As we traveled from Las Vegas to southern California, we didn't take the path most traveled (aka the interstate) because where's the fun in that? Instead we took the smaller country roads on a journey through the Mojave Desert. And it was so worth it!
The Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park are incredible.
If you've never been through this region of Southern California, you will discover the scenery is breathtaking. We loved it so much.
James and I took our time driving through both areas and got out to look around, take pictures, and just enjoy the beauty of the area. I never would have thought I'd enjoy the desert but it was beautiful.
The landscape is dotted with interesting rock formations, sand dunes, and unique plant life including Joshua Trees, cholla, yucca, and cactus. The Mojave Desert connects with Colorado Desert in the Joshua Tree National Park. These two different ecosystems together are fascinating.
Then we happened upon some sort of unworldly salt mine. As we drove Highway 62 we passed this oddity on the side of the road and had to turn around and stop to see what it was. The beautiful turquoise water in the middle of the desert was so cool. We still aren't entirely sure what it was but it was amazing.
Even though James was Army, he was excited because he was able to briefly visit Twentynine Palms, home to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. In WWII this area was used by the Army Air Force for flight training and has a great military history.
We recommend taking the journey yourself.
Our journey through the Mojave Desert opened up a world we never knew existed. The drive is truly relaxing and we encountered very little traffic. You are able to stop along the route to take pictures or just stand in awe. If you have time you could even hike in the desert.
If you ever get the chance, be sure to put this on your list to see.