Admire the drama of California’s desert, from world-cracking fault lines to star-studded skies
California’s desert is a dramatic contrast to the cooler climes of its coast. This is where valleys crack under the sun’s glare, amazing rock formations dominate the horizon and only the hardiest wildlife survives. If you’re seeking adventure in the wilderness, you’ll find it here. But you’ll also find the height of luxury.
Situated in the arid Coachella Valley is the oasis of Palm Springs. It’s no wonder this resort city is popular with the rich and famous; year-round sunshine, world-class golf facilities and indulgent spas make for a wonderfully relaxing holiday. The annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival electrifies music lovers nearby, as does the more family-friendly Stagecoach Festival.
A Palm Springs holiday also puts you in prime position to visit the natural wonders of the region. The Indian Canyons, carved by powerful floods over millennia, are best seen on foot. We can arrange a ranger-led tour across these palm-studded and ruggedly handsome features. For an insight into the ecosystems of deserts across the world, flit between zones at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Or, for an unbeatable view, take a tram ride up San Jacinto Mountain – you can see right across the Valley.
North of where San Andreas Fault tears its way through Coachella Valley lies the vast Joshua Tree National Park. Mostly wilderness, this portion of the Colorado and Mojave deserts features thrilling terrain to clamber up and over. Likewise, Death Valley National Park – which sprawls across the California-Nevada border – is a landscape worth exploring. It isn’t just the lowest, hottest and driest national park, it’s also the largest national park in the contiguous United States. When the scorching sun sets on this desert wilderness, a sky full of stars emerges to dazzle you.