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DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Hiking Death Valley National Park

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Walking/Hiking

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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 reqd. 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. Be sure to review "What to Bring to Death Valley" in your welcome packet.

Itinerary for Jan 19 — Jan 24, 2014

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Type: Hotel

Description: Hotel Casino offers refrigerators in each room, large bathrooms, TV, jacuzzi tub and pool. Some internet access available through phone lines in room. For more information: www.gohike.org

Contact info:
Highway 95, North
Beatty, NV 89003 USA
phone: 775-553-2419
Room amenities: TV, phone, refrigerators, large bathrooms, closets, windows.

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

Additional nights before: $60.00 approx.
Please contact hotel directly @ 1-800-424-4946

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, January 19 - Check-in and Orientation
Arrive To: Please check into hotel between 3:00 pm and 4:45 pm on Sunday. Welcome Reception will be held in the Sage Room, located behind the Casino Lounge, and will begin at 5:30 pm. Program Registration will be at this time and you'll receive your nametag then. You'll have the opportunity to meet other participants and program staff. We'll meet, do the introductions of participants and staff, then have dinner. We'll then continue with the Orientation Program at about 7:30 pm. We'll conclude at about 9:00 pm. Times may vary due to a variety of conditions. Please be ready to be flexible.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the Stagecoach Hotel Casino. Dinner will be explained during the Welcome Reception for all participants and staff in the Sage Room at 5:30 pm. Lunches will be provided daily and handled by the program staff and volunteers. Dinners include a variety of meals, including salads, main courses, meats, chicken, fish, pastas or rice, and vegetables. Special diets cannot be accommodated in this program; if you have any special dietary needs or requests, you will need to bring those items with you to the program. Participants have in-room refrigerators for any special meal items.

Evening: 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, locations (in detail) and how the week will work. Many participants who have not ever been to fabulous Death Valley National Park will have several questions. We'll take time to answer them 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!

Lodging: Stagecoach Hotel/Casino

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Hotel Casino offers refrigerators in each room, large bathrooms, TV, jacuzzi tub and pool. Some internet access available through phone lines in room. For more information: www.gohike.org

Contact info:
Highway 95, North
Beatty, NV 89003 USA
phone: 775-553-2419
Room amenities: TV, phone, refrigerators, large bathrooms, closets, windows.

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

Additional nights before: $60.00 approx.
Please contact hotel directly @ 1-800-424-4946

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, January 20 - First hike of the week! Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes...
First hike of the week! Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: Discover "why they're here!", then to Furnace Creek Ranch, Badwater (lowest place in the Northern Hemisphere @ 282' below sea level. Return to hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast is anytime you choose, providing you can be ready to depart the hotel at 8:00 am daily. The cafe is open 24 hours daily and some participants like to go very early, some a little later. You can coordinate with others as to the time you wish to meet in the dining room for breakfast. Meal vouchers are used for breakfast meals. They include a variety of choices. Breakfast consists of some of the following: egg breakfasts, pancakes, oatmeal, cold cereal, etc. Yogurt & fruit. Coffee, tea, or milk is also included. If you have special dietary needs, please arrange to bring those items with you and you can store them in your in-room refrigerator. The restaurant at the hotel/casino cannot accommodate special dietary needs. Please contact the program administrator if you have any questions 775-764-0726

Morning: Vans are opened and ready to board at 7:50 am, and we'll be leaving the hotel at 8:00 am, we enter Death Valley through Daylight Pass and see the first sighting of Telescope Peak (11,049') across the valley. Our stops will include: Hell's Gate, then a hike on the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes to explore the variety of vistas and get the first stretching in for the day! These dunes are extraordinary and a fabulous location for photos and exploration. Here, you'll be able to explore on your own with some peace and quiet, or go in small groups and look for some of the abundant animal tracks found in this area. Discover how many animals live and hunt in the dunes; some are nocturnal and some are busy during the day! Or perhaps challenge yourself to get to the top of Star Dune! (Remember, all times and itineraries may change) Then we head to the Furnace Creek Ranch grounds for lunch and the Park Visitor Center. You might even visit the Harmony Borax Museum, where you could rediscover the hilarity of the old TV shows: "Death Valley Days"! Then we head to Badwater, the lowest place in the Northern Hemisphere, at 282' below sea level! Walk out onto the basin and marvel at this location in Death Valley. We'll drive along the winding Artist's Palette road, a colorful and wondrous area of Death Valley, filled with corals, blues, greens, lilacs, pinks and see the 'palette' of color laid down in the valley by volcanic deposits.....it's breathtaking and a fabulous photo opportunity! Then off to Furnace Creek Ranch for a brief stop before returning to the hotel. All itineraries may change due to weather, timing, etc. Please be flexible.

Lunch: Staff picks up lunches in the morning and transports them for you. Lunch will either be during a hike or at another location. If you are on special diets and require special foods and accompaniments, you will need to bring them with you daily. If you have any further questions about lunches or meals during the program, feel free to call the program coordinator at 775-764-0726. All times and locations may vary; please be flexible

Afternoon: Itineraries change sometimes, due to daylight hours and groups. We may do the Artist's Palette along Artist's Drive: 'painted' blues, greens, lilacs, pinks and take time to enjoy the 'palette' of color laid down in the valley by volcanic deposits.....or the Borax Museum, or the Harmony Borax Works.....actual site of some of the Borax Mining operations in the Park. We'll stop at Furnace Creek Ranch then return to Beatty for dinner and the evening program. All times and itineraries may change; please be flexible.

Dinner: Returning to the hotel at approximately5:00-5:30 pm, or so; dinner is approximately 6:30 pm. Again, special diets cannot be accommodated in the hotel restaurant. Dress for dinner is casual.......there is no need to feel like you need to "dress up" for your evenings in Beatty. Prepare to be comfortable throughout this program. All times and itineraries may vary.

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 Evening Program, which may be a comprehensive film about the geology of Death Valley. While all evening programs 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 vary.

Lodging: Stagecoach Hotel/Casino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Hotel Casino offers refrigerators in each room, large bathrooms, TV, jacuzzi tub and pool. Some internet access available through phone lines in room. For more information: www.gohike.org

Contact info:
Highway 95, North
Beatty, NV 89003 USA
phone: 775-553-2419
Room amenities: TV, phone, refrigerators, large bathrooms, closets, windows.

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

Additional nights before: $60.00 approx.
Please contact hotel directly @ 1-800-424-4946

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, January 21 - Hike in Salt Creek area where the '49ers traverse...
Hike in Salt Creek area where the '49ers traversed in 1849! Then lunch and on to magnificent Mosaic Canyon with its twisting narrows and vast geology! Return to hotel for an dinner and an evening program.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at any time you choose, as long as you're completed and ready to leave the hotel at 8:00 am daily. Your breakfast voucher is all you need to take to breakfast! The vans will be opened for you at 7:50 with the engines running and heat on (if needed). At this time, you can store your day's gear and prepare to depart. We ask that all participants be on time so we can take advantage of the maximum amount of daylight hours for the program. Thanks! All times and itineraries may change.

Morning: Salt Creek offers yet another type of terrain! This is a 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! You'll hike along Salt Creek, home to one of five species of Pupfish....yes, there ARE fish in Death Valley! (of course, that's seasonally!) Then you'll cross the salt flats to the waterway where you may see birds and other living animals such as coyotes or lizards, all dependent on seasons, rainfall, migration patterns, etc. A full sun hike; you'll need plenty of water, a wide-brimmed sun hat, sunglasses, and sun protection for this one! We'll review this the night before at the evening program. This is a great place to hike in Death Valley with a wide variety of unique sights!! Great for photos, great hike and a very different area than what most people expect to see in Death Valley. All times and itineraries may change.

Lunch: Lunch stop 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 1920's; one of the many areas built during that era to bring tourism into Death Valley. Then we're off to beautiful Mosaic Canyon. (Remember, all times and itineraries may change)

Afternoon: Touch and feel the Noonday Dolomite.....some of which is 750 million years old as you hike into MOSAIC CANYON! This beautiful and spectacular canyon will allow you to discover some of the geologic wonders of Death Valley inside Tucki Mountain while experiencing one of the valley's most beautiful and diverse canyons. Marvel at the power of water, silt, and erosion as you meander and some of you make your way to the end of the canyon. This is the afternoon hike and we allow plenty of time to explore, hike the canyon and look at plant life, look for birds, perhaps even a Big Horn Sheep! After a quick stop at Stovepipe Wells Resort, we'll return to the hotel for dinner and the evening program. (Remember, all times and itineraries may change)

Dinner: After being gone all day, we'll return and have dinner at the hotel. Please make sure you arrive on time to complete your meal and be at the evening program that may be scheduled for this evening. All times and itineraries may change.

Evening: This evening you'll experience a program 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.......so be prepared for an informative evening, regardless of the topic or method. All times and itineraries may change.

Lodging: Stagecoach Hotel/Casino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Hotel Casino offers refrigerators in each room, large bathrooms, TV, jacuzzi tub and pool. Some internet access available through phone lines in room. For more information: www.gohike.org

Contact info:
Highway 95, North
Beatty, NV 89003 USA
phone: 775-553-2419
Room amenities: TV, phone, refrigerators, large bathrooms, closets, windows.

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

Additional nights before: $60.00 approx.
Please contact hotel directly @ 1-800-424-4946

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, January 22 - Ubehebe Craters Hike/At the Castle!/Historic Scot...
Ubehebe Craters Hike/At the Castle!/Historic Scotty's Castle Tour/A night on your own!

Breakfast: Completed and ready to board vans at 7:50 am, leave at 8:00 am.

Morning: This is a fabulous site to behold! Stand and look into the 1/2 mile wide crater, 700' deep and see the magnitude of the explosion that created this huge "hold in the ground". There are many optional hikes here: Around the Crater, Up to the top edge to see Ubehebe and Little Hebe and others, or down into its core! Fast hikers sometimes have time to do more than one choice.....the options are yours. This is a sight in Death Valley everyone should have the chance to see! The experience of the solitude as you hike around the crater and/or stop and spend time to just "enjoy" the scenery is magnificent! All times and itineraries may change.

Lunch: Picnic with sack lunches at the tables on the grounds of famous Scotty's Castle! This unique and wonderful castle built in the 1920's-1930"s in the heart of the northern end of Death Valley is a beautiful setting to have lunch, then explore the grounds. We may even see coyotes, birds and other wildlife at this great place that has an abundance of water! Interesting, Historical and Peaceful! Take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery and marvel at how the grounds were designed to utilize water and its environment. All times and itineraries may vary.

Afternoon: Scotty's Castle is a must on your trip to Death Valley National Park. It is one of the major human history stories in the park, sharing the mistique of Death Valley with many others who have left their mark, both before and after the Castle was built! Tour this historic "Castle", just one more facet of the interesting and diverse human history of Death Valley National Park. Your "interpretive tour" includes a trip through history inside the castle and is led by National Park Rangers. Dressed in "period clothing" they discuss the history of how the "castle" was built and imaginative relationship shared between Walter Scott, "Scotty" and Albert Johnson, his wealthy friend and "investor" from Chicago! Learn all about the by-gone days of Death Valley Scotty and Scotty's Castle. You can 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! The location is great! There is another gift shop unique to Scotty's Castle, hosted by the Death Valley Natural History Association, and a Park Visitor Center manned by Park Rangers. Then we'll return to the hotel. All times and itineraries may change.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel, unless otherwise noted. All times and itineraries may change.

Evening: Wednesday evening is a time when there is no evening program! We have found that participants enjoy having an evening off to relax, read, or visit with other participants, gathering at the jacuzzi, spending time alone, getting ready for Thursday's big hike,......whatever you feel like doing. Dinner is still scheduled for 6:30 pm, followed by a brief descripton of Thursday's hike, then you can have the night to yourselves. Some participants like to just have a little 'quiet time' for themselves,....get together, have some laughs, relax, etc.! Whatever you prefer, the night is yours to enjoy. BUT, do get rested for the grand hike on Thursday!! Remember, all times and itineraries may change.

Lodging: Stagecoach Hotel/Casino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Hotel Casino offers refrigerators in each room, large bathrooms, TV, jacuzzi tub and pool. Some internet access available through phone lines in room. For more information: www.gohike.org

Contact info:
Highway 95, North
Beatty, NV 89003 USA
phone: 775-553-2419
Room amenities: TV, phone, refrigerators, large bathrooms, closets, windows.

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

Additional nights before: $60.00 approx.
Please contact hotel directly @ 1-800-424-4946

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, January 23 - Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Gower Gulch Hikes...
Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Gower Gulch Hikes/Lunch at Zabriskie Point (or other location)/Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Gower Gulch/Sage Room Closing Program

Breakfast: Completed and ready to board the vans at 7:50 am, leave at 8:00 am.

Morning: A quick stop at the Furnace Creek Ranch or Furnace Creek Visitor Center, then off to beautiful Golden Canyon for the hike through the Canyon, along Manly Beacon up to Zabriskie Point, and return to the parking area through Gower Gulch! Hikers will carry lunches and PLENTY of water on this hike if doing the entire loop. This hike is approx 7.5+ miles over a variety of terrain, some elevation gains and some exciting canyons. There will also be options for this event where participants can opt out of a portion, if desired, and you can opt back in for more hiking again. If not, other activities may be available. All details of the options will be covered prior to the hike. This is a magnificant hike through even more diverse terrain in Death Valley and offers some of the most spectacular vistas for photographers! Be sure to pack the camera for all of the hikes! Lunch is scheduled for the outlook at Zabriskie Point, overlooking the layered and colorful terrain looking west into the park. Then continue on the hike down Gower Gulch. Remember, all times and itineraries may change.

Lunch: Hikers will carry their lunch & plently of water in packs on this hike if doing the entire loop. There are options for hikes on this day that will be covered in detail prior to beginning the hike(s). If anyone wishes to omit part of the hike, they may do so and rejoin the group at another location in this area. This postcard-perfect view during lunch is a perfect place to sit, enjoy, rest and take those photos! A magnificent and very famous place in Death Valley National Park, one we know you'll enjoy! Remember, all times and itineraries may change.

Afternoon: Hike from Zabriskie Point down Gower Gulch. During the 1940's a diversion canal was designed to divert water away from the Furnace Creek areas. As a result, the extra water has carved and exposed magnificant geological features in this deep canyon with great views. There are many exploratory mines in Gower Gulch as people were looking for more Borax in this vicinity, along with the wide variety of color in the canyon as a result of the mineral deposits in this area. Complete the Golden Canyon Loop Hike by exiting from Gower Gulch! A stop at Furnace Creek Ranch enroute back to the hotel, completes the afternoon. Some may want to take time to have a cool ice cream or refreshment from the General Store.....relax, cool off and get ready for the return ride to the hotel. All times and itineraries may change.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel after returning from a fabulous day of hiking and accomplishments! Join fellow participants for early "happy hour" then have dinner and gather in the meeting room (staff will notify you of the exact time) for the exciting "week in review" and prepare for the following morning's event. We still have the next day to discover even more information about the ghost town of Rhyolite and the Beatty Museum.....a great way to end the program! All times and itineraries may change.

Evening: This is the conclusion program and a wrap up discussion of your week. A must to attend and have some fun as we look back at your week! Meet in the Sage Room after dinner: 7:30 pm While we call this the "closing program" there is still another important site to see on Friday morning. This is the tour of the remains of the historic town of Rhyolite, onced billed as "the Chicago of the West"! See next day for more details about this activity. All times and itineraries may change.

Lodging: Stagecoach Hotel/Casino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, January 24 - Ghost Town of Rhyolite/On the Road/Group has depa...
Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room. Please pack your luggage and prepare to leave for Ryholite at 8:30 am. Those driving from the program, please check out and pack your cars before Rhyolite. Those boarding the shuttle vans to Las Vegas, please pack your luggage and leave them in your room. Upon return to hotel from Rhyolite, you will then load them into the van, then proceed to check out of the hotel at the registration desk.

Morning: Take a guided tour of the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada, billed to be the "Chicago of the West" in the early 1900's. Gold found in the Bullfrog district by Shorty Harris led to the move west to find gold in Rhyolite, once boasting 10,000 people! So what happened to them? What was the demise of Rhyolite? See one of the best preserved 'bottle houses'.....yes a house made of bottles! This is another example of the human history of the area. Why did they come, why did they leave? Then a quick stop at the Beatty Museum (dependent on time) and back to the hotel, returning approx. 10:30 am. People in vans to Las Vegas, load luggage into vans, then check out of hotel. Departure to Las Vegas is planned for 11:00 am. Program concludes when we return to the hotel from Rhyolite. This is when we all say our "goodbyes" and leave Beatty. Times and itineraries may change.

Lunch: Lunches are provided for participants that complete the program by attending the walk through Rhyolite, then the Museum (unless they elect to not order lunch at all). Those on the shuttle to Las Vegas will have their lunch en route, most likely at Indian Springs; those driving will have their's on their road trip. Those leaving the program early (prior to the visit to Rhyolite) will purchase lunch on their own en route to their next destination.

Afternoon: No afternoon activities. 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, Lunch

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
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips
7 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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