Best time to travel to Palm Springs, CA

Stargazing in Palm Springs, CA

Visit the best sky-watching spots in southern California

Milky Way over Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree Park

Palm Springs has long been the ultimate getaway destination for people wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities. And for a good reason—the spot is quiet and isolated, which makes it perfect for stargazing. Let’s see in detail when the best time for visiting Palm Springs is and where to go to make the most of your vacation.

When to go

As in all states, the best months for stargazing in California are in spring and fall. Specifically, the observing season starts in mid-March and lasts for six months, ending in mid-October. During this period, you can see the stars without freezing in the cold or being limited timewise (thanks to long summer nights).

Where to go

There are several awesome spots in the Palm Springs area for a terrific night-action show. Let’s check them out.

Coachella Valley Preserve

Only a 25 minute drive from Palm Springs, this destination serves as a decent stargazing place. Compared to its more popular contender, Joshua Tree National Park, the Coachella Preserve has more light pollution. But it also has a huge benefit over J-Tree—a short drive. Yes, you won’t have to spend the entire night getting to the park or stay there overnight.

Whitewater Canyon Preserve

This canyon is located not far from Los Angeles, but this doesn’t mean the territory is light-polluted. On the contrary, it’s relatively protected from L.A. lights, which allows seeing the stars without any obstruction. In addition, Whitewater Canyon Preserve is an amazing natural wonder, so you’ll be able to have fun both gazing at the skies and camping on the ground.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree might be one of the most important stargazing destinations you’ll ever read about. Yes, it takes some effort to get there from Palm Springs (the drive lasts for 45 to 70 minutes), but the results always pay off.

The reason why Joshua Tree is considered the best stargazing place in southern California is simple—its unearthly landscapes with very little light pollution. You won’t find anything similar in the whole state and even the country. This way, plan to stay in Joshua Tree overnight to get the full experience.

Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika