Top Place: California Desert

View of Kingston Range from the California Desert
John Dittli
With spectacular pastel vistas, spring wildflowers and popular destinations like Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks, the California desert is an amazing place to discover.

What is the California Desert?

Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the California Desert is a vast and varied wilderness of painted mountains, sand dunes and hidden streams.

The unusual landscape and world-famous desert wildflowers captivate explorers. People travel from all corners of the globe to visit the desert’s iconic national parks, including Death Valley and Joshua Tree.

What’s the one best things about the California Desert?

Scenic road trips.

The historic ghost towns, sand dunes and mountains of the vast California Desert make for one-of-a-kind road trips. Destinations like Death Valley National Park and the Mojave Desert are easily accessible by car.

Before you travel to this desert wilderness, remember to bring lots of water and fill up your gas tank.

What’s one activity the California Desert is known for?

Viewing desert wildflowers.

It’s hard to predict exactly when the wildflowers will bloom — it can happen anytime from March to June. But, if you’re patient and watchful of the weather, you’ll be rewarded with wilderness views filled with brilliant and exotic plants.

What’s one way The Wilderness Society is working to protect the California Desert?

At Wilderness, we are marshaling support for the California Desert Protection Act. This bill would:

  • Protect 1.6 million additional acres in the California Desert
  • Create two new national monuments
  • Expand Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and the Mojave Preserve

These protections would help preserve the delicate desert ecology and wilderness recreation opportunities for future generations.

Learn more about our work in the California Desert.