As you travel on your next road trip from Phoenix to Palm Springs, you will see the Sonoran Desert's beautiful landscape. Phoenix is a metropolitan city that offers world-class museums, exciting nightlife, and gourmet restaurants. Once you reach Palm Springs, treat yourself to a luxury vacation. This California desert town is known for its stylish hotels, relaxing spas, and challenging golf courses. In the surrounding Coachella Valley, enjoy some horseback riding, biking, or hiking. With this Phoenix to Palm Springs road trip itinerary, you will pass through some of the American Southwest's best spots.
You cannot beat a day at a national park. On your road trip from Phoenix to Palm Springs, you'll be close to several of these fascinating parks. If you would like to know more about these locations, make sure to visit RVshare's national parks guide.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park might be one of the most recognized parks in the world. You will want to take in the magnificent views of the carved canyons and sweeping vistas. From Phoenix, the South Rim entrance is only a three-hour drive. About six million years ago, the Colorado River carved out the rocks and formed its landscape. If you head to this location, don't forget your camera for those once-in-a-lifetime shots. For the more adventurous types, you can camp overnight in the park or hit the trails to explore the area.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is another famous national park in Arizona. At this location, you can see specimens of fossilized wood. The Petrified Forest covers over 200 square miles of the desert. When you are there, you should make a stop at the Rainbow Forest. This area includes a museum and several trailheads. If you travel to the middle of the park, you will see the abandoned village of Puerco Pueblo. Petroglyphs are found throughout the park. At Newspaper Rock, you can find most of these ancient works of art. While the petrified wood might make a great souvenir, it is illegal to remove any fossilized wood from the park.
Sequoia National Park
Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Sequoia National Park covers over 400,000 acres of land. This park borders Kings Canyon National Park. If you have time, you can explore both of these beautiful national parks. Sequoia National Park contains the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney. However, this park is more well-known for the giant sequoia tree forests. The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree in the world. It is located in an area known as the Giant Forest, which contains five of the top 10 largest trees on Earth.
If you are looking for a break from the long drive, you should spend a day at the state parks in Arizona or California. RVshare makes it easy to plan with its state park guide.
Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu State Park in Arizona has a diverse landscape that is home to several animals and plants. This park is not your typical desert region as it is a water oasis in the state. You can enjoy some beach time near the shores of the lake. If you want some exercise, this park is near the Mojave Sunset Trail. Many visitors head to this spot during the springtime to see the colorful wildflowers blooming throughout the mountain valley.
Lost Dutchman State Park
If you want to explore some local legends, then Lost Dutchman State Park outside Phoenix is just the place for you. According to the tales, the Lost Dutchman gold mine is located somewhere in the park. Would-be treasure hunters travel from all over the world to find this lost gold mine. Along with the legend, Lost Dutchman is known for its recreational activities, such as hiking and camping.
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
The Salton Sea State Recreation Area in California contains one of the world’s largest inland lakes and one of the lowest spots on the planet. This location was once a thriving vacation destination. Today, many people come to the Salton Sea to swim or fish. Since the lake has high salinity, tilapia is the only fish species in the water. If you are looking for a few recreational activities, the park is known for its kayaking, wildlife photography, and hiking opportunities.
Malibu Creek State Park
Located in the Santa Monica Mountains in California, Malibu Creek State Park is another great park. The hiking trails will take you past the forests of oak and sycamore trees. Malibu Creek offers stunning views of the local mountain peaks, canyons, and tallgrass hills. You can even swim in an ancient volcano. There are plenty of recreational opportunities at this park, such as mountain biking and rock climbing. The trails throughout the park are perfect for the entire family. They range in difficulty from beginner to expert. While you are there, make sure to look out for the mountain lions, foxes, bobcats, and deer that roam throughout the area.
A trip from Phoenix to Palm Springs will only take a few hours. However, there are some exciting points of interest in and near both cities. You will want to add these locations to the itinerary for your next Phoenix to Palm Springs RV road trip.
Desert Botanical Garden
Since the 1930s, Phoenix residents have been fascinated by the Desert Botanical Garden. This iconic garden is home to over 50,000 plants. It has one of the largest collections of agave and cacti species in the world. If you walk the Sonoran Desert Trail, you can look at these hardy plants that make their home in the desert.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Palm Springs is home to the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. When you ride on this tram, you can travel from the Coachella Valley floor to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains. At the top of the tramway, you can relax and enjoy a meal at the restaurant as you overlook the mountain range.
If you are looking for some kitschy fun, then you should visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs. This roadside attraction features two concrete dinosaurs named Mr. Rex and Dinny. The 65-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex and 150-foot-long brontosaurus can be seen from the freeway in Cabazon, CA. These famous reptiles have even appeared in a few movies and music videos.
During your Phoenix to Palm Springs road trip, you can stay comfortable on the road. You will find several campgrounds along the route. In many places, there are dump stations that can keep that rig sanitary throughout your trip.
Gilbert is considered a suburb of Phoenix, and it is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you love history, you will want to visit the Gilbert Historical Museum. For those bird lovers, plan a trip to the Riparian Preserve to see over 200 bird species. At one of the local campgrounds, you can park your rig and spend a night under the stars.
Chandler is a hub for railroad history. If you head to the Desert Breeze Railroad, you can even ride on one of the vintage trains. The Arizona Railway Museum features several exhibits on the train lines that traveled across the desert landscape. Once you are finished exploring for the day, you can find a spot at a local campground to settle down before your trip to Palm Springs.
San Bernardino, CA
San Bernardino is outside of Palm Springs, but it makes a great place to explore during your vacation. You will want to check out the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art. This museum features ancient Egyptian relics in its collection. The town has a great selection of campgrounds that can accommodate any type of RV.
When planning your road trip itinerary from Phoenix to Palm Springs, add these fascinating attractions and exciting towns to your list. If you want to travel the road in an RV, you can find a selection of vehicles from RVshare. There are tons of RV rental options in Phoenix and Palm Springs. When you rent from RVshare, you are covered on the road. With this RV road trip, you can make memories from Arizona to California.