Description - California deserts are a study in contrasts: soft sand dunes and deeply eroded cliffs, golden poppies and spiny cacti, creeping tortoises and soaring eagles, and snow-capped mountains. The Desert's silent and austere beauty, studded with glittering yet relaxing resort cities, offers the ideal spot for re-energizing your senses. California's deserts lure you with their sun-bathed days and star-filled nights.
Copyright: - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Joshua Tree in Desert
- More than just a hot, arid environment, this region is rich with colorful geological formations, "badlands" dotted with fan palm oases, hardy flora and fauna, riparian wetlands toward the eastern Sierra, acres of spring wildflowers, mile-high peaks, spectacular limestone caverns, and an "accidental" saltwater lake. The Desert Region features a multitude of incredible recreation attractions including Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, Mojave National Preserve, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Death Valley lies on the eastern side of the Sierra, in the Sierra's rain shadow. In its center is a man-made oasis-a citrus grove that's watered late at night when the Furnace Creek Inn drains its spring-fed pool. From here, excursions to stunning sand dunes, rainbow-colored canyons, and highlights like Scotty's Castle and Zabriskie Point show off this desert's diversity.
The High Desert-reclusive Mojave-keeps many of its charms secret to all but the most intrepid explorers. It is full of solemn yucca trees and mysterious dirt roads that beckon off-road enthusiasts.
In contrast, the Coachella Valley is carpeted with endless green fairways and dotted with soothing pools and enchanting stands of date palms. Resort choices here are almost endless-from the Spanish-themed casitas at La Quinta, a favorite retreat of the Hollywood crowd, to the inspired retro inns of Palm Springs. A 15-minute ride up the Palm Springs aerial tram gets you into the cool alpine forests of Mount San Jacinto, where you can hike or horseback ride throughout the summer and cross-country ski in the winter.
Farther south, on the east edge of San Diego County, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park reigns as an extraordinary outdoor playground and the nation's largest state park. Set in the center of the park is Borrego Springs, a private enclave with luxury resort and several modest and comfortable inns.
Recreation - Popular recreation activities in the Desert Region include: swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding, climbing, hiking, road biking, mountain biking, skiing, picnicking, and camping.
Climate - The desert region experiences typically clear days with with low precipitation and humidity.
Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 degrees respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at the higher elevations. Summers are very hot, over 100 degrees during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees until the early hours of the morning. Bring sunblock, sunglasses and a hat with a brim.
The Desert Region lies in southeast California, stretching from Death Valley National Park south to the Mexican border. The region includes the communities of Barstow, Needles, Palm Springs, Blythe and El Centro. The main highways accessing this region are Interstates 15, 40, 10 and 8.