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6 Reasons to Plan a Desert Vacation in the United States This Year

Travel seems to be very totally different proper now relying on the place you are from and the place you are going. Be positive to verify native restrictions and be prepared to adhere to any and all security rules earlier than planning a journey to any of the locations you might examine on this website. Also, some posts on this website include affiliate hyperlinks, that means in case you guide or purchase one thing by means of one in every of these hyperlinks, I could earn a small fee (at no additional price to you!). Read the full disclosure coverage right here.


As the summer season journey season swiftly approaches but once more (severely, how has this occurred??), you may already be excited about planning a getaway for later in the yr.

After the yr that was 2020, I can not blame you! But 2021 continues to be shaping up to look a little totally different than a “normal” journey yr, and I’m predicting that home journey inside the US goes to be the journey of selection for the majority of Americans.

If you fall into that class, you is likely to be trying to plan a totally different type of summer season or fall trip this yr. Amusement parks, seashore cities, and crowded nationwide parks could not maintain the similar enchantment as normal – so what are your different choices?

Well you all know I’m a large proponent of street journeys, and I additionally love quirky small cities and cities which will in any other case go missed as journey locations. But I even have one other journey thought for you this yr that others could not think about: how about planning a journey to the desert?

McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona
The desert… or a Star Wars set? (It’s Cosanti, a distinctive gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona)

Desert journey is common in different nations (I’m pondering of locations like Morocco or Chile or Mongolia the place you may plan a journey simply to go to a few of the nice deserts of the world), however not many individuals consider the United States as a desert trip vacation spot.

But guess what? You can completely plan an superior desert trip in the US!

Note: This put up is introduced to you as a part of a paid partnership with Experience Scottsdale. But, as at all times, all opinions are 100% my very own and based mostly on my private experiences!

Sunset at CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa
Who would not need to calm down right here at CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa?

Where can you intend a desert trip in the US?

North America has 4 main desert areas: the Great Basin, Mohave, Chihuahuan and Sonoran, with massive chunks of every being situated inside the US. These deserts cowl elements of states out west like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, California, Nevada, Idaho, and even elements of Oregon and Wyoming.

  • Great Basin Desert – The northernmost desert in North America, this desert sits at greater elevation in states like Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah, and might even have snow virtually year-round.
  • Mohave Desert – Straddling the southern California-Nevada border, the Mohave desert is the place you will discover joshua bushes and Death Valley.
  • Chihuahuan Desert – This desert lies principally in Mexico, but in addition may be discovered in southern elements of New Mexico and Texas.
  • Sonoran Desert – Covering elements of Arizona and California and stretching south into Mexico, that is the solely desert in the US that does not expertise chilly winters! This can also be the place you will discover large saguaro cacti, as they solely develop in elements of this desert.
Saguaro cactus
You can solely discover the unimaginable saguaro cacti in the Sonoran Desert!

And whilst you may initially suppose I’m loopy for suggesting you journey to the desert in the summer season or fall months, hear me out first!

We have a lot of misconceptions about deserts and desert journey in basic. I’ve visited a number of of the desert areas in North America throughout all totally different occasions of yr, and I can let you know that a journey to the desert is not nearly sunburns and sand in your sneakers.

Kayaking the Lower Salt River in Arizona
Kayaking the Lower Salt River – do you know you are able to do THIS in the desert?

6 causes to plan a desert trip

Using a couple of my previous journeys as examples (and particularly my previous journeys to Scottsdale in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona), I’m going to share with you all the the reason why you may truly need to guide that desert trip in any case!

1. You can go to any time of yr

The wonderful thing about planning a desert journey is that you simply aren’t confined to sure seasons; you possibly can go to the desert any time of yr – sure, even in the summer season!

The very first time I visited the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, it was on a journey to Scottsdale in the month of June. Now, I’ll be fully sincere with you right here: I initially assumed that journey can be scorching and depressing once I noticed climate forecasts with temperatures in the triple digits.

But on that summer season journey to the desert, I went (early morning) climbing, kayaking, and loved meals outdoor on patios outfitted with cooling misters.

Patio misters in Scottsdale
Outdoor eating in Scottsdale
Amanda at the Andaz Scottsdale pool
Every good desert resort can have a pool, too!

It’s often true what they are saying: desert warmth tends to be a DRY warmth, and might truly be fairly bearable. Yes, after all you want to top off on solar safety and drink loads of water it doesn’t matter what you are doing, however a summer season journey to the desert is completely do-able in case you plan it proper.

Or, after all, you possibly can plan a desert journey throughout a totally different season, too. Each season in the desert is at all times totally different, with various things to see and do.

In the Scottsdale space, for instance, spring can also be a stunning season as a result of the Sonoran Desert comes alive with cactus blooms and even wildflowers (sure, there are wildflowers in the desert!).

Flowering cactus in the desert
Flowering cactus in the desert

2. The desert is just not at all times scorching

But talking of these scorching desert temperatures… most deserts in the US aren’t truly scorching year-round! They have a tendency to cool off in the evenings (which is why you possibly can go climbing even in the summer season, so long as you begin early in the morning), and in the winter can truly get downright chilly.

I’ve visited the Sonoran Desert in the winter months, too. And although this desert does not actually expertise “winter,” it was nonetheless cool sufficient at night time and in the mornings to want a jacket in Scottsdale!

(*6*)
I wanted a sweater at the Museum of the West in winter…
Hiking in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona
… and we additionally wanted layers for a morning desert hike!

3. It’s not at all times desolate and barren

When most individuals image “the desert,” they image an countless expanse of sand and nothingness. Which is smart, contemplating that the dictionary definition of a desert is “arid land with usually sparse vegetation” and “an area apparently devoid of life.”

But in the United States, deserts aren’t essentially all empty and forbidding.

If you need to go to these historically “desert-y” areas, they do exist, after all. But individuals additionally dwell in our deserts! In reality, there are some massive and really well-known cities inside deserts in the US, like Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Scottsdale, too, is smack dab in the center of a desert, however the metropolis is something however devoid of life. Scottsdale is stuffed with public artwork, fascinating structure, plenty of distinctive eating places, an city wine path, and many alternatives to take pleasure in the nice outdoor.

Public art in Old Town Scottsdale
Scottsdale has a entire public artwork path you possibly can observe!
Postino in Scottsdale
Postino restaurant in Scottsdale

But don’t fret – the panorama stuffed with cacti and purple rocks will remind you that you’re, in reality, nonetheless in the desert.

4. Desert journeys do not have to be excessive

I’ve taken some “extreme” desert journeys in different nations – like the time I rode a camel into the Sahara Desert in Morocco and camped there in a single day. But desert journeys in the US do not have to be excessive like that!

Desert journeys right here *can* be excessive in case you go to one in every of the extra distant desert areas or possibly a nationwide park like Death Valley or White Sands. But you would additionally plan a desert journey stuffed with wine tasting and spa days (sure, I’m you, Scottsdale).

In Scottsdale, you would plan a chilled-out, art-focused getaway with a keep at a wellness resort, or you would plan an adventurous journey stuffed with scorching air ballooning, mountain biking, driving an ATV, kayaking alongside wild horses, and going to raucous rodeos at night time.

CIVANA Wellness Resort spa
You may spend a day stress-free at the spa…
Hot air balloon in Phoenix, Arizona
… or you would go on a dawn scorching air balloon experience!

And that is true throughout the US deserts; there actually is one thing for everybody.

5. Desert journey may be inexpensive

The deserts in the United States are all situated out West and away from the coasts. What this usually means in your trip price range is that costs for every part – from accommodations to meals to even flights – have a tendency to be decrease than in case you have been planning a journey to the seashore or a metropolis break.

This additionally makes desert journeys pretty family-friendly.

And if you would like a additional price range tip from me? Summertime is commonly one in every of the extra inexpensive occasions to go to the desert areas in the US. Higher temps often imply decrease costs, and in Scottsdale they inform it like it’s with their “It’s That Hot” summer season marketing campaign yearly.

It's That Hot mural in Scottsdale

RELATED: Is Summer the Best Time to Visit Scottsdale?

6. Desert sunsets are a few of the greatest

Okay, so this final one is extra of a private opinion than a reality, however desert sunsets are severely a few of my favourite sunsets.

The pinks and oranges may be unreal, due to the drier air that makes these colours pop. And since the southern “hot” deserts have a tendency to see a lot of sunny days (Arizona is one in every of the sunniest states in the US!), there are extra probabilities to see these vibrant sunsets.

If it is postcard-perfect sundown images you are after, you possibly can’t go fallacious in the desert.

Sunset at CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa
Sunset at CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa

There are plenty of choices when it comes to planning a trip. But in case you’re on the lookout for another to laying on the seashore or navigating crowded nationwide parks this yr, then a desert trip is likely to be a good match for you!

And if you would like to learn extra about a few of my very own desert journey in the US, listed here are some weblog posts for you to try:

Have you ever frolicked in the American desert? Would you ever need to plan a desert trip?

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