DISCOVER THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN ROAD TRIP

Natural <strong>California</strong>

Natural California

Joshua Tree National Park - Mosaic Canyon

Explore famous national parks, camp beneath the stars and visit iconic film locations on this epic California road trip.

Start in LA or San Diego and head straight out into the hills for our first stop in Joshua Tree National Park. We then head north along the coast along Highway 1, taking in Big Sur, looping through California’s collection of national parks, lakes and mountains, then finish up in Death Valley.

It’s the kind of road trip that needs a Jeep Wrangler, wind blowing through your hair, and some camping supplies in the back – or at least some food for your stay in a luxury Airstream

What to drive:

Make the most of your US road trip with something from our American Collection:

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

Find out more
Joshua Tree National Park

Natural California

Stop 1: Joshua Tree National Park 1/9

Your journey begins among the palm trees and Hidden Valley trails of Joshua Tree National Park. Spanning an area the size of a city (it would fit within San Diego – but only just), this rugged landscape is a hotspot for avid rock climbers and hikers.

Spot the famous Joshua trees along the sprawling network of trails at day, head up to Key Views to watch the sunset, then make camp at one of the park’s 500 sites. ‘JT’ National Park is also one of the best Dark Skies sites in the country, featuring spectacular stargazing experiences.

Joshua Tree Visitor Center, 6554 Park Blvd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, United States

https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Big Bear Lake

Natural California

Stop 2: Big Bear Lake 2/9

Travel west towards this four-season mountain resort and lake, which is the crowning jewel in the San Bernardino National Forest treasure trove. Luring in skiers in the winter and swimmers in the summer, Big Bear Lake offers some of SoCal’s best outdoor adventures.

Big Bear City is best known as the breathtaking backdrop of Elvis’s hit 1952 film, Kissin’ Cousins. It’s also renowned for its sprawling hiking and biking trails, lake fishing, as well as stunning panoramas of Bear Mountain.

40824 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

https://www.bigbear.com/

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Santa Ynez Mountains

Natural California

Stop 3: Santa Ynez Mountains 3/9

Head along US-101 and through Santa Barbara to arrive in Los Padres National Forest – California’s second largest – and explore the Santa Ynez Mountains. Dotted with quaint towns and plentiful vineyards, this portion of the Pacific Coast Range was the setting of the 2004 road-trip film Sideways.

Six hiking trails weave through the rugged landscape here, with several concluding on the mountain peaks overlooking the awesome Santa Ynez Valley below.

71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

http://www.seecalifornia.com/mountains/santa-ynez-mountains.html

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Treebones Resort

Natural California

Stop 4: Treebones Resort 4/9

Keep traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur, lapping up Pacific Ocean views, to reach Treebones Resort. Reserve a spacious yurt in this rustically luxurious coastal setting, with views of the cobalt-blue ocean, glittering under the Californian sun.

There are plenty of walking trails leading from the resort, which take you along the ocean cliffs. As the sun settles on the horizon, visit the tranquil panoramic yoga platform or enjoy a soothing massage in the studio.

71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

https://www.treebonesresort.com/

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Mirror Lake

Natural California

Stop 5: Mirror Lake 5/9

Nestled in Yosemite National Park, on Tenaya Creek, this idyllic pool of water reflects the majestic Half Dome – one of the park’s most famous peaks. A scenic five-mile trail loops the lake and meanders between the water shores and surrounding forest.

It’s at its deepest in spring, when the snowmelt pours into Tenaya Creek . You can enjoy a swim in its refreshing waters on a warm day, or simply admire the reflections from the shore.

Yosemite Valley, CA 95389

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/mirrorlaketrail.htm

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Autocamp Yosemite

Natural California

Stop 6: Autocamp Yosemite 6/9

Don’t leave Yosemite just yet. There are few things that symbolize the freedom of the open road better than an Airstream travel trailer. Reserve your stay in one of these iconic ‘silver bullets’, amid the lush greenery of the country’s most iconic national park.

Autocamp Yosemite offers activities ranging from the meditative to the heart-racing, and those in between – you’ll find yoga, skydiving, horseback riding and skiing on the menu. You can also just take a walk along the twisting network of trails that lead deeper into the park through meadows, past lakes and under waterfalls.

6323 CA-140, Midpines, CA 95345

https://autocamp.com/yosemite/

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Long Meadow Grove

Natural California

Stop 7: Long Meadow Grove 7/9

If you’re road-tripping in the summer, head south through Fresno County, towards the Sierra Nevada mountains, to Long Meadow Grove. Deep in the Sequoia National Forest, you can embark on the famed Trail of 100 Giants.

Along the way, you’re overshadowed by the towering sequoia trees. These striking wonders are more than 1,500 years old and revered in the local area. Set up camp at Redwood Meadow to follow the forest trail from there.

Co Rte 107, Porterville, CA 93257

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sequoia/recarea/?recid=79825

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Lone Pine Lake

Natural California

Stop 8: Lone Pine Lake 8/9

Our penultimate stop takes us to Lone Pine Lake, where road-trippers can get a taste of the mountains along the Mount Whitney Trail. Fans of old westerns may recognize these famous waters as a filming location for the 1962 epic, How the West Was Won.

While you may not spot a cowboy, you’ll certainly be treated to plenty of breathtaking hiking opportunities. The Mount Whitney Trail ends on the banks of the pristine mountain lake, showcasing spectacular reflections of the surrounding range.

US-395 & CA-136, Lone Pine, CA 93545

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recarea/?recid=20698

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Mosaic Canyon

Natural California

Stop 9: Mosaic Canyon 9/9

Complete your Natural California road trip at one of the state’s most popular natural wonders. Mosaic Canyon is an extraordinary spot in the depths of Death Valley, with a trail that twists and dips through narrow red-marble passageways.

These rocky formations have taken millions of years to form, carved and smoothed by water flowing through cracks in the land. Keep your eyes peeled for outcroppings of Breccia, small fragments of rock that create a dazzling rainbow along the trail, and immerse yourself in one of the country’s most unique walking routes.

Mosaic Canyon Trail, California 92328, USA

https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/mosaic-canyon.htm

Find out more about car rental for this Road Trip route

Roadtrip Loading

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SHARING ABOUT THIS STOP ON INSTAGRAM