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Joshua Tree Basecamp Tour

Highlights

  • Fantastic winter hiking destination
  • Camping at secluded Sheep Pass
  • Surreal monzogranite formations
  • Amazing desert oasis
  • Sweeping vistas atop a mountain summit
  • Desert wildlife, possible big horn sheep
  • The paranormal Wonderland of Rocks
  • Fascinating natural and cultural history

Description

For those who have spent significant time in Joshua Tree National Park, adjectives like "magical", "enchanting", "otherworldly", and "spectacular" are commonly used to describe the area. Without a doubt Joshua Tree is home to some of the most serene and surreal landscapes in the American West. Billion-year-old monzogranite intrusions bloom above the surrounding desert, and expansive Joshua Tree "forests" blanket broad valleys. In the mornings and evenings, it feels more like a savannah than a desert, with the bizarre looking Joshua Trees (a member of the Yucca family) framing the horizon at the very edge of the Mojave desert.

By visiting Joshua Tree in the wonderful winter months, we’ll enjoy relative seclusion and calm in what is quickly becoming one of America’s top national parks. We’ll maximize our time with fulfilling hikes by day to a variety of Joshua Tree must-see features like desert oases and soaring desert summits. In the evenings we'll feast on outdoor dinners and relax around well-stoked campfires at our basecamp in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park.
Please note: If you want to get out hiking this winter, Joshua Tree is a great place to do it (Joshua Tree climate info).
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today.
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2018 Dates
  • October 22-25
  • October 30 - Nov 2
  • November 12-15
  • November 25-28
  • December 16-19
  • December 23-26



2019 Dates
  • January 1-4
  • January 21-24
  • February 12-15
  • February 18-21
  • March 5-8
  • October 21-24
  • October 29 - Nov 1
  • November 11-14
  • November 24-27
  • December 15-18
  • December 22-25
 
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Don't see your dates?
Call us - we may be able to add them!
1-800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle from Las Vegas: 4-hour drive
  • Hiking Mileage: 3-4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 630 feet
Our four-day Joshua Tree Winter Basecamp Tour begins with your morning hotel pickup in Las Vegas. Leaving the bustle of the city behind, we’ll soon find ourselves on a scenic drive through Mojave National Preserve where we’ll stop at the historic Kelso Depot Visitors Center to stretch our legs.

Continuing along our scenic drive, we’ll pass between the Cleghorn and Sheephole Valley Wilderness Areas to arrive in the military town of Twentynine Palms and rendezvous with any other members of our group at the park’s Oasis Visitors Center. From here, it’s a short drive to the trailhead for our first hike of the trip - to an amazing palm tree oasis, which serves as a drinking hole for desert bighorn sheep who call the park home.

Our 2.8-mile out-and-back hike to the oasis is a great introduction to the unique environments of Joshua Tree. From here, we’ll drive into the heart of the park to setup our basecamp home in Sheep Pass Campground. Relatively secluded by season and geography, we’ll have the option to take an evening walk along one of the nearby nature trails or to the top of one of the surrounding monoliths for some evening views before enjoying a hot dinner and cozy campfire.
Day 2
  • Drive Time: 30 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,500 feet
Today starts with a wonderful outdoor breakfast and hot coffee or tea. Then we'll set off from camp for a fantastic, invigorating hike to a soaring desert summit, where we’ll earn a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. The views of Joshua Tree National Park from this peak are reminiscent of something Salvador Dali might have painted - granite rock piles seem to melt into the surrounding plateau and the otherworldly Yucca plants known as Joshua Trees spread out in the broad valley bottoms, forking and sprouting at odd angles.

After a snack in front of world-class views, we’ll descend back to camp and enjoy lunch and a bit of down time before departing for our afternoon hike. While options for our afternoon are numerous, we’ll likely embark on a pleasant hike to Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill, which will serve as a perfect introduction to the park’s mining and settlement history, which we will be exploring more tomorrow.
Day 3
  • Drive Time: 30 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-10 miles
  • Elevation Change: 1,000 feet
Our hike today will claim most of the daylight hours as we embark on a long, variable loop route that winds among the many rock formations that are signature to Joshua Tree. We'll also explore the area's fascinating mining history. Today's hike has several different variations depending on the interests of the group, but it is always one of the highlights of the week for many guests. It's a long, diverse, exceptionally wonderful exploration of what makes Joshua Tree Joshua Tree.

Among the many advantages to a winter hiking experience (e.g. no bugs, fewer crowds) are the early sunsets. At the end of today's hike, we’ll enjoy an early (twi)lightshow and take advantage of a few not-to-be-missed photography opportunities before heading back to camp for a final celebratory dinner and evening campfire.
Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,400 feet
  • Shuttle to Las Vegas: 4 hours
For our final hike of the trip, we’ll explore the Wonderland of Rocks. A de-facto maze of the dillusionary rock formations for which Joshua Tree is so famous, the Wonderland is a favorite destination for climbers as well as hikers, and offers an arry of fantastic, memorable trails that wind us through a jungle of spires, granite monoliths and wonderful formations.

After our morning in Wonderland, we’ll bid farewell to any of our group members departing directly from the Park. We’ll then make the drive back to Las Vegas and return you to your hotel for an evening of relaxation and much-deserved showers.



Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and daypack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Joshua Tree hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas, NV to Joshua Tree and back (can also meet in Joshua Tree at the Oasis Visitor Center)
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters
  • 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

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the outdoors – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). 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
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • 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? Simply click here and complete the form 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?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group in Las Vegas, Nevada the morning the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to coordinate pick-up. You can also meet us in Joshua Tree on the morning of Day 1 at the Oasis Visitor Center.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


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 6 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 no later than 7 PM.


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 hiking tour is 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 Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is a desert environment, and an exceptional winter destination. . See below for average summer temperatures in Yellowstone:
 
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
 
 
Month
High
Low
 
November
69°
41°
 
December
60°
35°
 
January
62°
37°
 
February
64°
39°
 
March
71°
42°