See the High Roller, Devil's Golf Course, and Artists Palette
View Badwater Basin, Dante's View, Roy's Motel and Cafe Sign, Skull Rock and Arch Rock
Visit Twenty Mule Team Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Furnace Creek, Ubehebe Crater, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, Kelso Ghost Town, Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Visit the Amargosa Opera House, a beautiful facility that strives to bring the arts to Death Valley.
Stays With Stories Take in the western feel of Death Valley Ranch at the heart of Furance Creek inside Death Valley National Park.
Be My Guest Join a group dinner with Heidi Grunt, owner and operator of the Campbell House.
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Enjoy a private "behind the scenes" tour of windmills and learn about what affordable and clean energy.
First Class Travel Highlights:
An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
All porterage and restaurant gratuities
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Optional Experiences and free time
Welcome to Las Vegas
Welcome to Las Vegas! You’ll begin your small group tour – Desert National Parks of California, in the glitzy oasis of Nevada. It’s the city that never sleeps and you’ll be tempted to keep up with its 24/7 pace whether you choose to watch a show, tame Lady Luck or relax at the pool after your travels. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow companions to kickstart your California tour from Las Vegas to Palm Springs. You’ll board the 520-foot giant Ferris wheel that dominates the Las Vegas skyline, watching the city lights of this entertainment capital glimmer and anticipating all the most beautiful places in California you’re about to see.
Immerse yourself in the desert
Music lovers will adore the MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience this morning at Amargosa Opera House, a labor of love in the most unlikely of destinations, Death Valley Junction. You’ll learn how Marta Becket stumbled on this desolate space decades ago and how the facility still strives to bring the arts and music to this remote place. You’ll leave knowing your visit has helped them achieve their mission for generations to come. Next, make your way to Dante’s View to admire the incredible panoramic views of Death Valley - a land of extremes and one of the must-see places in California. You’ve timed your Death Valley tour from Las Vegas well and the cooler weather this time of year will inspire you to lace up your boots for a short hike to Twenty Mule Team Canyon, stopping at Zabriskie Point where you’ll see the colored contrasts in the rocky landscape at its best. You’ll want to fuel up after your adventure and we’ll make our way back to Furnace Creek for lunch then pass Devil’s Gold Course bound for Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the USA at 282 feet below sea level. You’ll end the day tracing Artist’s Drive picking out the vibrant pink, aqua and purple colors that emerge from the sloping mountainside. Tonight’s Stays With Stories delivers a taste of the Wild West and you’ll stay overnight at The Ranch at Death Valley, a former working ranch and the perfect spot to explore all those Death Valley must-see attractions with ease.
Explore Death Valley
There’s much more to see in Death Valley and today’s active tour and hike will deliver beyond your wildest expectations. This morning incredible views of the caldera await, and we’ll walk to Ubehebe Crater, a stunning volcano crater formed by the power of an explosion pit in the heart of Death Valley. It’s an extraordinary sight, but one of many that will be a highlight on today’s walk, including your next stop, the popular Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, one of the most photo-worthy spots in Death Valley National Park a favorite for adventurers who love to sled down the silky dunes. After a day of adventure, you’ll be thrilled with a well-deserved break to spend the afternoon on your terms, whether you choose to spend it at the pool, grabbing a beer at the local saloon, or perhaps opt for another exploration, this time on horseback. As the sun sets, the sky reveals a show unlike any other and you’ll gaze up watching the constellations burn bright above this Gold Tier Dark Sky National Park. It’s a magical end to this California desert tour and one you’ll want to share with new friends.
Journey to Desert Towns
Heading south, we’ll enjoy a quick coffee stop in the old railroad town of Baker, distinct for being the gateway to Death Valley National Park and a popular stop for drivers travelling from California to Las Vegas. This is one road trip so many have followed over the years, and you’ll tread in their footsteps when you visit Mojave National Preserve with its towering dunes, Joshua tree forest and cinder cone volcano landscapes. Beyond the remarkable canyons, mountains and mesas you’ll find in this massive park, the third-largest in the contiguous US is a fascinating history that views of long-abandoned mines, homesteads and rock-walled military outposts can only hint at. It’s an unusual stop on any California desert tour, but one you will remember forever as you explore highlights like the ghost town of Kelso, so named after a railroad worker whose name got drawn out of a hat when it was time to switch the settlement’s name from its original name, Sliding 16. We’ll stop in the Route 66 town of Amboy in the Mojave Desert. Today this little town is famous for two things: being home to just four people and Roy’s Motel and Café; its only remnants being its famous sign that stands as a testament to the Mother Road. Our last stop today is Twentynine Palms, a High Desert community that sits at 3,300 feet elevation at one of the entry points of Joshua Tree National Park. Renowned for its beautiful art, pristine air and stunning desert views, Twentynine Palms delivers a first-hand perspective on what it is like to live in the California Outback and your unforgettable Stays With Stories, Campbell House, is the perfect combination of desert oasis and fairytale romance as you’ll come to discover when you learn how the Campbell couple came to settle here after World War I. Gaze up at the clear night skies and count the stars as the anticipation builds for tomorrow’s visit to Joshua Tree National Park, one of the many highlights of our California national parks tour.
Visit Joshua Tree National Park
Prepare for your exploration of one of the most beautiful places in California this morning during your visit to the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center which is the gateway to the park. You’ll stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden, keeping a keen eye out for the fluffy teddy bear cactus that is so characteristic of this place. Resist the urge to touch it as you hike up to the unique rounded rock formations – Skull Rock and Arch Rock, which deliver the most incredible views. The area is best explored on foot, and your stroll along the Hidden Valley Nature Trail will take you past giant rock formations, Joshua trees and incredible panoramic views you’ll want to capture on camera. As you go deep into this desert oasis, you’ll discover how two distinct desert ecosystems combine to create a captivating sanctuary for a rich array of plant and animal species. Revel in the stark beauty of this vast wilderness, admiring the surreal geological features and rich cultural history. Enjoying a desert picnic is one of the most memorable things to do in Joshua Tree National Park and it will be well deserved, so sit back and take in the natural beauty of this place while you enjoy lunch with the group. Next up is our stop at Keys View, perched on the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains and arguably the highlight of the day offering the most dramatic view in the park over the Coachella Valley. Leaving this extraordinary natural landscape behind, we head to one of America’s favorite desert vacation hotspots, Palm Springs to enjoy the evening on your own terms exploring its vibrant entertainment and food scene.
Palm Springs Sightseeing
Imagine what life is like in this stylish southern Californian hotspot when you embark on a sightseeing tour led by your Travel Director this morning. You’ll Dive Into Culture and explore the city’s mid-century modern architecture, popular with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe. You’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time as you explore this Sonoran Desert oasis then head to the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience featuring a private behind-the-scenes tour of the windmills that dominate the landscape and provide power to this desert community. You’ll Connect With Locals and gain a deep understanding of what affordable and clean energy is all about, learning how this is one of the windiest spots in the United States, making it the ideal location for the 3,218 windmills on site. You’ll have the afternoon to relax or embark on an optional visit to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which will take you through five life zones up 6,000 feet for incredible views. If you’re feeling energetic, tackle one of the trails for more epic views of your stunning surrounds, often clad in snow depending on when you’re visiting. After your unforgettable trip through this desert landscape, you’ll join your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner at a local downtown Palm Springs restaurant and toast to happy memories.
Farewell Palm Springs
Your journey through the Desert National Parks of the United States has come to an end. Depart Palms Springs at leisure.