Embarking on a road trip is a fantastic way to discover the beauty and diversity of a region, and when it comes to Southern California, few places offer as much excitement and charm as San Diego. From stunning coastal scenery to iconic landmarks and vibrant cities, a 4-day road trip from San Diego promises an unforgettable adventure.
Join us as we map out the ultimate four-day road trip itinerary from San Diego.
RVs For Rent Near San Diego
Day 1: San Diego to Joshua Tree National Park
Our journey begins in San Diego, a city known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and incredible weather. After fueling up with a hearty breakfast, hit the road toward Joshua Tree National Park, an otherworldly desert landscape located roughly 150 miles northeast of San Diego.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the park’s unique flora and iconic Joshua Trees. Spend the day hiking through the park’s numerous trails, such as Hidden Valley or Barker Dam, and take in the breathtaking vistas of towering rock formations and vast expanses of desert. As the sun sets, witness the mesmerizing sight of Joshua Tree silhouetted against the colorful sky.
Day 2: Joshua Tree National Park to Palm Springs
On day two, bid farewell to Joshua Tree and make your way to Palm Springs, a desert oasis known for its mid-century modern architecture, luxury resorts, and year-round sunshine. The drive from Joshua Tree to Palm Springs is approximately an hour.
Explore Palm Springs by taking a stroll down Palm Canyon Drive, the city’s main thoroughfare, lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don’t miss a visit to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers a breathtaking ascent to the top of San Jacinto Peak. Enjoy panoramic views of the Coachella Valley and embark on scenic hikes in the surrounding mountains.
Day 3: Palm Springs to Sedona
On day three, drive from Palm Springs to the beautiful red rock city of Sedona, about two hours south of the Grand Canyon. The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, stunning hiking trails, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a stunning Catholic chapel built into the red rocks, and hike the Cathedral Rock Trail for breathtaking views of the city. Spend the night camping or RVing in the city and experience its magical energy.
You could also tuck your RV into National Forest land near Sedona for a secluded camp-venture with the area’s iconic red rocks as your backdrop.
Day 4: Sedona to San Diego
The last day of the road trip takes you back to San Diego, a six-hour drive from Sedona. Along the way, stop at the quirky town of Oatman, AZ, known for its wild donkeys and old-western charm. Afterward, continue the journey via Lake Havasu City, AZ, and stop at the famous London Bridge for a unique photo opportunity. Once you arrive in San Diego, take a sunset stroll at the beautiful La Jolla Cove, and savor the colorful memories you’ve just created.
A 4-day road trip from San Diego offers a thrilling journey through diverse landscapes and iconic destinations. From the stark beauty of Joshua Tree National Park to the desert oasis of Palm Springs, and the stunning Sedona red rocks, this itinerary showcases some of the best of the Southwest.
So pack your bags, hit the open road, and embark on the ultimate 4-day road trip from San Diego—a journey that promises adventure, natural beauty, and a taste of the Southwest lifestyle.