exquisite antique automobile collection from the 1920’s and 30s. Open seven from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs has the unique distinction of being surrounded by the largest state park in the contiguous United States, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

The Burro Schmidt Tunnel

The greatest one man mining achievement in history. He dug the tunnel 2,000 feet long in order to facilitate the shipment of ore.”

Randsburg

Mining town with lots of history located in the scenic Mojave Desert. A museum, open only on weekends has mining artifacts and memorabilia.

Kelso Depot

The Kelso Depot survives as a window into this past age, when the railroads were the primary means of transportation in a rapidly growing nation.

Cerro Gordo Ghost Town

Cerro Gordo is considered to be the one of the best “authentic ghost towns” in California. Over night stays can be arranged while you explore the historic town and surrounding public lands.

Death Valley National Park

One of the hottest places on the surface of the Earth with summer temperatures averaging well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Scotty’s Castle and the Furnace Creek Visitor Center & Museum are some of the points of interest.

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