Majestic Desert Attractions in California


They may be deserts, but they’re far from deserted. Here are five of California’s best desert attractions.

House buyers in San Bernardino looking to venture out of the city are spoiled for choice, as the desert around the area is home to some of the Golden State’s most spectacular attractions.


These are our top picks.

Death Valley National Park

Of all the parts of the Californian desert, Death Valley is among the best known (at least in part due to its memorable name!) and the most diverse. This desert isn’t just all about endless stretches of sand. You’ll find sand dunes, fields of black volcanic rock brought about by a massive volcanic explosion, vibrantly colored hills, and the famous stretches of dry, cracked earth caused by the relentless sun. Death Valley is also the hottest, driest, and lowest point of the entire United States!

Visiting Death Valley from San Bernardino will take the best part of four hours by car, but it’s more than worth it. There’s plenty of accommodation nearby if you want more time to look around.

Joshua Tree National Park


Named for the tree that only grows in this area of the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park features some of the most astonishing scenery in the state, if not the country. Full of rock formations, mountain ranges, and of course, 60 feet-high Joshua trees, the park has a reputation for feeling particularly spiritual, and is very popular with climbers, hikers, and campers year-round. There are hiking trails for people of all abilities, so strap your boots on and get going.

Joshua Tree is reasonably local to San Bernardino and can be reached in about 90 minutes by car. If you’re planning on heading out in the summer, be careful and take precautions. It can get as hot as 105°F.

Calico Ghost Town


One of the most important towns in America during the prospecting years, Calico began to decline in the late 19th century when the price of silver declined rapidly. After the closure of the silver mines, the prospectors left and Calico became a ghost town. But then, in the 1950s, it was bought by the owner of Knott’s Berry Farm and restored. Now, it’s a great place to visit. It has a rich history, amazing restaurants, and other activities. It takes just over an hour by car from San Bernardino.

Palm Springs


Right on the edge of the Colorado Desert, Palm Springs is known for its year-round sunny skies and a fantastic range of restaurants, high-end shops, and other amenities. There are also tons of excellent tourist attractions, such as the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (a great way to cool down) and golf courses.

Palm Springs is also really close to San Bernardino. You can be there in less than an hour! Take the I-10, and you’ll be relaxing in next to no time.

Kelso Dunes


If you’re feeling bold, venture out a little further. It takes about four hours to get to Kelso Dunes. It’s located in the Mojave Preserve. With a high point that’s 700 feet above the ground, the dunes are a challenging hike that, while it’s only three miles, involves deep sand and unrelenting exposure to the sun. It’s well worth it, though, because the views are nothing short of spectacular.

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Majestic Desert Attractions in California
They may be deserts, but they're far from deserted. Here are five of California's best desert attractions.

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