Given the vast wilderness and quiet towns occupying the Northern Desert, you might be surprised to discover the wide array of activities and attractions bound to delight travelers of all ages. Mojave National Preserve teems with family-friendly adventures, from exploring the underground lava tube, climbing up Banshee Canyon with the aid of metal rings mounted in the rock, and hiking Kelso Dunes with the mysterious “singing sands” reverberating around you. For a look at the U.S. Navy’s achievements in naval air and surface armament and technology, take a tour of China Lake Museum, home of the F11-1F Super Tiger supersonic U.S. Navy fighter, one of only two ever produced.
The Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine is a must-see for film buffs. The museum houses an extensive collection of original movie costumes, movie cars, props, posters, and other memorabilia. Once you’re finished perusing the museums, take a self-guided tour of Movie Road and the nearby Alabama Hills where you can see where specific movies were shot—more than 400 were filmed in and around Lone Pine.