Fodor's Southern California 2014
Pinto Basin Road
Pinto Basin Road Review
This paved road takes you from high Mojave desert to low Colorado desert. A long, slow drive, the route runs from the main part of the park to I–10; it can add as much as an hour to and from Palm Springs (round-trip), but the views and roadside exhibits make it worth the extra time. From the Oasis Visitor Center, drive south. After about 5 miles, the road forks; take a left and continue another 9 miles to the Cholla Cactus Garden, where the sun fills the cactus needles with light. Past that is the Ocotillo Patch, filled with spindly plants bearing razor-sharp thorns and brilliant red flowers. Side trips from this route require a 4X4.
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