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JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Hiking the High Desert: Joshua Tree National Park

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Walking/Hiking

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Road Scholar
Program #20819RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
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
4,500 to 8,500 feet at Joshua Tree National Park and San Jacinto State Park (Top of the Tram).

Itinerary for Mar 20 — Mar 25, 2015

Expand all
Type: Resort

Description: Eight pools are scattered around the property. The largest is kept at about 80 degrees. The smaller pools bubble and percolated at about 104 soothing degrees. All of the pools are fed directly from the mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs.

Contact info:
10625 Palm Dr
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 USA
phone: 760-251-6000
web: www.miraclesprings.com

Room amenities: Coffee/tea maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, microwave, refrigerator, telephone, and TV.

Facility amenities: A variety of massages, facials, body therapies and spa treatments in addition to the mineral water hot springs. Free WiFi.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Friday, March 20 - Orientation and Introductions
Afternoon: Check into the Miracle Springs Resort after 3:00 PM. Program registration in hotel meeting room anytime between 4:30 - 5:15 PM.

Dinner: Dinner will be on site at Miracle Springs Resort. Dinners include fresh garden salad, sides of hot vegetable, rice or potatoes; and a nightly hot entrée including baked fish, mouthwatering roast beef or turkey. Vegetarian and gluten free option will be available for those that registered as such.

Evening: Introductions and orientation in the hotel meeting room following dinner. Meet your fellow participants and get ready for the fun filled adventure that awaits.

Lodging: Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Eight pools are scattered around the property. The largest is kept at about 80 degrees. The smaller pools bubble and percolated at about 104 soothing degrees. All of the pools are fed directly from the mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs.

Contact info:
10625 Palm Dr
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 USA
phone: 760-251-6000
web: www.miraclesprings.com

Room amenities: Coffee/tea maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, microwave, refrigerator, telephone, and TV.

Facility amenities: A variety of massages, facials, body therapies and spa treatments in addition to the mineral water hot springs. Free WiFi.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Saturday, March 21 - Hike in Joshua Tree National Park
Note: Note: Participants will be required to carry a minimum of 2 quarts of water in their day pack for each hike. Mileage for today's hike will vary (4 - 7 miles) depending on the terrain encountered and route taken during the day. The Wonderland of Rocks has few established trails, so much of our hike will be off-trail. There will be some rock scrambling and dry wash walking. With explicit instructions and with assistance and advice your hike leaders will guide the group through any rocky areas.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the resort which includes a daily egg dish selections (for protein), potatoes and breakfast meat, oatmeal, toast and a selection of fresh fruit and juices and coffee.

Morning: Today we head into Joshua Tree National Park for a hike into the parks "Wonderland of Rocks" maze of granitic outcrops. Spectacular is the only way to put it as we pass through all of the scenery that Joshua Tree National Park is known for, not only the famous yucca that the park is named after, but endless beautifully sculptured granite boulders and long desert vistas. Today's hike will be a great introduction to the park as we go off the beaten path. Walk through a forest of the other-worldy Joshua Tree, marvel at the diversity of the parks cacti, hike around towering mountains of jumbled granite outcrops.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue hike, return to Miracle Springs in late afternoon. There will some sustained portions of the hike in sandy washes.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the Miracle Springs Resort.

Evening: Evening presentation on the human and natural history of the Cahuilla and Agua Caliente native people.

Lodging: Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Eight pools are scattered around the property. The largest is kept at about 80 degrees. The smaller pools bubble and percolated at about 104 soothing degrees. All of the pools are fed directly from the mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs.

Contact info:
10625 Palm Dr
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 USA
phone: 760-251-6000
web: www.miraclesprings.com

Room amenities: Coffee/tea maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, microwave, refrigerator, telephone, and TV.

Facility amenities: A variety of massages, facials, body therapies and spa treatments in addition to the mineral water hot springs. Free WiFi.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Sunday, March 22 - Hiking in the "Indian Palm Canyons" and Palm Spri...
Hiking in the "Indian Palm Canyons" and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway / San Jacinto State Park

Note: The Palm Canyons hike will be on established trails and will be approximately 4 miles in length with an elevation change of 400 feet. At the top of the Palm Springs Tram we will be hiking at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. Note: mileage for today's hike will depend on the weather conditions at higher elevations.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the resort which includes a daily egg dish selections (for protein), potatoes and breakfast meat, oatmeal, toast and a selection of fresh fruit and juices and coffee.

Morning: After breakfast, we depart for a hike in the Agua Caliente "Indian Canyons" just a couple of miles south of downtown Palm Springs. We will hike one of the rim trails as well as along the canyon floor. The highlight of the Indian Canyons is "Palm Canyon", where the largest oasis in the world of the California Palm tree is found. The Canyons are cool and mostly shady, filled with fan palms of all sizes next to a stream which still has pools and springs in mid summer.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: After lunch we will travel to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Once aboard, the "World’s Largest Rotating Tramcar", you will experience a breathtaking journey up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon. Begin the 10 minute ride at the Valley Station – elevation 2,643 ft. and end at the Mountain Station – elevation 8,516 ft. Once we depart the tram we will explore the pine clad environs of Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness area. We will hike the 1.5 miles Desert View trail among spectacular Jeffery Pine and White Fir trees. Enjoy sweeping vistas of the desert floor from lookout points.

Dinner: Enjoy a festive dinner at South of the Border Mexican Restaurant. A favorite among locals.

Evening: Rest Those Weary Bones!

Lodging: Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Eight pools are scattered around the property. The largest is kept at about 80 degrees. The smaller pools bubble and percolated at about 104 soothing degrees. All of the pools are fed directly from the mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs.

Contact info:
10625 Palm Dr
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 USA
phone: 760-251-6000
web: www.miraclesprings.com

Room amenities: Coffee/tea maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, microwave, refrigerator, telephone, and TV.

Facility amenities: A variety of massages, facials, body therapies and spa treatments in addition to the mineral water hot springs. Free WiFi.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Monday, March 23 - Hike Joshua Tree National Park
Note: Mileage for today's hike will vary (4 - 7 miles) depending on the terrain encountered and route taken during the day. The National Park has few established trails, so much of our hike will be off-trail. There will be some rock scrambling and dry wash walking. With explicit instructions and with assistance and advice your hike leaders will guide the group through any rocky areas.

Breakfast: Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the resort which includes selections such as egg/croissant sandwich, waffles, oatmeal and a selection of cold cereal, fresh fruit and juices and coffee.

Morning: Today we head back to Joshua Tree National Park. The park encompasses 880,000 acres so there are plenty of areas to hike and explore. Destinations may include The Maze, Skull Rock , Pine City, Ryan Mountain or Lost Palms Oasis to name a few. The terrain encountered includes outcrops of granitic boulders rising from an undulating landscape of ridges, plateaus, small canyons and rocky washes. In spring, the dry washes are especially pretty as flowers grow in the smooth white sandy stream beds and intermingled with flowering red chuparosa and brittlebush.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the way.

Afternoon: Continue our hike.

Dinner: Dinner will be on site at Miracle Springs Resort

Evening: Enjoy an evening program by local historian Dean Gray on the Pioneer History of the Desert Hot Springs, Colorado Desert and Palm Springs area.

Lodging: Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Eight pools are scattered around the property. The largest is kept at about 80 degrees. The smaller pools bubble and percolated at about 104 soothing degrees. All of the pools are fed directly from the mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs.

Contact info:
10625 Palm Dr
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 USA
phone: 760-251-6000
web: www.miraclesprings.com

Room amenities: Coffee/tea maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, microwave, refrigerator, telephone, and TV.

Facility amenities: A variety of massages, facials, body therapies and spa treatments in addition to the mineral water hot springs. Free WiFi.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Tuesday, March 24 - Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Hike
Breakfast: Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the resort which includes selections such as egg/croissant sandwich, waffles, oatmeal and a selection of cold cereal, fresh fruit and juices and coffee.

Morning: Today hike is located in the Mecca Hills in the eastern Coachella Valley. We will offer hikes in Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon. Ladder Canyon is a true slot canyon that follows a narrow sinuous before gradually opening up to ridge top views. The trail continues down into Painted Canyon and loops back to the trail head. Fantastic geologic formations and wild multi-colored rocks make this hike a local favorite.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue our hike.

Dinner: Tonight dinner will be on your own. We will transport participants to the downtown Palm Springs area where participants will have the opportunity to walk around, look at shops if they desire, and choose a restaurant to their liking. A list of restaurant options will be provided at the beginning of the week should participants desire to book ahead.NOTE: the "Capri Restaurant" on site at the Miracle Springs Resort has a full dinner menu for those that do not wish to "go into town".

Evening: Enjoy the desert evening with a bit of browsing time before shuttle back to the hotel at a designated group departure time.

Lodging: Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Six: Wednesday, March 25 - Departures after breakfast
Breakfast: Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the resort which includes selections such as egg/croissant sandwich, waffles, oatmeal and a selection of cold cereal, fresh fruit and juices and coffee.

Morning: Program wrap up and reflections of the week at breakfast. Farewells and departures after breakfast. The NAU Road Scholar van will depart at approximately 8:30 AM for any participants that want a free shuttle to the airport. For those that want to get to the airport prior to that or later, taxi service is available.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 ...
5 nights of accommodations
13 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
4 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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