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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 Nov 10 — Nov 15, 2013

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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: Sunday, November 10 - 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 option will be available nightly.

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: Monday, November 11 - Hike in Joshua Tree National Park
Note: Mileage for today's hike will vary (4 - 6.5 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, and search for the perfect combination where it comes together in an oasis of bounty.

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 program on the Geology, Human History or Natural History of the 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 Three: Tuesday, November 12 - Hiking in the "Indian Canyons" - Palm Canyon
Note: Today's hike will be on established trails. Elevation change of approximately 400 feet. Mileage between 5 - 6.5 miles.

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 into the Agua Caliente "Indian Canyons" just a couple of miles south of downtown Palm Springs. The highlight of the Indian Canyons is "Palm Canyon", where the largest oasis in the world of the California Palm tree is found. Palm Canyon is quite magnificent. It is cool and mostly shady, filled with fan palms of all sizes next to a stream which still has pools and springs in mid summer. Other plants are found here, including reeds around the water, and willow & cottonwood trees on the slopes, though the palms dominate. Some small groups grow higher up the hillsides or along short side canyons, where underground water is available.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue our hike.

Dinner: Dinner will be at a local Mexican restaurant.

Evening: Evening program on the Geology, Human History or Natural History of the 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 Four: Wednesday, November 13 - Hike Joshua Tree National Park
Note: Mileage for today's hike will vary (4 - 6.5 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 Queen Mountain, Lost Horse Mine trail, 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; between the rocks the ground is covered by coarse whitish sand through which cacti, bushes and wildflowers grow. 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 at the restaurant on site at Miracle Springs Resort

Evening: Evening program on the Geology, Human History or Natural History of the 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: Thursday, November 14 - Hiking in Mt. Jacinto State Park, via the Palm Sp...
Note: Mileage for today's hike will depend on the weather conditions at high elevations. If the trails are clear we will hike on established tails through an alpine forest. If the trails are snow covered then we will spend less time hiking at altitude and will include a lower elevation desert hike for the day.

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 access our trail head via 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. Hiking of approximately 5 miles in mostly rolling terrain.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue our hike, exploring Long and Round Valley's before returning to the canyon floor below via the Tram, returning to hotel in the afternoon. NOTE: As we will be at a high elevation, should inclement weather be in the forecast we will switch today's hike to lower elevation.

Dinner: Tonight we will take participants to the "Palm Springs VillageFest'. This weekly street fair is consistently voted as Palm Springs number one community event featuring arts, crafts, food, and entertainment! Tonight's dinner is not included in the program price as the street fair offers numerous opportunities for participants to try a large variety of meal options.

Evening: Enjoy the VillageFest and return to hotel by 8:00 PM.

Lodging: Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Six: Friday, November 15 - 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: 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
2 Expert-led lectures
4 Field trips

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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