Desert camping can be an amazing and rewarding experience. Deserts can be some of the most challenging destinations for a camping trip, but they are beautiful and fascinating ecosystems. Here are a few great desert destinations throughout the United States.
Anza-Borrego State Park, CA
This is the largest state park in California. Visitors will find that this is an excellent desert destination for enjoying all sorts of recreation, including hiking, biking and more. In addition, visitors can enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna that inhabit the landscape, including bighorn sheep and colorful wildflowers.
Death Valley National Park, CA and NV
Death Valley National Park is home to the lowest, driest and hottest spot in North America and there have been years in which no rain was recorded. Although the park gets hot and dry there are some truly amazing natural wonders to check out in Death Valley National Park. Travelers can hike through the narrow Mosaic Canyon or view the pupfish found only at Salt Creek in the Stovepipe Wells area. In the Furnace Creek Area visitors will find the Devil’s Golf Course to see the wind eroded rock salt spires and walk under the natural bridge. Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America. Travelers with a proper vehicle can drive out to the Racetrack to see the mysterious tracks left by the rocks sliding across the lakebed.
Visitors to the city and region around Flagstaff, Arizona will find a wonderful high altitude desert landscape. Flagstaff is home to the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world. It is also conveniently located near seven unique national parks. In addition, the city is located at over 7,000 feet in elevation. The high elevation helps make Flagstaff a great destination for winter recreation, especially snow sports.
Four Corners, CO, NM, UT, AZ
Located in southwest Colorado, Four Corners Monument is the only spot where you can stand in four states at one time. At the Four Corners marker you can stand in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona at one time. Four Corners is located in a remote location, and is an ideal spot to enjoy some of the desert recreation in the four states. Visitors can stop at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico and Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona. These four destinations are some of the most interesting and beautiful spots in the region.
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Located in southeastern California Joshua Tree has some amazing desert ecosystems, and the park is also an excellent spot for enjoying night sky viewing, especially while camping among many other spectacular natural sights. At Joshua Tree you can see the Milky Way with amazing clarity, using only binoculars. In addition, Joshua Tree National Park is a great spot to enjoy the beautiful and unique Joshua Trees. The park is also a great spot for enjoying other desert plants, including fascinating cactus species like cholla and ocotillo.
Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs is a great destination for enjoying the desert ecosystem in an urban location. Visitors with children should be sure to stop at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, this is a great spot to learn all about the desert. Travelers can also enjoy the views from an aerial tour, which is unique way to enjoy all of the beauty of the desert landscape. There are many destinations for visitors to explore in the Palm Springs region, including the Indian Canyons and more.
Mojave Desert National Preserve, CA
This beautiful preserve covers 1.6 million acres in California. A large portion of this preserve is only available for off-loading. In addition, almost half of the area is classified as a wilderness area. Visitors can explore the beauty of the Mojave Desert within this preserve. The area is also home to some very interesting geologic points, including the extinct volcanoes at the Cinder Cones Lava Beds.
Saguaro National Park, AZ
Saguaro National Park is dedicated to the preservation of the stunning Saguaro cactus. The amazing, towering cactus only grows in a select part of the world. Visitors to the Saguaro National Park will have the opportunity to see much more than just the Saguaro. There are guided programs and many opportunities for recreation within the park. Saguaro National Park is an especially good location for wilderness hiking.