One of the main reasons we purchased our camper van was to take it on a week-long road trip on my last week of maternity leave and L’s first week of paternity leave. It’s been too long since we’ve properly traveled and we could not wait to get out and show baby S our passion for travel and camping. Since baby S is still very young, we decided to stay close to minimize long drives. The plan is to drive during his naps and hike when he is awake. This worked out really well and below is our week-long road trip itinerary of the Southern California deserts.
Day 1- Mojave National Preserve – Cima Domes and Hole in the Wall Visitors Center
Day 2- Mojave National Preserve- Hole in the Wall and the Rock House
Day 2- Mojave National Preserve- Kelso Depot and Lava Tubes
Day 3- Mojave National Preserve- Kelso Dunes and Granite Mountain
Day 4- Joshua Tree National Park – Indian Rock Campground and Boy Scout Trail
Day 5- Anzo Borrego State Park- Palm Canyon Campground and the wild flowers
Mojave is a beautiful place in the spring time. We were amazed we didn’t know much about this place until recently. Since it’s between two big national parks (Death Valley and Joshua Tree), the park does not get as many visitors. One thing to remember about visiting the preserve is that it is very primitive in terms of available facilities (i.e. gas stations and restaurants) and resources. It is more like a national forest instead of a national park. The preserve is also dog friendly making it easy for us to take Dakota with us on hikes.
Another thing worth mentioning about Mojave is roadside camping. Roadside camping is free inside the preserve and very safe. With a little search, you can find the most beautiful and secluded campsites! The rule of thumb for roadside camping is to look for a fire ring withing a quarter of a mile off the road. If there isn’t one, don’t bother venturing any further than half a mile to a mile, there won’t likely be any campsites too far away from the road.