Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley

  • 6 Days
  • 18 People Max

    14 people max

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Palm Springs, California
  • Trip End: Las Vegas, Nevada
death valley tour

From the marble walls of Mosaic Canyon of Death Valley National Park to the sand dunes of Mojave National preserve, to the unique rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park, discover other-worldly landscapes on this 6-day adventure.

A short but adventure-filled trip in the heart of Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks, this 6-day tour ticks all the boxes. Starting in Joshua Tree National Park, you’ll discover the hidden oasis tucked within the desert and marvel at panoramic views atop Inspiration Peak. Next up is Death Valley, where an astonishing amount of towering mountains, below-sea-level salt flats, marble canyons and fascinating geologic wonders are yours to explore. Join us and see for yourself this iconic region of California on our Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley Adventure.

  This trip is operated by Austin Adventures

Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Palm Springs, California Trip End: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Day 1Meet your group and transfer to Joshua Tree National Park. Hike 29 Palms Oasis, Cholla Garden and Mastodon Peak Loop

  • Day 2Hike Inspiration Peak from Keys View, Hidden Valley Loop, Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill

  • Day 3Explore Mojave National Preserve, Hike Ring Loop Trail

  • Day 4Explore Death Valley National Park, hike Ubehebe Crater, Mosaic Canyon and Mesquite Sand Dunes

  • Day 5Hike Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral. Sightseeing tour of Death Valley

  • Day 6Hike Harmony Borax Works, say your goodbyes in Las Vegas

  • Day 1

    Meet your group and transfer to Joshua Tree National Park. Hike 29 Palms Oasis, Cholla Garden and Mastodon Peak Loop

    After meeting your group and guides at your pre-trip hotel, you’ll transfer to Joshua Tree National Park. Today you’ll enjoy three different hikes which showcase the diverse landscape where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet. First, we conquer the 49 Palms Oasis Hike, one of just five oases found in Joshua Tree National Park. Next is a more leisurely Cholla Garden loop hike where you’ll get up close and personal with a forest of cholla cacti. Then to top off the day, you’ll head out on the short Mastodon Peak loop hike, which winds through natural rock formations and offers an opportunity to spot unique desert birds. 

    29 Palms Inn (Lunch, dinner)

    49 Palms Oasis Hiking Distance: 4.8 kilometres (3 miles), Elevation Gain: 91 metres (300 feet)
    Cholla Garden Hiking Distance: 0.4 kilometres (0.25 mile), flat
    Mastodon Peak Loop Hike: 4 kilometres (2.5 miles), Elevation Gain: 123 metres (406 feet)

  • Day 2

    Hike Inspiration Peak from Keys View, Hidden Valley Loop, Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill

    After an early breakfast, we’ll take a scenic drive to Keys View, where our first hike of the day begins. This short loop trail climbs 120 metres (400 feet) to Inspiration Peak, where you’ll have panoramic views of Mount San Jacinto, Palm Springs, Mount San Gorgonio, Ryan Mountains and Keys Views. Next up is Hidden Valley Loop. This 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) trail is considered one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park and features rock gardens, statue-like rock formations, and a plethora of palms, yuccas, Joshua trees, oaks and pines. We’ll then rest our legs and enjoy a picnic lunch before setting off on our next adventure, to Barker Dam. This easy 1.1-mile loop trail leads you past monzogranite boulders, trees and a historical rock art site. The final hike of the day brings us to Wall Street Mill. Here you’ll get a chance to see one of the best-preserved gold mills in Joshua Tree National Park. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own from one of the many delicious options in the area.

    29 Palms Inn (Breakfast, lunch)

    Inspiration Peak from Keys View Hiking Distance: 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) Elevation Gain: 121 metres (400 feet)
    Hidden Valley Loop Hiking Distance: 1.6 kilometres (1 mile), easy
    Barker Dam Hiking Distance: 1.8 kilometres (1.1 miles), easy
    Wall Street Mill Hiking Distance: 3.4 kilometres (2.1 miles) Elevation Gain: 35 metres (115 feet)

  • Day 3

    Explore Mojave National Preserve, Hike Ring Loop Trail

    This morning we’ll enjoy a scenic transfer to Mojave National Preserve, where we'll head out on the Ring Loop Trail to explore the area. This 3 mile return trail packs a ton into only a short period, taking us past beautiful scenery and ancient petroglyphs, and up a series of metal rings. The trail begins at the northern end of the Hole-In-The-Wall Visitor Center picnic area, and it quickly descends into Banshee Canyon. At the bottom of the canyon there is a great spot to explore the holes in the rock walls, which are unique formations created by volcanic activity. The holes were shaped by gas pockets trapped in cooling lava, which were then exposed by wind and water erosion over time. After another transfer, we'll check into the Ranch at Death Valley, your home for the next three nights.
    The Ranch at Death Valley (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

    Ring Loop Trail Hiking Distance: 5.5 kilometres (3 miles)
    Elevation Gain: 60 metres (200 feet)

  • Day 4

    Explore Death Valley National Park, hike Ubehebe Crater, Mosaic Canyon and Mesquite Sand Dunes

    Today we’ll discover the magnificent landscapes of Death Valley. The hottest, driest, and lowest place in North America beckons those who love adventure, nature’s beauty, and geologic wonders. Our first hike takes us to Ubehebe Crater, where you’ll ponder a 600-foot deep crater as you hike around its picturesque Rim. After lunch, our next hike takes us to Mosaic Canyon, where rock mixtures form mosaic-covered canyon walls and colours swirl in a frozen time capsule that is marble. The trail winds along the canyon bed, moulded and carved by the power of water and movement of rock. The day’s not done yet. Afterwards, you may feel like you’ve landed in the middle of the Sahara Desert on the Mesquite Sand Dunes hike. Witness intricate sand designs that have settled gracefully in drifts and waves and covers the landscape as far as the eye can see. Enjoy dinner with the group before settling in for a well-earned rest.

    The Ranch at Death Valley (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

    Ubehebe Crater Hiking Distance: 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles), flat
    Mosaic Canyon Hiking Distance: 6.4 kilometres (4 miles), Elevation Gain: 365 metres (1200 feet)
    Mesquite Sand Dunes Hiking Distance: 4.8 kilometres (3 miles), flat

  • Day 5

    Hike Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral. Sightseeing tour of Death Valley

    After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a stunning hike from Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral. Wander along the Golden Canyon, where reds and oranges meet you beside the wide trail for 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles). With just 174 metres (574 feet) in elevation gain, this trail is rated easy. However, toward the end, you’ll be crawling around rocks to reach the Red Cathedral, where you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view of towering rock formations. Next up, after you’ve refreshed yourself with a delicious lunch, you’ll enjoy a more relaxing way to see the highlights of Death Valley. Hop aboard a sightseeing tour and visit Dante’s View, Zabrieskie, Badwater, and Artist Palette. On some of these stops, you’ll witness salt flats, burning orange mountains that roll across the horizon, and rock formations exquisitely carved by the elements. Back at The Inn, enjoy the last dinner with your group and reminisce about your favourite memories of the past few days.

    The Ranch at Death Valley (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

    Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral Hike Distance: 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) Elevation Gain: 174 metres (574 feet)

  • Day 6

    Hike Harmony Borax Works, say your goodbyes in Las Vegas

    Enjoy your final breakfast at The Inn and get ready to head out for an exploratory hike near Harmony Borax Works. In the early 1880s, nearly three tons of borax could be produced. At this historic site, you’ll find old double wagons and foundations from the old operation. After this short hike, we’ll transfer to Vegas, where you can choose to be dropped off at the Las Vegas Airport or your hotel.

    Harmony Borax Works Hiking Distance: 0.6 kilometres (0.4 miles), easy

Tour Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $3699/pp (+tax)

Our New Zealand trip fares are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST 15%)

12 Mar 2023
12 Mar17 Mar
Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley 3/12/2023-3/17/2023
Departure Open Open
19 Mar 2023
19 Mar24 Mar
Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley 3/19/2023-3/24/2023
Departure Open Open
26 Mar 2023
26 Mar31 Mar
Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley 3/26/2023-3/31/2023
Departure Open Open
29 Oct 2023
29 Oct3 Nov
Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley 10/29/2023-11/3/2023
Departure Open Open
5 Nov 2023
5 Nov10 Nov
Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley 11/5/2023-11/10/2023
Departure Open Open
12 Nov 2023
12 Nov17 Nov
Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley 11/12/2023-11/17/2023
Departure Open Open

Interactive Trip Map

Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay Later

We offer booking assurance which allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  


Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Caliente Tropics Resort at 8:15am or the Palm Mountain Resort at 8:30am. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Palm Springs for your pre-night, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Las Vegas Airport at 1pm in time for flights below or at a hotel of your choice in Las Vegas around 1:30pm.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Palm Springs at least the day before your trip starts. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Las Vegas after 2:30pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

Will I have contact with my guides before the trip starts?

Your guides will call your cell phone the night before your trip begins to touch base on the first day’s plan. If they don’t get through to you, they will leave a voicemail on your cell phone with all the details you need to plan for your first morning.

What should I bring with me on the first day?

When you speak with your guides the night before your trip, they will give you a detailed description of what to bring with you on Day 1. Typically, this includes a day pack with your rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, camera, etc. Anything you want easy access to during the day should go in your day pack as the rest of your luggage will go in the locked cargo trailer pulled behind the van. Your guides will provide you with a water bottle on the first morning of your trip and will always have water available for refills. There will be snacks available at all times in the van. Your guides will also have bug spray and sunscreen accessible for you to use.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size). We recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

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Our local guides

Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”

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Joshua Tree Vacation & Death Valley