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Death Valley National Park Hiking Vacation
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Joshua Tree National Park Hiking Tour
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Joshua Tree National Park Tour
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Death Valley & Joshua Tree

Highlights

  •   Explore Death Valley & Joshua Tree
  •   The best desert hikes in California
  •   Oases, badlands & sand dunes
  •   Alpine peaks, salt flats & granite mazes
  •   Desert plants and animals
  •   Iconic mining and pioneer history
  •   Wonderful lodging and meals

Description

Explore the best of Death Valley and Joshua Tree all in one tour with fantastic lodging, expert guides and a carefully orchestrated itinerary. These amazing Southern California national parks offer incredible late fall, winter and early spring trekking across diverse and mesmerizing landscapes. Discover a plethora of desert phenomena including lush oases, a waterfall, vast sand dunes, towering granite monoliths, salt flats, badlands, alpine peaks and more! We'll keep a sharp eye out for desert wildlife with opportunities to see desert bighorn sheep, desert cottontail rabbits, roadrunners, desert reptiles, coyotes, snakes and more! Each night we'll retire to accommodations that put us close to the action, where we'll get cleaned up and meet for wonderful dinners (all included!) This tour offers a cornucopia of experiences in America's stunning Mojave Desert - join us for a week you'll never forget!

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Inn-based Hiking Tour
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Las Vegas, NV
6 days
36+mi / 58+km
Premier DV Inn: $3375
Premier Single: +$800

Travel to Las Vegas

Utah Sales Tax

  Private Trips

  See Trip Dates


Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to Death Valley: 2.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 680 feet
  • Accommodations: Inn at Furnace Creek (Premier) or Ranch at Furnace Creek (Casual)

This multi-day California hiking trip begins with a morning pick up from your Las Vegas hotel. We’ll depart Vegas and embark across the fabled Mojave Desert’s basin-and-range landscape. Upon entering Death Valley National Park, we will be treated to morning views of the Badlands: jagged hills dazzlingly colored by volcanic metals. At the edge of the Badlands, we will walk to the top of Zabriskie Point where we’ll first gaze upon Death Valley and the towering Panamint Mountains.

After a quick stop at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, we’ll head to the trailhead of Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch: a classic Death Valley hiking loop that takes us deep into the Badlands of the Amargosa Mountains. After a hilltop lunch with panoramic views, we’ll hike down into the water-carved Gower Gulch which will spill us out onto a slanted desert landscape at the edge of Death Valley itself.
This evening, we will explore the iconic Badwater Basin. After a sunset stroll into the very heart of Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level—the lowest point in North America—we will enjoy dinner next to the white glow of its vast salt flats.

Day 2
  • Drive Time: 3 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000 feet
  • Accommodations: Inn at Furnace Creek (Premier) or Ranch at Furnace Creek (Casual)

After an early breakfast, we’ll head deep into the very spine of the park, the tree-clad Panamint Mountains, where we’ll take-on the 9000-foot Wildrose Peak. This rugged mountain hike offers a heart-pounding physical challenge with an equally rewarding summit. At the trailhead are the historic Charcoal Kilns: enormous stone domes used for smoking out wood fuel for Old West mining operations. With surprisingly cool temperatures, our hike will take us into a rich juniper and piñon forest as we climb the east slopes of Wildrose Peak. At the summit, we’ll have absolutely breathtaking views of Death Valley, Panamint Valley, and the snow-streaked Sierra Nevada Range on the western horizon.

Day 3
  • Drive Time: 5.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4+ miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 635 feet
  • Accommodations: 29 Palms Inn

A welcome easy day after yesterday’s ascent, today’s hike takes us onto the peaceful Mesquite Sand Dunes and to a miracle in the desert -- the stunningly beautiful Darwin Falls. Checking out of our accommodations in Furnace Creek, we’ll drive west past the Devil’s Cornfield and stop for a quite hike on the renowned Mesquite Sand Dunes. Atop the dunes, we’ll enjoy sweeping views of several mountain ranges, and get a greater appreciation for what the valley looked like when it was a glaciated lake during the cool and wet Pleistocene.

After the dunes, we’ll drive further west to visit one of the most tremendous sights in Death Valley National Park. Darwin Falls is an anomaly -- a spring-fed waterfall of marvelous beauty in the driest place on earth. Our easy, two-mile hike to the falls is a great conclusion to our time in Death Valley National Park. From here, we’ll drive south across the Mojave desert to the town of 29 Palms on the border of Joshua Tree National Park. Checking into our hotel in 29 Palms, we’ll enjoy an evening of dinner and relaxation before tomorrow’s adventures in Joshua Tree.

Day 4
  • Drive Time: 2 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 7-10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000 feet
  • Accommodations: 29 Palms Inn

Today we’ll rise with the sun to share in a wonderful breakfast and hot coffee or tea. Our first stop will be at the charmingly unique Teddy Bear Cholla Garden, where we’ll stroll among a family of deceptively inviting cacti. Dropping down through an ecological transition zone where the lower Colorado Sonoran Desert meets the Mojave, we’ll make our way to our main hike for the day: The Lost Palms Oasis.

Sustained by water seeping up through fault lines, five oases can be found within Joshua Tree National Park. Today we’ll visit two! Beginning at Cottonwood Spring Oasis, former home to the Cahuilla Indians, we’ll meander our way over arroyos dotted with ocotillo and through sandy smoketree washes to reach at last the largest group of California Fan Palms in the park. After a delicious lunch in this remote desert oasis, we’ll wind our way back to the trailhead, soaking in views to the south of California’s largest lake, the Salton Sea.

While options for stops on our return to camp are numerous, we’ll likely embark on a pleasant hike to Arch Rock, a monzonite granite natural arch set amidst a playground of jumbo boulders.

Day 5
  • Drive Time: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 7-10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 600+ feet
  • Accommodations: 29 Palms Inn

After a delightful breakfast, our first hike today will loop us through Barker Dam. This valley is rich with petroglyphs and tall tales from the days of gold mining and cattlemen, as well as lush with plant life thanks to the precious reservoir of water. We’ll then embark on a journey into another portion of the famed Wonderland of Rocks: The Maze. This trail will weave us through a jungle of spires, granite monoliths and delusionary rock formations, opening up to tantalize us with breathtaking views of the National Park. Returning back to town, we’ll enjoy one last evening of fine dining and good company before turning in for the night.

Day 6
  • Hiking Mileage: 4+ miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 600 feet
  • Shuttle to Las Vegas: 4 hours

Upon filling our bellies with another tasty breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and head off for one last day of exploration.

We'll begin our excursion in Hidden Valley, a favorite destination for climbers and hikers alike. Long valued for its diverse flora and protection from the elements, this microcosm is a historically significant ecological haven. We’ll then make our way into a new portion of the Park where, conditions permitting, we’ll hike through one or more of Indian Cove’s finest remote hollows.

After soaking in the astounding landscape and enjoying one last scrumptious lunch together, we’ll embark on the scenic drive back to Las Vegas and return you to your hotel for an evening of relaxation.




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 5 nights of lodging (see accommodations)
  • Use of trekking poles and a day pack
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Death Valley hiking guide
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas and back
  • All necessary entrance fees and permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Death Valley and Joshua Tree hiking tour features a combination of restaurant meals and meals prepared by your guide.

We provide breakfasts and lunches for the trip. For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Las Vegas, Nevada. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at a hotel in Las Vegas. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Death Valley Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Las Vegas at an agreed upon time.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Mohave Desert

Together, Joshua Tree and Death Valley encompass an area with extreme elevation and climate variations. They are home to the lowest point in the United States: Bad Water Basin in Death Valley which sits at 282 feet below sea level. The highest point, Telescope Peak (also in Death Valley), is 11,049 feet high, a 11,331 ft difference!! This tour features comfortably moderate winter temperatures (but with one hike to over 9,000 feet which requires more layering), and warm-hot Spring/Fall temperatures. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures in the lower elevations of the Mohave Desert:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
Low
Hi
 
 
January
40°
67°
 
 
February
46°
73°
 
 
March
55°
82°
 
 
April
62°
91°
 
 
October
62°
93°
 
 
November
48°
77°
 
 
December
38°
65°
 

Accommodation Options

Oasis at Death Valley

Oasis at Death Valley

2 nights

A deluxe resort built in 1927, The Inn at Furnace Creek is a four star, elegant resort that takes wonderful care of its guests. After our hikes you can relax near the spring-fed pool, walk around the stunning palm gardens, or rest up in your exquisite room.
(pool, spa)

Ranch at Furnace Creek

29 Palms Inn

3 nights

On a 70-acre property near Joshua Tree National Park, this historic, eclectic, clean and comfortable lodge offers a unique, charming lodging experience up close and personal with nature. After our hikes you can relax by the pool, in the organic garden, or in one of several hammocks and soak up the beauty of the desert.
(pool)

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