Riverside County : Blythe
Blythe is the center of the South West Desert. From here, you can travel north for 4 hours to Vegas, West 2 hours to Palm Springs (4 to L.A.), South 2 hours to the Imperial Valley or Yuma (or 4 to San Diego) and 2 hours East to Phoenix.
Interstate 10 (I-10) passes through Blythe in an east/west direction. It is the main stopping area when traveling from Phoenix through to any major city in California. When heading west on I-10, you will pass directly over the Colorado River. Be prepared to stop and possibly have your vehicle inspected by the State of California Department of Agriculture as you enter the state. California is one of the few states in the United States that has NATURAL barriers against "outside" contamination (i.e. fruit-fly, fire-ants, etc.) that could potentially harm California's delicate environment, and the Blythe inspection station is the first and best at stopping them.
Highway 95 is locally called "the California side" because the south-bound lanes travel thru Arizona. California-95 starts at I-10 and heads north to Needles & I-40 (approx. 2 hr drive), Laughlin (2 &1/2 hr. drive), and Las Vegas (approx 4 hr drive). this road is VERY windy, curvy, and hilly! It is only a 2-lane highway.
Highway 78 starts on I-10 and travels south. Careful! this road is windy, curvy, hilly and is only a 2-lane high-way. During your drive, you will run into the world-famous Glamis (approx 1 hr south of Blythe). 78 will take you to the Imperial Valley (including Brawley, El Centro, Imperial & Calexico).
Greyhound buses stop day and night. Since Blythe is the ONLY stopping point between Phoenix and Indio/Palm Springs, most travelers are relieved to stop and stretch. Greyhound will take passengers to the local McDonald's (which is usually open 24 hrs). There is NO open office for any ticket-purchase, for that, you would need to speak directly with a driver and him/her sell you a hand-written ticket. Just ensure the bus you're boarding is headed in the right direction as they travel all over the south-west.
While in town there are a couple of ways to get around: the (only) Blythe Cab or the Desert Roadrunner (which is a VERY small version of the Metro). Both of these companies are VERY dependable and are readily available.
THIS AREA OF THE MOUNTAINS HAS LITTLE TO NO CELL-PHONE RECEPTION - please keep that in mind as you make your plans to visit the area!
The locals like to cool down along the shores of the Colorado River. Bring a personal-water craft (which can be rented at ALL of the river-front stores) to ride, or just head down to a river-park to swim and relax in the shade. The off-roading is also very entertaining, with a strip of PRISTINE sand called "7-mile dune" just 11 miles west of town. There, all 4x4's (including sand-rails, quads, buggies, dirt-bikes & toys of the sort) can range in fun from following simple trails to challenging EXTREME sand dunes.
Unfortunately, there isn't much a "BUY" in Blythe. The small-town mentality has kept most major stores away from this town and shopping has suffered the consequences. It's alright though, keep heading west towards the Indio/Palm Springs area (it's only 108 miles!)
Dining has a WIDE variety of food. As this town is located 108 miles from the nearest Mall, the locals have become accustomed to Local-Made foods.
Try a great little Mexican-restaurant called "la Casita, Dos" next to the Shell gas-station on the Lovekin exit. Or try "Maria's" and "Rosita's", these three restaurants have been family owned and operated for generations (one of the perks of living in a small town). If you're looking for Asian, there are several Chinese restaurants along the I-10 business road including Wang's Palace, China Garden (accross from Albertson's) and Boon's at the East end of town(almost all of these are along Hobsonway, which runs east/west through town).
If you're looking for the same-ol' usual stuff (McDonald's, Jack-In-The-Box, Carl's, etc.) try Lovekin Blvd. YOu can't miss it with all of the advertising signs!
Blythe has OVER 1200 different hotel/motel ROOMS available to ALL travelers. Almost all of the hotels can be seen from I-10, as they all have sky-sign displays. Some of the common companies are: