State Parks Palm Springs CA

5 State Parks Near Palm Springs CA: California’s Scenic Outdoor Escapes

Palm Springs, California is not only known for its luxurious resorts and golf courses, but also for its proximity to several stunning state parks. These parks offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area, with opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. Here are five state parks near Palm Springs that are worth exploring.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the natural beauty of Palm Springs by visiting the nearby state parks
  • Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and scenic drives
  • Mojave National Preserve, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Nopah Range Wilderness Area, and Rainbow Basin Natural Area are all stunning options
  • Experience the unique geological formations and stunning views that these parks offer
  • Plan your visit to Palm Springs and enjoy the scenic outdoor escapes

Mojave National Preserve: A Desert Wonderland

One of the most uncrowded state parks near Palm Springs is the Mojave National Preserve. Covering over 1.5 million acres, this desert wonderland is home to volcanic craters, Joshua tree forests, sand dunes, and mountains. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, hikes, and even explore lava tubes. The Rings Loop Trail and the Kelso Dunes are popular hiking destinations in the park. Camping is available at the Mid Hills and Hole-in-the-Wall campgrounds, with options for both tents and RVs.

If you’re looking for outdoor activities Palm Springs, the Mojave National Preserve is an ideal destination. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, or simply immersing yourself in the beauty of nature, this park offers endless opportunities to experience the wonders of the desert.

Popular Hiking Trails in Mojave National Preserve

  • Rings Loop Trail
  • Kelso Dunes

One step onto the Kelso Dunes, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world. The soft sand beneath your feet and the vast expanse of dunes stretching out before you create a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Camping under the starry Mojave Desert sky is an unforgettable experience. The Mid Hills and Hole-in-the-Wall campgrounds provide a peaceful retreat amidst the desert landscape. Whether you prefer pitching a tent or parking your RV, these campgrounds offer everything you need for a comfortable stay in the wilderness.

Campground Facilities Reservations
Mid Hills Campground Picnic tables, fire rings, pit toilets, drinking water First-come, first-served
Hole-in-the-Wall Campground Picnic tables, fire rings, pit toilets, drinking water First-come, first-served

As you explore Mojave National Preserve, don’t forget to bring your camera. The stunning landscapes and unique geological formations provide countless opportunities for breathtaking photos. Capture the beauty of Joshua trees, the vastness of the desert, and the serenity of the volcanic craters.

Mojave National Preserve

Red Rock Canyon State Park: Stunning Sandstone Cliffs

Just a short drive from Palm Springs, Red Rock Canyon State Park offers breathtaking views of red sandstone cliffs. The park features several hiking trails, including the Hagen Canyon Nature Trail and the Red Cliffs Nature Trail.

Red Rock Canyon State Park

One of the highlights of the park is the stunning sandstone formations that dot the landscape, creating a picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts. These towering cliffs, with their vibrant red hues, provide a dramatic backdrop for photography and exploration alike.

I was awe-struck by the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon State Park. The towering cliffs and unique rock formations truly make it a hidden gem in the desert. It’s a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

— Jane Doe, Outdoor Enthusiast

Campers visiting the park can choose from 50 campsites at the Ricardo Campground, which are nestled among the stunning rock formations. Whether you prefer a tent or an RV, there are options available to suit your camping style. Please note that the campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s always a good idea to arrive early to secure a spot.

Highlighted features of Red Rock Canyon State Park:

  • Stunning red sandstone cliffs
  • Scenic hiking trails
  • Picturesque camping sites

If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience near Palm Springs, Red Rock Canyon State Park should be at the top of your list. The combination of striking landscapes, hiking trails, and camping opportunities make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Nopah Range Wilderness Area: A Desert Oasis

When it comes to exploring the magnificent landscapes near Palm Springs, the Nopah Range Wilderness Area is an absolute gem. Located in the southeastern end of Death Valley National Park, this vast desert expanse spans over 100,000 acres, offering visitors a truly immersive experience in nature’s untouched beauty.

The Nopah Range Wilderness Area boasts breathtaking views of the Chicago Valley and is home to a diverse array of wildlife. From elusive desert tortoises to majestic bighorn sheep, encountering these creatures in their natural habitat is an unforgettable sight.

While there might not be an abundance of marked trails in the area, the Pahrump Point hike is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. This challenging hike rewards adventurers with stunning panoramic views and an impressive elevation gain, making it well worth the effort.

When it’s time to rest and recharge, there are lodging and camping options available in the nearby towns of Shoshone and Tecopa. Whether you prefer the comfort of a cozy cabin or the simplicity of pitching a tent, you’ll find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs.

Experience the serenity of the Nopah Range Wilderness Area and revel in the untouched desert oasis that awaits you. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wonders of this hidden gem.

Nopah Range Wilderness Area

Lodging and Camping Options

Town Lodging Options Camping Options
Shoshone Shoshone Inn Shoshone Village RV Park
Tecopa Delight’s Hot Springs Resort Tecopa Hot Springs Campground

Rainbow Basin Natural Area: A Geological Wonder

Rainbow Basin Natural Area is an extraordinary destination located just north of Interstate 15, offering a hidden gem near Palm Springs. This remarkable geological area mesmerizes visitors with its unique features, including scenic desert cliffs, enchanting washouts, and even a fascinating slot canyon.

For nature enthusiasts and adventurers, the Rainbow Basin Slot Canyon Trail presents an exhilarating hiking opportunity. Immerse yourself in the captivating surroundings as you traverse the trail and witness the stunning rock formations up close. If you prefer a different hiking experience, the Owl Canyon Trail also awaits your exploration, promising breathtaking sights and a chance to connect with nature.

With its allure as a geological wonder, Rainbow Basin Natural Area provides an ideal spot for camping under the starlit desert sky. The Owl Canyon Campground boasts 22 campsites, welcoming overnight stays and fostering an unforgettable outdoor adventure. If you’re in need of additional amenities or accommodation options, the town of Barstow is just a short drive away, offering lodging and dining choices to enhance your experience.


Are there any state parks near Palm Springs, CA?

Yes, there are several state parks near Palm Springs that offer opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.

What is the Mojave National Preserve known for?

The Mojave National Preserve is known for its desert landscapes, including volcanic craters, Joshua tree forests, sand dunes, and mountains.

What hiking trails can be found at Red Rock Canyon State Park?

Red Rock Canyon State Park offers several hiking trails, including the Hagen Canyon Nature Trail and the Red Cliffs Nature Trail.

What can visitors expect to see at the Nopah Range Wilderness Area?

Visitors to the Nopah Range Wilderness Area can expect to see a desert landscape with stunning views of the Chicago Valley and a variety of wildlife.

What unique geological features can be found at Rainbow Basin Natural Area?

Rainbow Basin Natural Area is known for its scenic desert cliffs, washouts, and a slot canyon that visitors can explore.

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