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A Guide to Desert Glamping in California
Travel

A Guide to Desert Glamping in California

Combining nature with comfort, California’s desert glamping destinations offer the best of both worlds. Wanderlust meets desert dust.

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5 min read

April 16, 2021

The Golden State is where wanderlust meets desert dust. Blooms, sand dunes, and wind-worn rock formations—what better place to experience desert glamping? Marvel at the stars, fall asleep to campfire stories, and recharge in the badland wilderness, without the need for pitching a tent.

Combining nature with comfort, California’s desert glamping destinations offer the best of both worlds. From epic sun-kissed spots in SoCal to lush NorCal glamping regions, the Golden State has it all.

Where to go Glamping in the Desert 

Situated on twenty-five acres, Blue Sky Center offers a next-level glamping experience. Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Center.

Blue Sky Center 

Location: 1000 Perkins Road, New Cuyama

Want to experience unique desert glamping in California? Blue Sky Center offers the best. Building models for inclusive rural communities in Cuyama Valley, this non-profit is all about fun in the sun in a desert luxury camp

If falling asleep under the desert night sky appeals to you, then Blue Sky Center is for you. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort either—the center’s campground is equipped with several Shelton Huts. The Khalili Cantina, a recently renovated kitchen and lounge, is the ideal place for events, gatherings, and pop-up vending. Meet other glampers and make new friends along the way. What better thing to do in the desert than get to know fellow adventurers?

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Starry Safari at the Living Desert 

Location: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert

Ever wished for a front-row seat to a safari show? At the Living Desert in Palm Springs open during normal circumstances), you’ll find bearded dragons, cheetahs, bat-eared foxes, and oryxes—located just outside your luxurious tent. Skip the Golden State desert parks, and roast s’mores around a crackling campfire at the lovely Starry Safari. Cots are provided from March through May, although you’ll have to bring your own sleeping bag and toiletries.

The 1,000 scenic acres of the Living Desert can be explored on an exclusive private tour. The Sonoran desert shimmers in all its glory as you make your way through authentic African village replicas and picturesque vistas of the River Canyon. Keep an eye out for golden eagles, mountain lions, and bobcats—the primary occupants of the area.

Wander through the immersive gardens that are home to plants from East Africa, the Mojave, and Mexico’s Chihuahua region. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens will enhance the appeal of your glamping getaway.

Joshua Tree Glamping Locations 

Want to have a quintessential desert glamping experience? The Dome in the Desert is your best bet. Photo courtesy of Dome in the Desert.

Dome in the Desert

Location: Joshua Tree National Park

The majestic Joshua Tree Park is famous for being one of the best national parks for camping in California. But did you know that it’s also a glamper’s paradise? Dome in the Desert.

Find a mixture of comfort and natural wonder at this geodesic dome house in the High Desert. Built using wood and stone, the dome adds a special touch to those dreaming of Joshua Tree glamping. This vacation rental boasts 16-foot ceilings and soft desert light piercing in every way. The interior features macrame hangings, oversized dream catchers, and tapestry pillows, designed to create a bohemian desert vibe.

Spring blooms glimmer at this desert glamping showstopper. By night, the twinkling stars shine even brighter while you cook a meal on the wood-burning stove. The place is equipped with space heaters to warm those who prefer winter glamping, as well as an AC to keep you cool on hot desert days.

What better way to cool off under the scorching desert sun than taking a dip in the Land Yacht's stock tank pool. Photo courtesy of the Land Yacht.

The Land Yacht

Location: Panorama Heights, Joshua Tree National Park

It’s not a true desert glamping experience in California without a visit to The Land Yacht. This 31-foot Airstream trailer has its own private deck, with a refreshing stock tank pool waiting for you to dive in.

Here, you can enjoy a rustic sunrise while snuggled up in a queen-sized bed. You’ll be cooking in a fully-equipped kitchen, and enjoying your homemade meal on the private deck while marveling at large boulders. The AC inside the glamping unit works perfectly—the desert heat can be pretty ruthless.

The best way to escape from the bustling city is planning a retreat at Desert Pensione. Photo courtesy of Desert Pensione.

Desert Pensione

Location: Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree National Park

Plan a rustic bohemian retreat this weekend at Desert Pensione—an eco-friendly gem in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park. Detach from the city buzz without sacrificing the essentials of comfort with minimal furnishing and a cozy patio. You’ll have solar-powered plugs for your phone and camera, portable wash-up sinks, and cold-water showers at this desert glamping spot. 

While a mere minutes away from Joshua Tree village, the Desert Pensione still feels worlds away. Antique windows frame the beautiful desert landscape and sunset. Mismatched chairs are scattered all over the site, creating a warm, homey vibe. The room is your perfect hideaway from desert winds. Bring an air mattress or a camping mat and you’ll feel right at home. 

If there’s one thing we love about this desert luxury camp, it’s the eco-friendliness. The materials used to construct the place are all either found or recycled. If you look closely, you’ll find parts of an old shipping container used as a subfloor, porch cover, and building sighting.

Death Valley Glamping Spots

Still debating whether or not you should go desert glamping? Just take a look at the Lone Pine Cabin. Photo courtesy of Lone Pine Cabin.

Lone Pine Cabin

Location: Lone Pine, Inyo County

Inspired by the rocks of the Alabama Hills, the Lone Pine Cabin is the ideal place for a romantic winter getaway. Immerse yourselves in rustic bliss, all enjoyed from the comforts of a plush queen bed. 

The grand sliding doors greet you as you settle in—the majestic views of the area accompany you at every corner of the house. Staying at this Death Valley glamping spot almost feels like sleeping in a loft. With a full kitchen and an indoor fireplace, desert glamping can’t get better than this.

Enjoy total privacy and seclusion at either of the eco-pods at Ridgecrest. Photo courtesy of Eco-Pod Rental.

Eco-Pod Rental

Location: Ridgecrest, Kern County 

The quiet solitude of the Mojave Desert comes alive at this eco-pod near Ridgecrest. Rays of sunshine fill your soul as you roll around in a comfy queen-sized bed. Each pod rental consists of a wooden exterior and large windows, inviting in the desert night sky. This Death Valley glamping destination provides the solitude you’ve been seeking all this time. 

There are two-bedroom pods available for rent, accommodating up to four guests at a time. The wooden rooms have digitally-wired televisions to keep you entertained. The bathrooms are equipped with the essentials and covered in mosaic artwork. There’s both heating and air conditioning, ready to save you, depending on the weather conditions.

Whether you’re making a quick evening stop or weekend getaway, this epic desert glamping spot should be at the top of your list.

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