For many travelers the California desert is merely experienced on the other side of their car windows on their way to more popular destinations. However, for the adventurous few that take an exit and their supplies, the rewards are unforgettable.
However, the full glory of this region is very difficult to access without a vehicle. Many of the parks in the region have paved roads and developed campsites. However the complete experience can not be had without a bit of exploration on the dirt roads and an inspiring piece of dirt to set up camp - see California desert camping. Believe it or not, even a compact car will survive valiantly on many of the well graded roads in the region although a high clearance vehicle is recommended for full access.
The desert can be a brutal and unforgiving place. Even if you're planning to just pass through, you should be prepared to be fully self-reliant and follow these minimum guidelines. Additional safety guidelines should be adhered to if you are planning to go camping.