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Hiking the High Desert: Joshua Tree National Park

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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.
Connie from Bozeman, MT Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 03/20/15
My husband and I had a wonderful time on this trip. The hikes were as described, moderately challenging, and we found the Joshua Tree Park rocks, plants, and lizards fascinating. The tram was exciting, and both evening talks were interesting and educational. Our guides, Stewart and Matt, did an all around superb job. We enjoyed the accommodations and food at Miracle Springs, and the group was friendly and enthusiastic. Only recommendation I have to make the trip even better is to have it be six days instead of five, with an afternoon and evening free so people could enjoy the pools or just relax and read. We were on the go non-stop!

Rachna from Orleans, ON Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/11/14 - 11/16/14
A great program. I loved all the hikes. Some definitely had challenging components, such as scrambling over rocks, and even ledges, but the group leaders, Stewart and David were excellent and guided us through with precision and patience. I stretched myself and enjoyed it thoroughly. Although this is graded moderate/challenging, I found that the challenging stretches were just right, in that there weren't too many long stretches of challenging terrain. All four days of hiking were fantastic in landscape that was new to me. I particularly loved Joshua Tree Park, with its otherworldly rock formations and the Joshua trees. The group leaders were professional, knowledgable, friendly and approachable and they made this trip. They catered well to the varying levels of hikers. I would unhesitatingly recommend this program, but be aware that there is some rock scrambling involved. The accommodation at Miracle Hot Springs Resort was good, the best part being the several hot tubs with varying degrees of hot water. They were divine to soak in after a long day of hiking.

Margaret from Sacramento, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/11/14 - 11/16/14
Fantastic very active program hiking in amazing desert areas. Stewart and Dave were excellent group leaders. Highly recommend this program.

Charles from Sacramento, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/11/14 - 11/16/14
This was an excellent program providing hikes in spectacular desert areas. Everyday was full of new adventures. Our group leaders Stewart Lasseter and Dave Hall added immeasurably to the whole experience. The accommodations and food at the Desert Springs Resort are terrific. Enjoyed soaking in the mineral spring fed pools after hiking.

Jane from Farmington, CT Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 03/18/14 - 03/23/14
Program was delightful and leaders were excellent. The weather was fantastic. We went to escape the winter and we did - very enjoyable.

Judith from Dallas, GA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/10/13 - 11/15/13
Since my husband and I love to hike, we chose this trip as our first Road Scholar adventure. We are hooked! Our small group of 18 was delightful, and our group leaders, Bruce and Stewart, made certain we ended our trip as "one big happy family." Both Bruce and Stewart were extremely capable, professional tour leaders, and our Joshua Tree NP guide, Mark, likewise was an expert leader who knew everything about this gorgeous, intriguing national park. I highly recommend this Small Group tour, and I certainly again would do this one.

Charlene from Wayne, NE Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 03/23/14 - 03/28/14
This was an overwhelmingly positive experience. The guides know the geology and plants of the region. They knew where to take us to see the wildflower bloom even though this was not a stellar wildflower year in many southern California locations because of the dry conditions. They knew right where to go. The size of the hiking group (15) made the hikes pleasant and relaxed. The spas were a lovely experience after a day of hiking.

Patty from Camino, CA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 03/23/14 - 03/28/14
you will love the ladders!

Linda from Sausalito, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 03/18/14 - 03/23/14
Really enjoyed this hiking trip. The leaders were very experienced and professional and provided a well-organized and fun trip. There was a variety of locations and types of terrain. I would definitely take another trip with this group.

Marietta from Saint Paul, MN Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/18/14 - 03/23/14
This hiking adventure was outstanding for anyone who enjoys serious hiking. It is moderately challenging with full day hikes...with plenty of stops for information, demonstration, water and food. And a wide variety of geography and vistas. The educational component was beyond expectations with a wide spectrum of topics related to the desert, the cultural history,the ecology, the mountains, the flora, the geology. With a great mixture of serious information and fun. Weather was dry and hot, but lots of water and sunscreen were mandatory. Fun and diverse group of hikers! And the Palm Springs Market and the date shakes were a PLUS.

Linda from Reno, NV Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 03/18/14 - 03/23/14
This trip is interesting and well organized. The hikes were fantastic. and I was especially impressed with the educational component.

Russell from La Mesa, CA Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 11/15/13 - 11/20/13
An excellent program. Pleasant and knowledgable leaders and lecturers; Hikes provided good exercise and interesting topography; Enjoyable group of hikers.

Dennis from Dallas, GA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/10/13 - 11/15/13
My wife and I had an excellent time. We love the southwest area of the country and have wanted to visit Joshua Tree for twenty years. The leaders knew a lot about the area and were fun to be with. We did a good amount of hiking (up to 5 miles) and the tram ride up to Mt. San Jacinto was quite an experience, the first for the both of us. The evening trip (including a fine dinner) to the Palm Springs fair was enjoyable; we just wish we had a little more time that night. The hotel (Miracle Resort) accommodations were not *** star but the food in the restaurant were excellent. Since we spent most of the time in the field, the comfort of the rooms wasn't a big concern. The breakfast buffet was very good (several choices) and one could have more than one helping to "fuel up" for a day of hiking. Interacting with the other hikers during the day helped to establish friendships, some that will last past Joshua Tree.

Margaret from Salinas, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 11/10/13 - 11/15/13
I do not like hiking! This program convinced me it is fun and exposed me to a whole new perspective on hiking. I enjoyed this outing with these hikers! Try it. you may like it.

John from Salinas, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 11/10/13 - 11/15/13
It was so interesting & stimulating to re-discover the truly unique beauty of the desert. This in itself was a treat.

Jacquelin from San Jose, CA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 03/22/13 - 03/27/13
Road Scholar has provided me with trips to locations I would not have gone by myself. In addition, I also learned much information about the location. The leaders for each trip haves been knowledgable and supportive. The other participants have many of the same interests and are friendly.

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"Claret Cup cactus" Uploaded By: Charlene
"Claret Cup cactus" Uploaded By: Charlene

"Happy Road Scholar hikers in Joshua Tree National Park March 2013" Uploaded By: Road

"Cholla along the Pine City Trail in Joshua Tree National Park March 2013" Uploaded By: Road

"View over the Coachella Valley from the Top of the Palm Springs Tram March 2013" Uploaded By: Paula

"We were there (in the Whitewater Preserve) March 2013" Uploaded By: Paula

"The group 'resting' after hiking at the top of the Palm Springs Tram March 2013" Uploaded By: Paula

"Joshua Tree in bloom March 2013" Uploaded By: Paula

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

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


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