Planning A Trek Through The Sonoran and Mojave Deserts

A Quick Overview

Sometimes, it’s good to get away from the city and go for a road trip through the deserts that spread along the California/Arizona border; there are plenty of exquisite vistas to gaze upon.

The trip will start in Encinitas, CA in San Diego county and have stops in Palm Springs, Sedona, and Phoenix while travelling through many national parks and monuments as well as roadside oddities.

The 3 Stops Along The Way

Palm Springs

It’s a weird city in the Sonoran Desert; it’s like a very colorful oasis filled with 50s and 60s vintage boutiques and houses.

We’re going to stay at a nice hotel that has a spa; we just want to have a pool and a nice place to just relax.


Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun.

In Sedona, we’re going to stay in a boutique hotel at the foot of Cathedral Rock.


The Phoenix area is known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley; it’s just a big city right next to the desert.

Once again, we’re just going to stay at a nice hotel with a pool that is bordering the Sonoran wilderness.

From San Diego to Palm Springs

Cleveland Forest

Cleveland National Forest encompasses 460,000 acres, mostly of chaparral, with a few riparian areas.

Salton Sea

It’s a lake created by accident; in the 50s; cities were built around it but the water turned toxic and they are abandoned.

From Palm Springs to Sedona

Joshua Tree Park

This park is part of two deserts: the Mojave desert and the colorado one. It’s known for its trees and marble rocks.

Prescott Forest

The Prescott National Forest is a 1.25 million acre area with many valleys, creeks, and campgrounds.

From Sedona to Phoenix

Mazatzal Peak

In Aztec language it means “place of the deer;” there are four peaks in the area; this is the highest.

Tonto Forest

The Tonto Forest is the largest of the six national forests in Arizona and is the fifth largest national forest in the United States.

From Phoenix to San Diego

Sonoran Desert Monument

The area encompasses a functioning ecosystem with an extraordinary array of biological, scientific, and historic resources.


Yuma used to be one of the biggest towns during the gold rush era and many Californians came here to find fortune.