So you’re up in the High Desert with a few days to kill? We got you covered…well, kinda. Although this part of southern California is mostly known as a stop-off point on the way to Las Vegas, or a jumping off point for the offload trails through the Joshua Trees, there are a handful of destinations that can keep you busy for a few days.
They’re unique, rare, endangered and endemic to the area….so yeah, you’ll probably want to take a gander at some of the Joshua Trees that dot the landscape up here. Outside of taking a few pics, these trees don’t have much else that will keep you entertained. Just be sure to leave them be. They are endangered, so messing with them is prohibited and comes with a hefty fine.
California Route 66 Museum:
Located on the historic Route 66, this museum showcases the history and development of the route and its transition from pioneer trail to international tourist attraction. Admission is free, but the museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch:
An outdoor art installation in the middle of the desert on Route 66, the Bottle Tree Ranch is essentially “garbage art” or “recycled art”…quite similar to what you might find at Slab City. It mostly consists of “trees” made of steel and old bottles, but you’ll also find various antiques and various metal work creations. Its definitely worth a visit if you’re into the quarky Americana culture that has developed along Route 66.
Mojave Narrows Regional Park:
The largest park in the metro area, the Mojave Narrows is an oasis in the middle of the High Desert. Its essentially a wooded ravine thats fed by the Mojave River. The area includes two lakes and offers bike paths, horse back riding, picnic areas and fishing. Just south of the park is Spring Valley Lake which is an upscale area with some of the High Deserts more affluent residences.
So there may not be a lot that draws you to the area, but if you’re up in the High Desert for more than just a break on the way to Vegas, check out a few of these outstanding locations.