USA is a perfect country for to make a road trip. It has many great scenic roads, very cheap gasoline and amazing destination… and if you like free camping here is also your place, you can find a lot of public land in this huge country where you can quietly set your tent or park a campervan.
There are so many things to see around that you may get confuse for where to start, so many National Parks that you don´t know which one to choose first.
Maybe the only thing you know is that for your roadtrip you want to live an adventure and visit some landscape that can make you feel you are in another planet, or maybe you don´t have so many days to spend traveling around, then maybe this option we present you is the best one for you.
In this tour, that we called the Golden Triangle of the South, you will ride through amazing places that it will take your breath away, following a road that will connect 3 of our favorite National Parks: Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon and Death Valley.
Beside the name in this place where we felt full of life. Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America and has recorded one of the hottest ambient air temperature in the world, So be sure you bring enough water for to ride here and try to don´t visit it in summer. Death Valley offer a landscape where you can be lost and enjoy alone in the nature. Death Valley is the lowest point in the entire North America, which actually sits 86 meters below sea level. Than there are sand dunes, salt flats, craters, colorful canyons and hiking opportunities. We spent 2 days in the desert camping under a sky full os stars, we did some hikes in this Martian looking territory.
Only home of this unique trees which give name to the park. Like Death Valley is part of Mojave desert, but in fact here it is a meeting place of two deserts and place where you can become in love. We rode for a couple of days around there and enjoy in the colors of the desert, the huge rock formations and this strange desert forest of juccas or joshuas trees that grows only in Mojave desert and nowhere else in the world. Camping is allow but is not for free, so you will have to ask at the entry to be sure there is free place for you, in high season use to be difficult to find a place, otherwise you can do like us and hide somewhere, the desert is huge and it will look plenty of place but there are also many rangers controlling around and they are very strict about camping, so don´t be noisy a night and try to be dark. Joshua Tree is a perfect place for trekkings, climbing, meditation and photography.
One of the main attractions in the whole world, you will really have to wake up early to arrive to the visitor center and see this view with a bit of peace. But if you go with your own vehicle remember that Grand Canyon is almost 500 km long, so is not always neccesary to visit the same place where the majority of the tourist arrive. We pass the night free camping in the National Kaibab Forest, just be carefull with black bears and take care of your food and smell. We were in January, it was frozen at night but good temperature in the day.
The Grand Canyon National Park is carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, it´s impressive what the wáter can make to the land with the years passing. Has one main entry in winter time in the South Rim but you can ride parallel to the canyon crossing the Native Navajo area, where you can meet this people and discover the real history of this land, then you can arrive to Horseshoe, a picture you can´t miss, try to be there before sunset.
As usually we talk about destinations we remind you that before going on the road, especially to travel in countries like the United States where health coverage can be really expensive, look for travel insurance. The south of the United States is formed mainly by deserts and here any small accident can end in serious complications. So it’s probably good for you to have a look at our article on “Why do you need travel insurance?”
This is he loop we propose you, starting in San Diego and finishing in Los Angeles: 2.700 km, you don´t need more than 10 days. Places interesting to visit:
- Anza Borrego: sculptures of giant creatures in the middle of the desert
- Oatman: town of donkeys
- Sitgreaves Pass: ride in one of the most beautiful parts of the mytical Route 66
- Sedona: feel yourself in a real Western movie scene
- Lake Paowell: take a night in Utah just to remember this must be your next state to visit.
- Hoover Dam: one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world
- Las Vegas: what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas, just go and enjoy
- Secuoia National Forest: ride between some of the oldest and largest living things in the world
- Hollywood: best place to end a trip from a movie