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DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Hiking Death Valley National Park

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Road Scholar
Program #6120RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
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
Portions of the program will be above 3000', but most are well below that elevation.

Equipment Requirements
Equipment required includes daypack, water canteen(s) to hold minimum 2 liters per day, hiking boots/shoes (walking shoes not acceptable except in town), trekking poles highly recommended for some hikes, layered clothing for changeable weather, wide-brimmed hiking hat is a must, sunscreen, sunglasses, first aid supplies, & more in general information packet that is sent to participants after enrollment. Please see "What to Bring" sheet included in this packet for full details on what to pack.

Itinerary for Jan 25 — Jan 30, 2015

Expand all
Type: Resort

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and an oasis that consists of an 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, a children's playground, 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 is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2345
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Standard rooms are located in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have French doors leading to small patios or balconies. All units have two queen beds, air conditioning, hair dryers, in-room coffee makers, TV, phone, full private bath and mini-refrigerators. Roll-a-ways are permitted in these rooms. All Standard rooms are non-smoking.

Facility amenities: Here's a quick list of services and amenities available at our lodging facilities at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park. •Airport Transportation to Furnace Creek Airstrip •Parking for Cars, Buses •Business Services – fax, photocopy and shipping assistance available at Front Desk •Bilingual Service •Wireless Internet access available in the guest rooms and included in daily resort fee. •ADA Compliant Accommodations

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

Additional nights before: $139-$219
To make reservations for additional night either before or after youre program contact Furnace Creek Ranch at www.furnacecreekresort.com or call 800-236-7916.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, January 25 - Check-in/Orientation
Arrive To: Please check into the Registration Office at the hotel between 3:00pm and 4:45pm on Sunday.

Dinner: Dinner will be held at The Wrangler at 6:00pm. Dinners include a variety of meals, including salads, main courses, meats, chicken, fish, pastas or rice, and vegetables. We will do our best to accommodation special diets on this program; if you have any special dietary needs or requests, you should bring those items with you to the program. Participants have in-room refrigerators for any special meal items. Please contact the program coordinator at 775-764-0726 if you have any questions regarding meals.

Evening: Following dinner, program orientation will be held in the Furnace Creek Visitors' Center. You'll receive your name tag then, and have the opportunity to meet other participants and program staff. The evening program includes a discussion of Death Valley and the hikes to come during the upcoming week. We'll discuss the program's safety features and locations in detail and how the week will work. We'll take time to answer questions participants may have and make sure each participant has a clear view of the week to come. We'll also make sure we move through the program quickly to afford each individual to have time to rest, unpack and prepare for the week's activities. This is a fun evening with a lot of information to share. Please be sure to arrive somewhat rested and be ready to have a great week! Please note - the following itinerary reflects the planned itinerary. Times and itineraries may vary due to a variety of conditions. Please be ready to be flexible.

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and an oasis that consists of an 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, a children's playground, 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 is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2345
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Standard rooms are located in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have French doors leading to small patios or balconies. All units have two queen beds, air conditioning, hair dryers, in-room coffee makers, TV, phone, full private bath and mini-refrigerators. Roll-a-ways are permitted in these rooms. All Standard rooms are non-smoking.

Facility amenities: Here's a quick list of services and amenities available at our lodging facilities at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park. •Airport Transportation to Furnace Creek Airstrip •Parking for Cars, Buses •Business Services – fax, photocopy and shipping assistance available at Front Desk •Bilingual Service •Wireless Internet access available in the guest rooms and included in daily resort fee. •ADA Compliant Accommodations

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

Additional nights before: $139-$219
To make reservations for additional night either before or after youre program contact Furnace Creek Ranch at www.furnacecreekresort.com or call 800-236-7916.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, January 26 - Dante’s View/Badwater/Artist's Palette Road
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet opens at 6:00am. Please be finished by 7:45am to board buses for today’s activities. Meal vouchers are used for breakfast meals. They include a variety of choices: eggs, breakfast meats (bacon & sausage), toast, biscuits, potatoes & oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt, and fruit. Juice, coffee, tea, or milk is also included.

Morning: Vans are opened and ready to board at 7:50am, and leave the hotel at 8:00am. We start our hiking adventure in Dante's View, where you will be able to see and explore the floor of Death Valley. There are two hikes available: challenge yourself on a longer, upper hike or take the gentler lower hike. Both hikes are less than 1 mile and include rough, hilly terrain and cliffs.

Lunch: Staff picks up lunches in the morning and transports them for you. Lunch will either be during a hike or at another location.

Afternoon: After lunch we head to Badwater, the lowest place in the Northern Hemisphere, at 282' below sea level and the hottest place on earth. Walk out onto the basin and marvel at this location in Death Valley. Afterwards, we'll visit the Devil's Golf Course and stop along the winding Artist's Palette road. See the corals, blues, greens, lilacs, and pinks laid down in Death Valley by volcanic deposits up close on a short ¼ to ½ mile hike. Later we may visit The Borax Museum, or the Harmony Borax Works, the actual site of some of the Borax Mining operations in the Park before we return to the Furnace Creek Ranch for dinner and the evening program.

Dinner: Return to the hotel around 5:00-5:30 pm; dinner is approximately 6:30pm.

Evening: Evening programs recap the day's activities and answer questions. Then we discuss the next day's hike: where we're going, its location in the Park, trail details, etc., followed by a brief activity, such as a comprehensive film about the geology of Death Valley. While all evening activities are optional, it is important that ALL participants attend the beginning portion to recap the day and discuss the upcoming hikes for the next day. We keep them short so you can prepare for the next day's hike and get a good night's rest. All times and itineraries may change.

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and an oasis that consists of an 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, a children's playground, 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 is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2345
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Standard rooms are located in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have French doors leading to small patios or balconies. All units have two queen beds, air conditioning, hair dryers, in-room coffee makers, TV, phone, full private bath and mini-refrigerators. Roll-a-ways are permitted in these rooms. All Standard rooms are non-smoking.

Facility amenities: Here's a quick list of services and amenities available at our lodging facilities at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park. •Airport Transportation to Furnace Creek Airstrip •Parking for Cars, Buses •Business Services – fax, photocopy and shipping assistance available at Front Desk •Bilingual Service •Wireless Internet access available in the guest rooms and included in daily resort fee. •ADA Compliant Accommodations

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

Additional nights before: $139-$219
To make reservations for additional night either before or after youre program contact Furnace Creek Ranch at www.furnacecreekresort.com or call 800-236-7916.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, January 27 - Mosaic Canyon/Salt Creek/Stovepipe Wells/ Mesquit...
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet opens at 6:00am. Please be finished by 7:45am to board buses for today’s activities.

Morning: The vans will be ready at 7:50am with the engines running and heat on (if needed). Please be on time so we can take advantage of the maximum amount of daylight hours for the program. We arrive at Mosaic Canyon, a 2 mile hike that explores the polished rock fragment mosaics that make up the canyon walls. We then head Salt Creek, the place where the historic Death Valley 49'ers crossed in 1849 trying to find a safe route out of Death Valley to the Gold country in California. Hike ½ mile along Salt Creek, home to one of five species of Pupfish (yes, there are fish in Death Valley). Afterwards, we’ll visit Stovepipe Wells and where we will enjoy lunch at the picnic tables with a view of the Sand Dunes and more.

Lunch: Lunch will be at Stovepipe Wells Village on the site of the historic and original Toll Road into Death Valley. Developed and created by Bob Eichbaum in the 1920s, it is one of the many areas built during that era to bring tourism into Death Valley.

Afternoon: Our hike this afternoon is about 2 miles along the Mesquite Sand Dunes. A full sun hike, you'll need plenty of water, a wide-brimmed sun hat, sunglasses, and sun protection. You will be able to explore a variety of vistas and stretch your legs as much or as little as you choose. These dunes are extraordinary and a fabulous place for spectacular photos. You will be able to explore on your own, go in small groups, or hike to the Star Dune. There are abundant animal tracks and if you're lucky you may see birds and other living animals such as coyotes or lizards, all dependent on seasons, rainfall, migration patterns, etc. Discover how both the nocturnal and diurnal animals in the area live and hunt. After the Dunes, we may have time to explore other areas of the Valley, depending on the time and the weather.

Dinner: Return to the ranch for dinner.

Evening: Recap the day's activities and answer questions. Then we discuss the next day's hike: where we're going, its location in the Park, trail details, etc., followed by a brief activity that can vary from the Borax history, to natural history of the area, to the tales of Walter Scott and Scotty's Castle and the impact of gold in Death Valley, the tale of the survival of the '49ers in search for gold in California. Be prepared for an informative evening, regardless of the topic or method.

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and an oasis that consists of an 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, a children's playground, 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 is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2345
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Standard rooms are located in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have French doors leading to small patios or balconies. All units have two queen beds, air conditioning, hair dryers, in-room coffee makers, TV, phone, full private bath and mini-refrigerators. Roll-a-ways are permitted in these rooms. All Standard rooms are non-smoking.

Facility amenities: Here's a quick list of services and amenities available at our lodging facilities at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park. •Airport Transportation to Furnace Creek Airstrip •Parking for Cars, Buses •Business Services – fax, photocopy and shipping assistance available at Front Desk •Bilingual Service •Wireless Internet access available in the guest rooms and included in daily resort fee. •ADA Compliant Accommodations

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

Additional nights before: $139-$219
To make reservations for additional night either before or after youre program contact Furnace Creek Ranch at www.furnacecreekresort.com or call 800-236-7916.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, January 28 - Alluvial Fans/Scotty’s Castle/Historic Exploratio...
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet opens at 6:00am. Please be finished by 7:45am to board buses for today’s activities.

Morning: On the way to Scotty’s Castle, stop and explore the alluvial fans of Death Valley. See first-hand how rainfall plays a hand in shaping this desert landscape, and discover the fan-like sediment formations that are formed from flash floods.

Lunch: Enjoy a sack lunch picnic at the tables on the grounds of famous Scotty's Castle. This unique and wonderful castle was built in the 1920s and 1930s in the heart of the northern end of Death Valley. We may even see coyotes, birds and other wildlife at this great place that has an abundance of water.

Afternoon: Scotty's Castle is a Spanish Colonial Revival style villa located in the park. Explore this historic structure, guided by National Park Rangers dressed in period clothing. Learn about the history of how the castle was built, the relationship shared between prospector Walter "Scotty" Scott and wealthy investor Albert Johnson, and delve into the by-gone days of Death Valley. Explore the grounds either before your tour or after and even walk up the hill to Scotty's grave, where he's buried with his dog, Windy. Afterwards, we'll return to the Furnace Creek Ranch for dinner.

Dinner: Return to the ranch, dinner is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Evening: After a brief description of Thursday's hike, enjoy free time Wednesday evening to relax, read, visit with other participants, gather at the spring fed (84° year round) pool, spend time alone, or get ready for Thursday's big hike. Whatever you prefer, the night is yours to enjoy. BUT, do get rested for the grand hike on Thursday.

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and an oasis that consists of an 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, a children's playground, 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 is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!

Contact info:
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2345
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com

Room amenities: Standard rooms are located in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have French doors leading to small patios or balconies. All units have two queen beds, air conditioning, hair dryers, in-room coffee makers, TV, phone, full private bath and mini-refrigerators. Roll-a-ways are permitted in these rooms. All Standard rooms are non-smoking.

Facility amenities: Here's a quick list of services and amenities available at our lodging facilities at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park. •Airport Transportation to Furnace Creek Airstrip •Parking for Cars, Buses •Business Services – fax, photocopy and shipping assistance available at Front Desk •Bilingual Service •Wireless Internet access available in the guest rooms and included in daily resort fee. •ADA Compliant Accommodations

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

Additional nights before: $139-$219
To make reservations for additional night either before or after youre program contact Furnace Creek Ranch at www.furnacecreekresort.com or call 800-236-7916.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, January 29 - Zabriskie Point/Golden Canyon
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet opens at 6:00am. Please be finished by 7:45am to board buses for today’s activities.

Morning: Today is a full day of hikes and exploration, with options for hikes that will be covered in detail prior to beginning each one. This is an all day excursion so make sure you have plenty of water and snacks to get you through until we return to Furnace Creek for dinner. We will drive to the beautiful Zabriskie Point, part of the Amargosa Mountain Range. From here we’ll start our hike down Golden Canyon, a 4 mile hike with elevation gains.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic sack lunch along the way.

Afternoon: As we continue on down Golden Canyon, you may also choose to walk/hike several different areas and meet up with the vans further down the canyon.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the Wrangler after returning from a fabulous day of hiking and accomplishments.

Evening: This evening, join fellow participants for the exciting week in review and prepare for the following morning's events.

Lodging: Furnace Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, January 30 - Program Departures
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet opens at 6:00am.

Morning: Program ends following breakfast. For participants taking the shuttle back to Las Vegas (for a fee), please be prepared to leave by 9:00am. Estimated arrival time at McCarren International Airport is 2:00pm, barring road closures and traffic. Please do not schedule flight departures earlier than 5:00pm. For participants departing on their own, hotel check-out is 11:00am. A safe journey to the next destination is wished for all participants and hopefully, you'll continue your Road Scholar experiences and perhaps return again!

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
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
1 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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