Black Friday Mega Sale is live now, grab it while you can! Get an EXTRA 10% on non-refundable cancellation option.

Road Trip Through The Californian Desert

Difficulty

1012 km

Distance

7

Recom. Days

General

Trip type

profile picture of a girl wearing sunglasses and holding a guitare
Inês Morais

Nature lover. If circling the world in an RV and exploring the most hidden gems spots was a job, probably wasn't writing this now...

California Desert Road Trip

Map route of California Desert Road Trips

Google Maps

There’s more to California than just the coast. The state’s hinterland is a whole different world where you can focus on being one with nature. Campervanning through desert land requires some planning, especially if you want to go off-the-grid, but it’s undoubtedly an incredibly rewarding experience.

This itinerary is a great start to your journey across all the breathtaking points of the California desert.

Desert in California
Pick-up in
Los Angeles Pick-up Centre
1

Antelope Valley

Comprising the western tip of the extensive Mojave Desert, Antelope Valley is a natural paradise. It’s best known for its massive, colorful, and sweet-scented poppy fields, but this valley is home to a wide variety of wild plants and animals.

View of the Antelope Valley dessert

Antelope Valley is replete with hundreds of acres of state parks, carefully maintained to protect and preserve California’s wildlife. Take your time on the road and make sure to enjoy the fantastic landscapes of the poppy valley.

Visiting

Antelope Valley

1

Recom. Days

Main route

135 km

Los Angeles Depot

1h20min

Los Angeles Depot

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Free

Colorful fields of poppies and other wildflowers in the spring

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Free

Home to Joshua Tree

Prime Desert Woodland Preserve

Free

Scenic location filled with natural simplicity

Signal

Eat at

A.M. Café

€€

Comfy cafe for ordinary and extraordinary breakfasts

Broken Bit Steakhouse

€€€

Combination of contemporary American Cuisine with a Western Flare

Medrano's Mexican Restaurant

€€

Authentic Mexican food and live entertainment

RV icon

Parking

Lancaster Metrolink Station

Lancaster Road

Signal

Stay at

Antelope Valley Fairgrounds RV Park

€€

fully-facilitated

Shady Elms RV & Trailer Park

fully facilitated

2

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve is one of the largest national preserves within the continental U.S. It’s packed with natural attractions and unique experiences a camper can expect from a desert road trip. 

From canyons to cinder cones to the astounding sound of the Kelso Dunes “singing”, this 1.6 million acres national preserve is sure to be a high point in your road trip.

Landscape picture with palmtrees and a road

On your way from the Antelope Valley, about half an hour before reaching the National Preserve, take a small detour to visit the Afton Canyon, on Afton Road, known locally as the Grand Canyon of the Mojave. 

End your stay at the Mojave Natural Preserve with a quick stop at the Amboy Crater, an extinct cinder cone volcano, located right outside the preserve.

Visiting

Mojave National Preserve

2

Recom. Days

Main route

250 km

Antelope Valley

2h30min

Antelope Valley

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Kelso Dunes

Free

Isolated dune system more than 600 feet above the desert floor

Edgar Peak

Free

The highest point in the Providence Mountains

Castle Mountains National Monument

Free

Some of the most unique elements of the Mojave Desert

Mojave Lava Tube Trail

Free

Accessible volcanic tunnel

Signal

Eat at

River City Pizza

A locals’ favorite

GP's Steakhouse

€€

American and European cuisine

Los Dos Toritos

€€

Delicious Mexican quick bites

Mad Greek Cafe

Greek food in the middle of an American desert

RV icon

Parking

Dirt lot along Aiken Mine Road

Free

Signal

Stay at

Hole-in-the-Wall Campground

€€

no utility hookups

RV Park Baker

fully facilitated

Afton Canyon Campground

no dump station

3

Pioneertown

Pioneertown is an Old Western permanent movie set. Building sets for movies was a costly and complex process, making it difficult to stay within a film’s budget. The actor Dick Curtis came up with the idea of building a permanent set for Old Westerns to avoid set expenditures. The idea was to establish businesses restaurants, motels, grocery and hardware stores, feed stores for horses, and saddle makers for the crew members during filming and the population of the city, who would play the role of extras.

Part of the set of Pioneertown

Although its current inactivity as a movie set, the Old Western spirit and infrastructures remain.

Visiting

Pioneertown

1

Recom. Days

Main route

150 km

Mojave National Preserve

1h40min

Mojave National Preserve

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

The Integratron

Free

An out-of-this-world structure

Pioneertown Bowl

€€

Vintage bowling alley

Pioneertown Mane Street

Free

Old western movie street, home to many types of art

Signal

Eat at

Pappy and Harriet's

€€

BBQ and live music in one place

RV icon

Parking

Eastside of Mane Street

Signal

Stay at

Little Pioneertown RV

€€

fully facilitated

4

Palm Desert

Palm Desert has the best of both worlds, able to provide a full movie-like shopping experience in the El Paseo Shopping District, a tree-lined boulevard boasting public art pieces, upscale stores, and restaurants, Palm Desert is also the perfect place for hiding away in natural landscapes for a day.

Palm Trees in Palm Desert, California

The Indian Canyons and the San Jacinto Mountains are just two of the several attractions that make Palm Desert so inviting.

Visiting

Palm Desert

1

Recom. Days

Main route

74 km

Pioneertown

50min

Pioneertown

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Shields Date Garden

€€

Well-known garden with biblical sculptures

Santa Rosa and the San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Free

World-famous scenic landscape

Coachella Valley Preserve

Free

An exceptional place hidden in the desert

Signal

Eat at

Café des Beaux-Arts

€€

Parisian brasserie with a nice patio

La Spiga

€€€

Tuscan-style villa with a unique outdoor space

Cork Tree

€€€

Distinct menu in a relaxed atmosphere

RV icon

Parking

Civic Center Parking

Free

Signal

Stay at

Palm Springs RV Resort

€€

fully facilitated

Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort

€€

fully facilitated

5

Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs is a Californian natural wonder. Located 78 miles from San Diego, this desert area is packed with places of interest that can’t be left out.

Landscape of a mountain and flowers in Borrego Springs

About halfway into the drive between Palm Desert and Borrego Springs, you can see the Salton Sea, a saltwater lake that used to be flocked with celebrities, such as Jerry Lewis and Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately, nowadays, it’s one of the most polluted and toxic lakes in the state.

Spending the night in Borrego Springs is an out-of-this-world experience. Thanks to the minimal light pollution, the sky above you is covered in flickering stars that seem to fall off the sky.

Visiting

Borrego Springs

2

Recom. Days

Main route

120 km

Palm Desert

1h20min

Palm Desert

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Free

Rich, unparalleled landscape in the desert area

Borrego Springs Sculptures

Free

Free sculpture exhibition for desert hikers

Font's Point

Free

Lookout that offers exceptional views of the California badlands

Signal

Eat at

Red Ocotillo

€€

Ingredients from an organic garden with a pet-friendly patio

Kendall's Cafe

A locals’ choice for an American meal

Carmelita's Mexican Grill

a Borrego Spring’s must for a comforting Mexican meal

RV icon

Parking

Slot Canyon Parking Lot

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center Parking

Signal

Stay at

The Springs at Borrego RV Resort

€€€

fully facilitated

Borrego Palm Canyon Campground

fully facilitated

Primitive Campgrounds

Free

free of charge, no amenities but toilets

Drop-off in
Los Angeles Pick-up Centre

251 km

Los Angeles International Airport

3h10min

drive