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Hiking the High Desert: Joshua Tree National Park

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Program #20819RJ

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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. 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.
Marie from Huntington Beach, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
Hallie from Huntington Beach Number of programs attended: 1 Date: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15 What a great way to regenerate the soul and revive the spirit with a perfect mix of challenging hikes and stunning vistas, knowledgeable and interesting guides and a wonderfully diverse and engaging group of fellow participants. Exactly what I'd hoped for(and needed..) Will definitely do this again.

Frank from Palo Alto, CA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
This was an excellent program. If you need somewhere to simplify and hike for a week, it would be very difficult to find a better experience. Bruce and Jeff were outstanding leaders and very well organized. They overcame any obstacles and kept the group upbeat, fun and supportive. Both the hikes and the desert this time of year were renewing and beautiful. Highly recommended.

Sheryl from Los Altos, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
This trip was beyond my expectations. Both Bruce and Jeff were excellent knowledgeable leaders of the trails and plants. All four hikes were fun and very diverse. Fellow hikers were very supportive of each other scrambling over boulders and climbing up and down ladders. A great hiking trip not to be missed. I had so much fun I am ready to go on another hiking trip with Road Scholar.

Kay from Sterling, CO Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
Fabulous program. Bruce Banker and Jeff Strang are excellent leaders. Congenial group of exceptionally bright participants. Hiking as advertised . Entire program was quite fun.

Eileen from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 26
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 03/20/15
This is an excellent and very active hiking program. We had four days of hiking in such varied terrain -- winding around and over the marvelous rock formations in Joshua Tree, hiking through a narrow slot canyon (at times requiring some rock scrambling and making use of several ladders), walking through an amazing palm oasis, enjoying the high pine forests and views at the top of the aerial tramway, and even enjoying a picnic lunch beside a swiftly flowing creek among the palm trees. While some portions of the hikes were more challenging than moderate, less strenuous options were offered to those who wanted them. The accommodations and food were fine, with particularly good sack lunches. The guides, Stewart and Matt, were patient, encouraging, and eager to share their knowledge of the history, geology, and plant life surrounding us on our hikes. As on all Road Scholar trips, the participants were a welcoming, fun, and interesting group. I have posted pictures of the trip at https://roadscholarjoshuatree.shutterfly.com/.

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.

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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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