Details on the trip

I made this roadtrip from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, Anza Borrego and San Diego in 3 days – but you could easily also make it in 2 days, if you only have one weekend to go on the trip 🙂

The roadtrip from and to Los Angeles was 480 miles – driving time was approximately 9.5 hours.


My adventure

  • To read about my experiences in Joshua Tree Nationalpark and Anza Borrego State Park click here 🙂


  • And to hear everything about my trip from San Diego to Los Angeles click here!
La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove



  • Started driving at 7 am to miss out on bad traffic, as it was labor day weekend
  • Arrived at the park entrance of Joshua Tree Nationalpark around 10 am
  • Hidden Valley Trail (1 Mile roundtrip)
  • Key´s View (0.25 miles roundtrip)
  • Cholla Cactus Garden (0.25 miles roundtrip)
    • Incredible – don´t miss out on this one – this Cholla Cactus is such a cute kind of cactus and totally different from the Joshua Tree´s!
  • Drive to Anza Borrego Statepark – this is just a little detour to the direct way to San Diego. They way is so much more interesting, than just taking the Highway in my opinion. But if you are in a rush, go on and take the direct way 🙂
    • If you are driving a 4 wheel vehicle, I suggest you to drive to Fonts Point! It looks incredible – I was to afraid of driving into the (extreme) dirt road with my normal vehicle, so I didn´t go. But the pictures I saw look insane. I checked the road out – and I was honestly too afraid to do it without 4 wheel vehicle. There are like no people at all in this statepark (though it´s extremely beautiful!) and it is very, very hot (desert!) so I didn´ tlike the idea at all, to be stuck there and found a week after or so. Be careful!
    • Make some stops along the road (nice scenery – see my adventure!)
  • Drive to San Diego
    • You will reach San Diego in the early evening, if you take your time at the parks 🙂
  • I liked the gaslamp quarter to have a drink and a bite to eat (there are a few good hostels in this area)

Variation: You could easily spend a night at Joshua Tree Nationalpark and camp out there! There are a few walk up campsites, but I was too nervous to try them out, because of the labor day weekend and hotels were filling up very fast in San Diego. So I played safe this time and booked my room in San Diego.


  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (leave your car somewhere, and just take the metro – so much easier!)
    • This area is really cute and gives you a little impression of Mexico – they serve a lot of mexican food in this area and have some touristy shops were you can by some mexican souvenirs. If you don´t make the drive over the boarder and still want to experience a little bit of Mexico – here you can (touristy – for sure!! But I still enjoyed my time there ;-))


Old Town San Diego

Old Town San Diego


  • If you like shopping – there is a nice Outlet Mall to check out close to San Diego. It is shortly before the mexican border – so you could easily combine this with a drive over the border, if you like to drive your way to Mexico. The Outlet Mall is called “Las Amerias Premium Outlets”.
  • I relaxed the rest of the day at the beach – but you could easily do more things in San Diego for sure if you are still up for some sightseeing!



  • Drive up the coast to Los Angeles
  • Make stops along the way!
  • Only one stop I say, you should not leave out: La Jolla!
    • There is a guy who rents snorkeling gear out for a few dollar… And it is really worth it. The cove was really crowded (labor day weekend – think it is a little less on other days for sure!) but when snorkeling you are in your own world. You can actually snorkel with sea lions there!
  • I also stopped at Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove State Park.
  • Reached Los Angeles around 6 pm!