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On the Road: America’s Great Deserts and Their National Parks

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Program #13480RJ

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10 Days | 9 Nights
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. 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.
Cynthia from Denver, CO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/23/16 - 02/01/16
This was a wonderful program that introduced me to the variety of desert settings in the southwest. It was well-paced and excellently led by Bruce Banker, our leader. I look forward to taking more Road Scholar trips: this was my first!

Dennis from Sterling Hts, MI Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 01/23/16 - 02/01/16
If you like deserts or if you would like to experience desert envoirnments in a pleasant and informative way, this is the program for you. There are many beautiful sights on this tour and the tour director is really good. You will have fun!

Sandra from Wilmington, DE Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/23/16 - 02/01/16
Great introduction to the deserts, National Parks and other historical and environmentally interesting locations in America's vast southwest.

Sharon from ADA, MN Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 02/28/15 - 03/09/15
This program was a delight to participate in. The diversity of southwest deserts was more than I had expected. The tour guide was knowledgeable and did an excellent job helping us understand what we were seeing and experiencing.

Michael from Saint Paul, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/14/15 - 02/23/15
If you to get an up close and personal experience of deserts from knowledgeable people this is the way to go.

Marion from Bingham Farms, MI Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 02/28/15 - 03/09/15
Just returned from On the Road: America's Great Deserts and their National Parks. A great experience both educationally and spiritually. The desert/mountain environment is visually beautiful and imaginative.

Joyce from La Crosse, WI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/14/15 - 02/23/15
It was a wonderful program! We got to experience something very few people do experience which was rain in Death Valley. The deserts were amazing! There was so much to see. The hike into the canyon gave us up close views of rocks and their formations and gave us a clue as to how hot it can get.

Lauren from Sarasota, FL Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 02/14/15 - 02/23/15
The variety of adaptations to the desert by plants, animals and people is fascinating. Our tour leaders, Bruce Banker, David Best and our bus driver Ray Coin were all seasoned leaders who paced the trip very well. The accommodations were quite roomy, with internet access readily available from the rooms. Food was tasty and in large portions. Transitions from one hotel to the next went very smoothly. Our speakers were well versed in their fields, and told some amusing anecdotes to make their points. The participants in our group of 36 were all well traveled, very punctual and able to adapt to various changes in the schedule. The days flew by quickly!

Barbara from Raleigh, NC Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/24/15 - 02/02/15
This was our fifth Road Scholar trip. We appreciated the variety of places we went, the beauty of the national and state parks, and the combination of getting out in nature and background learning that prepared us for those experiences. Jeff, Dave, and Ray were a great team. As the leader, Jeff was organized, friendly, calm, and highly responsive to individual interests, questions, and needs. Dave's background in geology also strengthened the content of the trip. Highly recommended.

Paul from Raleigh, NC Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/24/15 - 02/02/15
This program was well organized and had a good pace. We saw a wide variety of of sites and landscapes. The activity level was accurately described in the program material and right for me. I would highly recommend this program. Jeff Strang is a very good leader.

Louis from Gloucester, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/15/14
A good education about the deserts and a great experience in touring and hiking in the three deserts we visited. I would recommend the program to anyone wanting to visit the Southwest. Everything about it was outstanding.

Walter from Nashua, NH Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/15/14
This was a wonderful trip. It was our 7th Road Scholar trip, and we recommend it highly. We like the longer trips, and this one gave us enough time in each place. The tour leaders were excellent, and we learned a lot of new things.

Sharon from Dallas, TX Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/15/14
This adventure in the desert of the Southwest was my 2nd favorite of the 5 Road Scholar trips I have taken. (Sorry, but "5 Days, 5 Boroughs, a Walking Tour of New York City" was my fav.) We experienced the beauty of 3 National Parks in 4 of the 5 deserts in North America, each with its own unique features. Each was enchanting in its own way. We hiked in desert washes, to an oasis, along the Colorado River, in sand dunes, up canyons, and along the rim of a volcano. Where else can you experience all that in only 10 short days? Our guides, Matt and Dave, we so knowledgeable about the area that they made the whole desert come alive. I was particularly interested in the geological features, and they answered all my questions and more. Our evening speakers added another layer of expertise and knowledge to the adventure of touring the SW. Bring your water bottle, sun protection, walking poles, hiking boots/shoes, and sense of adventure on this trip and you will have a great time.

Sandy from San Pedro, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/15/14
If you have never seen the desert and have dreamed of going to Death Valley do it at once. It is beautiful, scary, amazing, BIG and wonderful. You will not believe that you are hiking the dunes, climbing the cliffs pushing yourself and loving it!! Don't forget a great attitude, layers to wear and a water bottle. Have fun!

Nanci from Elyria, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/15/14 - 02/24/14
I could not have been happier with my tour and my experiences. I loved everywhere we went and everything we did and saw. Our tour director, Matt Turner, was organized, knowledgeable, interesting and friendly.

John from Naperville, IL Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 02/15/14 - 02/24/14
An excellent tour facilitated by an excellent tour leader, Matt Turner. Matt did a fantastic job combining the desert's history, geology, botany, and biology into an easy to understand experience. The program was enhanced by the 80 degree temperatures we encountered while Chicago was in the worst deep freeze in many years!

Anne from Brownsville, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/15/14 - 02/24/14
I learned about a part of the country I'd never have visited otherwise. We had nine days with a really neat bunch of people. We had insider looks at everything from Hoover Dam & the Colorado River, to Scotty's unbelievable Castle in the desert. We enjoyed natural hot tubs, we saw Joshua trees in bloom and hummingbirds nesting a foot away, we even rode an aerial tram from 230 feet below sea level to 8,000 feet above. Wow! And if you have a chance to take any tour with Matt Turner and with Ray Coin as driver, jump at it!

Nancy from Rockford, IL Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 02/15/14 - 02/24/14
If you have always desired a visit to the desert region of the USA, this program is a must. You will be amazed as the diversity of the desert regions. Hopefully, you will be graced with a wonderful moderator as we were in program#13480. Each detail of the program was undeniably well planned and executed.

Patricia from New City, NY Number of programs attended: 23
Date attended: 02/01/14 - 02/10/14
This program deserved a solid 5 stars. Our leaders Bruce and Dave were friendly , knowledgeable and well organized.They had lots of energy and seemed to enjoy leading us. The food and lodgings were superb. The activities were varied and the scenery was spectacular. Pat from NY

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"Ubehebe Crater" Uploaded By: Sharon
"Ubehebe Crater" Uploaded By: Sharon

"Saguaro Cactus at Saguaro National Park" Uploaded By: Sharon

"Wonderful geological features everywhere we went" Uploaded By: Sharon

"Algondones Dunes" Uploaded By: William

"Road to Death Valley" Uploaded By: Carol

"Algodones Sand Dunes" Uploaded By: Carol

"Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park, CA" Uploaded By: Linda

"Lunch at Kelso Depot. Loved this spot. It has a wonderful museum too." Uploaded By: Linda

"PRICELESS! My tour group looking at Zabriski Point, Death Valley National Park, CA" Uploaded By: Linda

"White gold - Harmony Borax Works, 1883-1888. The 20 Mule Train. Death Valley National Park, CA I love the vista!" Uploaded By: Linda

"Stovepipe Wells Sand Dunes, Death Valley, CA. A sand storm moving in! Very exciting!" Uploaded By: Linda

"Scotty's Castle" Uploaded By: Linda

"Golden Valley, Death Valley" Uploaded By: Linda

"Salt Flats, Badwater, Death Valley" Uploaded By: Linda

"Zabriskie Point, Death Valley" Uploaded By: Linda

"Hidden Valley Joshua Tree" Uploaded By: Linda

"Another photo of Jeff Strang at the top of the mountain" Uploaded By: Lynne

Uploaded By: Lynne

"A very large sandbox to play in or to ride your dune buggy in~!" Uploaded By: Lynne

"Jeff Strang, our tour leader for "America's Great Deserts and Their National Parks"." Uploaded By: Lynne

"Joan hiking Golden Canyon" Uploaded By: Lynne

"Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes - Death Valley" Uploaded By: David

"Ubehebe Crater - Death Valley" Uploaded By: David

"Kabriskie Point - Death Valley" Uploaded By: David

"Imperial Sand Dunes" Uploaded By: David

"Salton Sea" Uploaded By: David

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
9 nights of accommodations
25 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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