On your next road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles, you can travel from the red rocks of the Arizona desert to California's big city lights. While you are in the Valley of the Sun, it is the perfect opportunity to take in a few lessons at one of the world-class golf courses. If you would rather enjoy the scenery, there are many places to hike the trails in the natural landscape. As you cross into California, unique boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, and relaxing day spas are waiting for you in Palm Springs. Your trip winds down in Los Angeles, but your fun doesn't have to end; you can explore the interesting museums or catch a sporting event in the city. With this Phoenix to Los Angeles road trip itinerary, you will see the best spots as you travel this part of the Southwestern United States.
As you get ready to follow this road trip itinerary from Phoenix to Los Angeles, don't forget to add a day or two for a visit to one of the national parks. Make sure to check out RVshare's national parks guide for more information.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park might be the most notable park in the entire country. This park is well-known for its sweeping vistas and carved rock canyons. The South Rim of the park is about a three-hour drive from Phoenix. When you are there, you can witness how the raging Colorado River carved out the rocks to form these breathtaking views. Along with taking a few pictures, you can also hike throughout the park or find a place to set up camp for the night.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park covers about 200 square miles of the Arizona desert. In this park, you can find specimens of fossilized wood. One must-see stop is located in the Rainbow Forest. At this location, you can see many different colors of petrified wood. The Rainbow Forest is also home to several of the trail access points and a museum. In the center of the park, you can explore the ruined village of Puerco Pueblo or view the petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock. You will find a 1930s adobe building, the Painted Desert Inn, and a museum of Hopi murals in the northern section of the park.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is located in the Sierra Nevadas, and it encompasses over 400,000 acres of land. It is near the south entrance of Kings Canyon National Park. While you are there, you may want to check out both national parks. Located in Sequoia, Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States. Sequoia National Park is known for the giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree. This tree is often called the largest tree in the world. It is also part of the Giant Forest. The specific area of the park contains five of the top 10 largest trees on earth. While you are at the park, you might want to explore the trails or saddle up for a horseback journey.
While on your Phoenix to Los Angeles road trip, you may want to head off the main road and enjoy the local state parks. At RVshare, make sure to check our state park guide to learn more about these fascinating places.
Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu State Park is known as a playground for Arizona residents. You can take one of the trails and experience the Mojave Sunset Trail. If you want to hit the water, launch your own boat or rent one from the marinas by the lake. The diverse landscape of Lake Havasu State Park is home to many plants and animals. In the springtime, you can see plenty of colorful wildflowers in the mountain valleys that surround the lake.
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
At the Salton Sea State Recreation Area, visitors come to boat and camp. This state park is one of the world's lowest spots, and it contains the one of the largest inland lakes in the country. At this recreation area, you can fish, hunt, and swim in the waters. With the high salinity, there are not many fish species in the lake. However, you do have a good chance of catching tilapia. This park is also known for the birds that migrate through it. Wildlife photography, kayaking, and hiking are other popular activities at the Salton Sea.
Malibu Creek State Park
Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Creek State Park is just 25 miles from Los Angeles. At this park, you can hike the trails that will take you past the sycamore and oak woodlands. This park offers some stunning views of the canyon vistas, rolling tallgrass hills, and mountain peaks. There is even a swimming hole that was once an ancient volcano. You can enjoy plenty of fun activities, including rock climbing and mountain biking. The trails can accommodate everyone from beginners to expert hikers. While you are out, make sure to keep a lookout for the native wildlife. Deer, rattlesnakes, foxes, owls, and mountain lions are known to roam the park.
While you can travel from the Valley of the Sun to the City of Angels in a few hours, you should consider stopping off at a few points of interest. These spots are must-see activities on your Phoenix to Los Angeles RV road trip.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden has been entertaining Phoenix residents since the 1930s. This garden is the home to over 50,000 plants, and it has an extensive collection of cacti and agave species. When you visit, you can see native desert plants from all over the world, including South America and Australia. You can also walk the Sonoran Desert Trail to see these beautiful plants that thrive in the harsh conditions.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
As you pass through Palm Springs, you might want to ride on the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. This tramway will take you from the Coachella Valley floor to the top of Mount San Jacinto. When you reach the top, take a few moments to enjoy a meal or eat snacks at the restaurant.
Santa Monica Pier
This double-jointed pier is located at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. It contains several concession stands and an amusement park. There are also areas for fishing off the pier. It's also a great spot to take some pictures as the Santa Monica Pier has been featured in many movies.
Nestled in the hills near Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles. It's a stunning building that houses world-class art, and there are often concerts held there. While on the grounds, don't forget to get some breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign.
You will pass through several cities during your road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles. You can find several comfortable campgrounds to spend the night and a few dump stations to keep that rig clean and tidy during your adventures.
This city lies on the outskirts of Phoenix, and it is the perfect spot to settle down for the night. You can learn about the past at the Gilbert Historical Museum. If you would like to see over 200 species of birds, make sure to stop by the Riparian Preserve. Before you head off for the rest of the trip, you can relax at one of the local campgrounds in the Gilbert area.
Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs is known for its spas, golf courses, and hot springs. Throughout the city, you will see many examples of midcentury modern architecture. In the shopping district, you can find everything from gourmet restaurants to vintage boutiques. Once you are done exploring this popular tourist town, there are several campgrounds that can fit your needs and budget.
San Bernardino, CA
San Bernardino is located east of Los Angeles in the Inland Empire. At the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, you will see a few relics from ancient Egypt. San Bernardino is very RV-friendly, and there are many campgrounds that can accommodate all vehicle sizes.
On this Phoenix to Los Angeles road trip itinerary, you will travel past plenty of exciting towns and local landmarks. For those who want to travel the road in style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From camper vans to motorhomes, there is a wide selection of vehicles. You can also pick up your rental in Phoenix or Los Angeles. With an RV rental from RVshare, you can make memories with the family that will last a lifetime.