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BEGINS IN: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Hiking Death Valley National Park and the Valley of Fire

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Road Scholar
Program #7608RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging (Variable by Program Date)
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
We travel from 2200 ft in Las Vegas to over 5500 ft. We walk/hike to see the natural beauty.

Itinerary for Jan 12 — Jan 18, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: The first wonderful feature the hotel offers is a Free Airport Shuttle. To use the Shuttle from airport call the hotel at (702) 796-9000 (24 hours a day) and they will pick you up. They also provide a convenient Shuttle on-call service for hotel guests within Las Vegas to a variety of prearranged locations. This allows you the opportunity to explore the area by means of the convenient hotel transportation! This beautiful hotel is located near the airport and is in the hub of Las Vegas' activities. Close to the Strip, MGM Mirage, Cirque du Soleil Theater, nearby shopping centers and malls, 60 area golf courses. Nearby are the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, the Luxor, Sam Boyd Stadium and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shopping nearby includes the Boulevard Mall, the Fashion Show Mall, the Belez Mall and the Bridge Meadows Mall. Nearby restaurants include Lawry's The Prime Rib, PF Chang's Chinese Bistro, Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Morton's of Chicago, McCormick and Schmidt, Buca di Beppo. Best of all, courteous staff is here to ensure your pleasant stay!

Contact info:
3970 Paradise Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89109 USA
phone: 702-796-9000
web: laquintalasvegasairportnorth.com/

Room amenities: Each spacious room provides free local calls, dataport phones, premium cable channels, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron/board, voicemail, alarm clock radio.

Facility amenities: The hotel has a beautiful Spanish mission style exterior with spacious rooms, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, it has nearby golf / jogging trail, airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast includes fresh waffles, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk, and coffee.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Check with hotel for rates before and after your program.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Monday, January 12 - Arrive, check in, welcome and orientation
Note: Please remember to bring your National Park Pass and hiking poles if you have them.

Afternoon: 3:00-5:00 pm - Arrive and check-in at Hotel Lobby.

Dinner: Dinner at Hotel

Evening: Welcome, introductions and orientation. Followed by an introduction to Geology in the hotel meeting room.

Lodging: La Quinta Las Vegas Airport North Convention Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The first wonderful feature the hotel offers is a Free Airport Shuttle. To use the Shuttle from airport call the hotel at (702) 796-9000 (24 hours a day) and they will pick you up. They also provide a convenient Shuttle on-call service for hotel guests within Las Vegas to a variety of prearranged locations. This allows you the opportunity to explore the area by means of the convenient hotel transportation! This beautiful hotel is located near the airport and is in the hub of Las Vegas' activities. Close to the Strip, MGM Mirage, Cirque du Soleil Theater, nearby shopping centers and malls, 60 area golf courses. Nearby are the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, the Luxor, Sam Boyd Stadium and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shopping nearby includes the Boulevard Mall, the Fashion Show Mall, the Belez Mall and the Bridge Meadows Mall. Nearby restaurants include Lawry's The Prime Rib, PF Chang's Chinese Bistro, Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Morton's of Chicago, McCormick and Schmidt, Buca di Beppo. Best of all, courteous staff is here to ensure your pleasant stay!

Contact info:
3970 Paradise Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89109 USA
phone: 702-796-9000
web: laquintalasvegasairportnorth.com/

Room amenities: Each spacious room provides free local calls, dataport phones, premium cable channels, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron/board, voicemail, alarm clock radio.

Facility amenities: The hotel has a beautiful Spanish mission style exterior with spacious rooms, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, it has nearby golf / jogging trail, airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast includes fresh waffles, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk, and coffee.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Check with hotel for rates before and after your program.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Tuesday, January 13 - Travel to the Valley of Fire for hiking among col...
Travel to the Valley of Fire for hiking among colorful rocks and unique formations.

Note: Hikes in Valley of Fire are mostly short, 1 mile round trips. Plan on hiking 2 to 4 miles today.

Breakfast: 6:30 to 7:45 am - Continental breakfast buffet which includes waffles, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk, and coffee.

Morning: Travel with your geologist to the Valley of Fire. Geology lecture on the bus. Explore the unique formations and view fascinating petroglyphs!

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Enjoy the brilliant landscape and learn about Desert Ecology with your instructor on short hikes/walks to include White Domes, Mouse Tank and Atlatl Rock.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Free time

Lodging: La Quinta Las Vegas Airport North Convention Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Inn

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch is family oriented 224 room facility situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California - just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This resort presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and consists of an oasis 18-hole golf course (the world's lowest course at 214 feet below sea level), four restaurants, a saloon, a cocktail lounge, retail outlets, a Borax Museum, spring-fed swimming pools, tennis courts, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, massage therapy, a 3,000 foot airstrip, a service station and conference and banquet facilities for 10 - 120. (Some services are available only on a seasonal basis.) Furnace Creek Ranch Resort is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Furnace Creek Village Rte 190
Furnace Creek, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2361
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Rooms have views of the beautiful surroundings, nicely decorated. Wireless internet access available for a fee.

Facility amenities: On site restaurants, adjacent to the Death Valley National Park Visitor Center and Borax Museum. Warm springs fed swimming pool and wireless internet access available for a fee.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check out time: 3:00 PM

Day Three: Wednesday, January 14 - Death Valley National Park/Hike Willow Canyon and...
Note: The Willow Canyon trail is a 4 to 5 mile round trip, moderately strenuous hike. We'll hike in and out on the same trail, so you can shorten your hike as you choose. Badwater Basin is a short easy walk of less than a mile.

Breakfast: 6:30 to 7:45 am - Continental breakfast buffet which includes waffles, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk, and coffee.

Morning: Check out 8:00 am - Depart and travel to Death Valley National Park. Hike Willow Canyon a beautiful 4 mile round trip hike up an alluvial fan, through a deep narrow canyon ending at a 40 ft waterfall. The rock here is well polished with pretty bands of white, red, green, and gray.

Lunch: Box Lunch on the Trail.

Afternoon: After lunch explore Badwater basin, noted as the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 feet below sea level. After viewing a beautiful, colorful sunset check into the Furnace Creek Ranch, a hotel nestled against the Funeral Mountains in the heart of Death Valley.

Dinner: Dinner at Wrangler's Steakhouse

Evening: Free Time

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Inn

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch is family oriented 224 room facility situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California - just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This resort presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and consists of an oasis 18-hole golf course (the world's lowest course at 214 feet below sea level), four restaurants, a saloon, a cocktail lounge, retail outlets, a Borax Museum, spring-fed swimming pools, tennis courts, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, massage therapy, a 3,000 foot airstrip, a service station and conference and banquet facilities for 10 - 120. (Some services are available only on a seasonal basis.) Furnace Creek Ranch Resort is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Furnace Creek Village Rte 190
Furnace Creek, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2361
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Rooms have views of the beautiful surroundings, nicely decorated. Wireless internet access available for a fee.

Facility amenities: On site restaurants, adjacent to the Death Valley National Park Visitor Center and Borax Museum. Warm springs fed swimming pool and wireless internet access available for a fee.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check out time: 3:00 PM

Day Four: Thursday, January 15 - Scotty's Castle, Ubehebe Crater, Stovepipe Wells,...
Scotty's Castle, Ubehebe Crater, Stovepipe Wells, and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

Note: Ubehebe Crater trail is a moderate 2 mile hike around the rim. At Mesquite Sand Dunes we'll give you some free time to explore at your leisure. Plan on 1 to 2 miles.

Breakfast: 6:30 to 7:45 am - Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.

Morning: 8:00 am - Depart and travel to Scotty's Castle. Enjoy a living history tour of this fascinating land mark!

Lunch: Box Lunch at Stovepipe Wells.

Afternoon: After lunch hike Ubehebe Crater a large volcanic crater 600 feet deep and 1/2 mile across. We then proceed on to explore the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. These dunes have been used to film sand dune scenes for several movies including the Star Wars series.

Dinner: Dinner at 49ers Cafe

Evening: Free Time

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Inn

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch is family oriented 224 room facility situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California - just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This resort presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and consists of an oasis 18-hole golf course (the world's lowest course at 214 feet below sea level), four restaurants, a saloon, a cocktail lounge, retail outlets, a Borax Museum, spring-fed swimming pools, tennis courts, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, massage therapy, a 3,000 foot airstrip, a service station and conference and banquet facilities for 10 - 120. (Some services are available only on a seasonal basis.) Furnace Creek Ranch Resort is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Furnace Creek Village Rte 190
Furnace Creek, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2361
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Rooms have views of the beautiful surroundings, nicely decorated. Wireless internet access available for a fee.

Facility amenities: On site restaurants, adjacent to the Death Valley National Park Visitor Center and Borax Museum. Warm springs fed swimming pool and wireless internet access available for a fee.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check out time: 3:00 PM

Day Five: Friday, January 16 - Sidewinder Canyon, Devil's Golf Course, Mosaic Ca...
Sidewinder Canyon, Devil's Golf Course, Mosaic Canyon, and Salt Creek Marsh.

Note: Sidewinder Canyon is a moderate 2 to 3 miles round trip. Mosaic Canyon trail is a moderate 1.5 to 2 mile round trip.

Breakfast: 6:30 to 7:45 am - Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.

Morning: 8:00 am - Depart to hike Sidewinder Canyon. Explore the slot canyons & washes of this remote area. Visit "Devil's Golf Course" an immense area of rock salt eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires. So incredibly serrated that "only the devil could play golf on such a rough links."

Lunch: Lunch at Furnace Creek Golf Course.

Afternoon: After lunch hike Mosaic Canyon walled with both mosaic conglomerates and smooth marbleized rocks. Continue on to Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. The salinated stream is home to the Salt Creek Pupfish, a unique and bizarre creature that can survive in these harsh conditions.

Dinner: Dinner at Badwater Saloon in Stovepipe Wells.

Evening: Free Time

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Inn

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch is family oriented 224 room facility situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California - just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This resort presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and consists of an oasis 18-hole golf course (the world's lowest course at 214 feet below sea level), four restaurants, a saloon, a cocktail lounge, retail outlets, a Borax Museum, spring-fed swimming pools, tennis courts, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, massage therapy, a 3,000 foot airstrip, a service station and conference and banquet facilities for 10 - 120. (Some services are available only on a seasonal basis.) Furnace Creek Ranch Resort is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Furnace Creek Village Rte 190
Furnace Creek, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2361
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Rooms have views of the beautiful surroundings, nicely decorated. Wireless internet access available for a fee.

Facility amenities: On site restaurants, adjacent to the Death Valley National Park Visitor Center and Borax Museum. Warm springs fed swimming pool and wireless internet access available for a fee.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check out time: 3:00 PM

Day Six: Saturday, January 17 - Natural Bridge, Gowers Gulch, and Borax Works & M...
Note: Natural Bridge trail is a 1.5 mile easy hike up a narrow canyon. For the Gower Gulch hike we'll start at Zabriskie Point, dropping down into the Gulch for a beautiful 3.5 mile trek. The bus will drive around and meet us at the bottom. A shorter hike up Golden Canyon is an option.

Breakfast: 6:30 to 7:45 am - Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.

Morning: 8:00 am - Depart for exploration of Death Valley's Natural Bridge Canyon. This is a short hike on a gravelly pumice-filled wash. The trail is actually an ancient flood channel, as evidenced by the large boulders strewn along the way. This is the largest of 14 natural bridges found in the Park. We then depart for Zabriskie Point and the Gowers Gulch trail. Gower Gulch is a monument to erosion as you wind through the highly erodible golden lake bed sediments of the furnace creek formation. In these sediments you will observe veins of borax and gypsum imbedded in the mudstone. We will stop and examine a borax mine about half way through the canyon. As the trail descends it narrows and twists into a passage of between steep high walls of strikingly colored walls.

Lunch: Box Lunch on the Trail.

Afternoon: After lunch learn about the fascinating human history, 20 mule teams, Borax Works and Borax Museum. Hike through the palm grove to visitor center.

Dinner: Closing dinner at Wrangler's Steakhouse

Evening: Board bus and depart for Star Gazing at Zabriskie Point. Our instructor will present a short Astronomy lecture and then we'll view the stars. Death Valley National Park harbors some of the darkest night skies in the world. The International Dark-Sky Association has designated Death Valley National Park as a "Gold Award Dark Sky Park". (http://www.darksky.org/night-sky-conservation/dark-sky-parks)

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Sunday, January 18 - Depart for Las Vegas
Breakfast: 6:30 to 7:45 am - Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.

Morning: 7:45 am - Check out and bring luggage to bus. Depart for Las Vegas, arriving Las Vegas Airport at 11:30 am.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Las Vegas, NV
LasVegas.com**PLEASE NOTE: There is very little free time during this program. The free time options noted here are helpful if you plan to spend additional time before or after the program.
For additional information, visit: www.lasvegas.com
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical GardensIf you have time to sightsee, this is an extraordinary place to go! A 13,573 square foot, indoor, glass-domed garden abounding in fragrance just beyond Bellagio's lobby. Exotic plants and flowers highlight every season and holiday. Do not miss the evening outdoor Bellagio Foutains and light show all set to music. Be sure to stroll into the lobby to see the stunning display of hanging blown glass flowers!
For additional information, visit: www.bellagio.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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