- Category: Top 10
If you love exploring painted sandstone bluffs and hiking with the sun overhead, then desert camping is for you. These delicate ecosystems are more alive than they seem -- with a little patience, you'll discover plenty of wildlife, beauty, desert flowers, and breathtaking sunsets.
By making Moab your home base, you'll have access to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, some of the most stunning places in the parks system. Moab offers mountain scenery, fabulous fishing rivers, and terrific biking and hiking trails. This town is known as the "slickrock capital" because of its incredible mountain biking areas.
Anza-Borrego Desert, California
This area offers superb hiking and biking trails, wilderness areas, and wildlife like golden eagles, deer, marmots, big horn sheep, and coyotes. You'll find colorful badlands, pinion-juniper forests, palm groves, and wildflower washes.
Set near the bright blue waters of Lake Powell and the massive Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the Page region offers outstanding outdoor activities. You can explore 'color country,' go boating and kayaking on the lake, and see Rainbow Bridge, the world’s largest natural bridge.
Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, Canyon de Chelly offers gorgeous red sandstone cliffs, a maze of canyons to explore, and the 800-foot high Spider Rock. The canyon is managed by the Navajo Reservation and is also home to thousands of Ancestral Pueblo ruins and archaeological sites.
Death Valley, California
A superlative desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and three million acres of stone wilderness. This quiet landscape hides a surprising amount of activity and beautiful scenery.
Located near Zion National Park, possibly the most popular place in southwest Utah, Kanab offers access to hiking and biking trails, deep canyons, and vibrant colored rock formations. Don't miss the Coral Pink Sand Dunes!
Set on the eastern edge of the state, Needles is in the breathtaking Mojave Valley on the banks of the Colorado River. The town takes its name from "The Needles," a group of pointed rocks on the Arizona side of the river.
Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree National Park, California
When you camp in the Twentynine Palms area, you'll have easy access to all the wonders of Joshua Tree, a place where two different deset ecosystems meet. You'll see the famous Joshua trees, teddy-bear chollas, and colorful ocotillos.
Monument Valley, Utah
Towering buttes, soaring monoliths, and bright red-orange rock fill the skyline in Monument Valley. This incredible desert scene is not to be missed!
Yucca Valley, California
Named for the prolific yucca plants, this high desert area is close to Joshua Tree National Park, Pipes Canyon Preserve, and the Morongo Valley Preserve. With sunny skies almost year round, clear starry nights, and plenty of hiking trails, you'll love looking for wildflowers and wildlife in Yucca Valley.