California Bucket List ~ Deserts Region

As we head to a new state today in our bucket list series, we cross the western border of Arizona into the desert area of California. This is one of  a dozen tourist regions located in California, and I’m beginning to think you could live in the area for years and still not see it all!


  • Amboy Crater: Remains of a volcanic eruption.


  • Mojave National Preserve: Tons to explore: from singing sand dunes to volcanic cinder cones and Joshua trees.


  • Afton Canyon Natural Area: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Mojave.”
  • Desert Discovery Center: Area to learn more about the Mojave Desert.
  • Rainbow Basin Natural Area: Explore the multi-colored rock formations.
  • Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum: Travel back in time to the routes heyday.

Borrego Springs

  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: California’s largest state park.

California City

  • Desert Tortoise Nature Area: Come find some of the areas oldest living residents.


  • Red Rock Canyon State Park: Explore the El Paso Mountain’s colorful buttes and badlands.

China Lake

  • U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology: Learn about the Navy’s weapons.

Death Valley Junction

  • Death Valley National Park: Explore the hottest and driest place in America.


  • Ladder Canyon: Explore this canyon area via a hike filled with ladders and narrow spaces.

Morongo Valley

  • Big Morongo Canyon Preserve: Another fun canyon area to hike.

Palm Desert

  • Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument: Visit 5 distinct life zones within this park.
  • The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens: Unique zoo specializing in desert wildlife.

Palm Springs

  • Moorten Botanical Garden: View thousands of cacti and other desert plants.


  • Fossil Falls: Dry riverbed with obsidian glass.
  • Trona Pinnacles: See the otherworldly geological features often seen on Star Trek.

Twentynine Palms

  • Joshua Tree National Park: Enjoy the landscape filled with the park’s namesake trees.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.


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