The Best Desert Retreats on Airbnb Offer a Secluded Stay With Gorgeous Views

best desert getaways
Courtesy of Airbnb

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While everyone heads to the beach, give yourself the gift of a remote desert trip in the middle of nowhere. Something about the desert feels otherworldly — it’s a stunning destination year-round, with extremely photogenic landscapes. Easy to find in the Western U.S., desert getaways are the ultimate road trip getaway. They’re a more accessible alternative to international trips that involve the hassle of airport waits and expensive flights and are also a low-stress travel option for pet owners.

While they might not have that ocean breeze, many of our curated picks on Airbnb include pools or bathing set-ups to help you cool down, including lots of shaded areas.

The climate you’re staying in will dictate how you pack; for instance, the medium to high desert brings warmer days with strong sun and cooler evenings. Days are perfect for hiking, climbing or bathing in cowboy tubs, while nights offer the best stargazing opportunities in the country.

Still, it is an area with a lot of extreme weather, wildlife and other things to consider. If traveling in the warmer months, remember to pack lightweight cotton clothes, close-toed shoes, water bottles, warm sweaters, hats and sunglasses.

We’ve rounded up a ton of accommodation options, from geodomes under the stars to chic Southwestern cottages and more resort-style experiences. Most importantly, they all have iconic desert views from all angles. Here are the best desert retreats on Airbnb to add to your bucket list.

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1. The Rum Runner, Yucca Valley

This self-described “modern homestead cabin” in Yucca Valley looks like something out of a design magazine and features a luxurious king-sized bed to stretch out on, making it perfect for tall sleepers. From the beautiful details inside to the magnificent desert view outside, this spot is remote but still has a reliable internet connection. Enjoy starry nights on the patio with the stunning cement-look fire table or lounge on the four-poster outdoor bed. Perfect for proposals, anniversaries and more.

The Rum Runner, Yucca Valley Courtesy of Airbnb

2. Casa Rosada Off Grid Desert Retreat, Aguanga, California

Be one with the tumbleweeds and check out this breathtaking California glamping destination, which makes for more of a minimalist desert retreat. Sitting on top of rolling hills east of Temecula, this tiny home on a private patch of land is the perfect place to unplug from everything and stare at the stars above, minus the light pollution. In a creative rut? Just sit at the desk and soak in those sweeping valley and mountain views for instant inspiration.

Casa Rosada Off Grid Desert Retreat, Aguanga, California Courtesy of Airbnb

3. MoonCatcher Private Desert Dome Tent, Twenty Nine Palms, California

If you’re looking for more of a remote glamping experience than a hotel stay, consider a geodome, which lets you soak in the night sky from the comfort of your bed. Located near Joshua Tree National Park, these geodesic domes tend to be the ultimate desert escape. Featuring a queen bed, this is the closest you’ll get to the desert without being in a tent. Fair warning: The hosts do live on the other end of the property, but they give you total privacy. Check out their “StarGazer” dome if this one is booked.

MoonCatcher Private Desert Dome Tent, Twenty Nine Palms, California Courtesy of Airbnb


4. Donkey Trails Scenic Mountain House, Golden Valley, Arizona

A gorgeous but slightly less expensive alternative to some of the more luxurious desert destinations, this off-the-beaten-path desert cottage is located against the background of Black Mountains’ ancient rock formations. You’ll likely spot desert animals like bighorn sheep and burros in this natural landscape, which is only half an hour away from the cool Colorado River. Get your nature fix while getting a night of uninterrupted sleep in their king-sized bed.

Donkey Trails Scenic Mountain House Courtesy of Airbnb

5. Shadowlands, Joshua Tree, California

Located on five acres of desert, the Shadowlands offers a dramatic view from wide, open windows and a minimalist, Southwestern-inspired design. There’s even an outdoor bath, offering a reprieve from hot, dry days. When it cools down after sundown, light up the propane fire pit and hop in the hot tub, watching an endless vista of mountaintops lit by the starry sky. It’ll feel like you’re staying at a friend’s with detailed touches like original artwork and local artisanal ceramics.

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shadowlands, landers, california Courtesy of Airbnb

6. The Jewel Crest, Yucca Valley

A luxury designer desert home with a built-in spa, this Airbnb was featured in Architectural Digest. It’s located on the border of Yucca Valley & Joshua Valley. If you’re not that into the Southwestern decor, this has a cleaner Scandinavian look with 20-foot vaulted ceilings and a dramatic spiral staircase. Have an outdoor movie night on the patio, complete with a Bluetooth movie projector and screen. It’s also completely shaded, providing relief on sunny days. This two-bedroom is located on five acres of land, giving you total privacy.


The Jewel Crust, Yucca Valley Courtesy of Airbnb

7. Sun Ray Ranch, Morongo Valley, California

Tucked away in the corner of the Mojave Desert is the Sun Ray Cabin, a tiny home between Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. Sitting on two acres of desert land, this home offers mountain views and a simple abode with a charming ambiance. From the fairy lights to the reclining outdoor sunning bed, this ranch-style home is the ultimate middle ground between glamping and going full-on luxury. Guests appreciate the cleanliness of this spot.

Sun Ray Ranch, Morongo Valley, California Courtesy of Airbnb

8. The Kyoob, Coconino County, Arizona

If you’re willing to sacrifice a traditional bathroom and shower, this retreat dubbed The Kyoob is filled with absolute silence, rest and serenity. With comments like, “This was one of the most beautiful and unique vacation experienced I’ve ever had,” you might wonder why an experience without certain amenities might have such a high price tag. Just read through the reviews, and you’ll soon see why. This will undoubtedly make for an unforgettable trip, from the curated breakfast to the winding hiking trails.

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The Kyoob, Coconino County, Arizona Courtesy of Airbnb

9. Incredible Views of Lake Powell, Page, Arizona

A more traditional home located in a highly desirable dark sky community near the breathtaking Lake Powell, this four-bedroom is better for larger groups as it has five beds and two and a half baths. It’s very close to the luxurious Amangiri Resort, which is ideal if you’re looking to get treatments without an overnight stay at the resort. Large windows are essential to properly soaking in any desert view, and this home has plenty of large sliding doors and windows to do just that. Just a few hours from the Grand Canyon and Bryce National Park.

Incredible Views off Lake Powell, Page, Arizona Courtesy of Airbnb

10. Casa Piedra, Terlingua, Texas

Texas has no shortage of dreamy desert views, and this adobe casita minutes from Big Bend is a great way to soak in all that West Texas’s natural landscape has to offer. With stays starting at $128 a night, this offers splurge-worthy views and amenities like AC, a fire pit in front of the house and a hand-built outdoor shower. A budget-conscious choice that offers all the rustic necessities with the addition of some seriously thoughtful touches on the host’s behalf.

Casa Piedra, Terlingua, Texas Courtesy of Airbnb

11. The Perch, Reed Plateau, Texas

If you’re searching for a special occasion spot for an anniversary, proposal or honeymoon, there’s nothing quite like this breathtaking home in Reed Plateau, Texas. Set on the cliff edge of a 60+ million-year-old limestone plateau, you’ll have 20 acres of the Chihuahuan Desert all to yourself with an outdoor patio setup that’s perfect for soaking it all in. For the same nightly cost of an NYC hotel room, you too can experience the unparalleled extravagance and amenities of this fully off-grid home, complete with a state-of-the-art solar power system.

The Perch, Reed Plateau, Texas Courtesy of Airbnb

12. The Lookout, Pioneertown, California

The boulder views initially draw many guests to this group-friendly Airbnb in Pioneertown, California. You can check them all out from the clawfoot bathtub — and the view from hot tubs set into a viewing deck isn’t too shabby, either. Beyond bathing and soaking in the desert views, the home is within walking distance of the famous Western-style bar and grill, Pappy & Harriet’s. While the spacious home is filled with many amenities, the outdoors deck lets you fully experience that desert landscape in all its glory.

The Lookout, Pioneertown, California Courtesy of Airbnb

13. Luxury Glamping Dome, Big Bend, Texas

Live out all your glamping fantasies and fall asleep under the Milky Way with this unforgettable solar-powered luxury glamping dome. Forgot outhouses — with a spa-inspired bathroom inside, AC/heat and a telescope for stargazing, these domes have been designed with your comfort in mind. They’re also located in the largest dark sky reserve in the world on a rural 80-acre property. Wander amongst desert plants and, if you have time, check out Big Bend National Park, which is 30 minutes away.

Luxury Glamping Dome, Big Bend, Texas Courtesy of Airbnb

Alternatives to Airbnb Desert Getaways

If Airbnb isn’t your thing, or you’d prefer more of a luxury retreat experience with spa amenities, consider one of these high-end experiences instead.

1. The Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah

Regarded as the best resort in the Southwest, the splurge-worthy Amangiri is all about clean, minimalist architecture, with white stone floors, concrete walls and black steel fittings. Every suite includes an outdoor lounge and fireplace with jaw-dropping views of vast dunes and desert land, while others have private pools or roof terraces. With unforgettable amenities like an award-winning spa that spans over 25,000 square feet of desert, kayaking and horseback riding, this self-care oasis is perfect for those looking to rejuvenate or have a more exhilarating experience. Their Camp Sarika canvas-topped pavilions offer a more intimate back-to-the-wild experience.

The Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah Courtesy of Amangiri Spa

2. Enchantment Resort

Located within the dramatic red rocks of Sedona’s Boynton Canyon, the Enchantment Resort offers many adventures like hiking and exhilarating mountain bike rides. Sprawling across 70 acres, this Southwestern-chic resort has lavish additions like private outdoor decks with insane Grand Canyon views and spacious one- and two-bedroom suites. For maximum luxury, opt for their pool suites or spa pool suites, which feature a private deck with your own pool and a fireplace for some seriously cozy nighttime moments.

Enchantment Resort, Boynton Canyon, Arizona Courtesy of Enchantment Resort

3. Gurney’s Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona

Nestled in the stunning landscapes of Camelback Mountain, this premium resort sits on 53 acres of pristine desert with its award-winning facilities, gardens and pools. Their contemporary Mountain Casitas offer striking views of Paradise Valley and tons of luxurious amenities, while the suites are even larger with multiple bedrooms. A bar downstairs with five-star mixology and an elevated Asian fusion restaurant add to the ambiance, making this the ultimate getaway for couples or groups.

Gurneys Resorts, Scottsdale, Arizona Courtesy of Gurney Resorts

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