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Hiking Death Valley National Park and the Valley of Fire

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Road Scholar
Program #7608RJ

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6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging (Variable by Program Date)
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. 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.
Cathleen from Upper Darby, PA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/31/16 - 02/06/16
What an awesome trip! Death Valley is breathtakingly beautiful! Our group leaders, Darrel and Paula, were the best, and our excellent bus driver, Paul added to create an entertaining and informative trio. They were extremely flexible and accommodating to everyone on the trip, especially to me, as I was somewhat of a wayward child who came more for the photography than the hiking, but discovered because of their flexibility I was able to do both. The overwhelming impression of Death Valley shared by most everyone in my group was that, what they experienced, was not what they had expected. Death Valley is full of majesty and beauty. Yes, it is first and foremost a desert, but geology, time, and nature herself have transformed much of it into a captivating, regal, and colorful landscape which contains the "salt of the earth", and where, even wildflowers bloom. My heart has been forever touched by this valley...and I didn't even mention the stars...

Adam from Raleigh, NC Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/31/16 - 02/06/16
We were on the "active" trip, which was just right for us seniors collecting RMDs. Bring your hiking boots. Be amazed at Paula hiking in her open-toed sandals.

Cherrie from Fergus Falls, MN Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 01/17/16 - 01/23/16
If you're fascinated by geology, this is the program for you. If you are looking for a hiking experience, please be aware that there will be many pauses! Also, you will not visit Scotty's Castle, as it may be a long time before the flood damage can be repaired. That being said, the new leaders are competent, the accommodations are comfortable, the food is fine, and the scenery is spectacular!

Joan from San Francisco, CA Number of programs attended: 20
Date attended: 01/17/16 - 01/23/16
This was an excellent program. Marcia, David and Kelly were outstanding.

Thomas from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 01/03/16 - 01/09/16
A marvelously and surprisingly diverse environment. Deserts, of course, but also mountains, canyons, volcanic bowls, natural bridges, etc. The geology is fantastic. The natural beauty, for me, even more so. The leaders are knowledgeable, attentive, and wonderful planners. Overall, a superb trip - highly recommended.

Nancy from Arlington, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/16 - 01/09/16
If you are at all interested in geology, this is an awesome trip for you. If you are only interested in the hiking part of the trip, this is still the trip for you! A great experience all around.

Thomas from Rensselaer, NY Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 11/15/15 - 11/21/15
The educational value about the geology, biology, and history of Death Valley is exceptional.

Leonard from Gaithersburg, MD Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 11/15/15 - 11/21/15
This hiking and sightseeing trip to Death Valley was just the right level for us. Our experienced leaders Paula and Darrell kept us informed about what we were looking at, and led us on some spectacular hikes. The pace was good, the hikes were not strenuous, and the other participants were quite interesting. The trip was a nice balance of time spent in Las Vegas and Death Valley. I particularly enjoyed Darrell's lectures and commentary about the geology of Death Valley. I went out to stargaze at 4:30 AM the last 3 mornings in Furnace Creek, and was delighted to see so many stars plus the Milky Way! Cannot see that back here.

Rebecca from Stockton, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/07/15 - 03/13/15
This was a great trip. Our trip was at the Active activity level which does include some shorter hikes with options to go further if desired. The weather was much warmer than normal on a few days. I was delighted to find some wild flowers in bloom - not the lush growth after a really wet winter but pleasing just the same. Our tour leaders were great and added special little surprises along the way. Death Valley is a place of great contrasts and unique beauty. I enjoyed reading about before I went and then seeing and hearing more of the legends and history of the area.

Dotty from Manchester, MA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/23/15 - 03/01/15
What a wonderful time I had on this program. Death Valley is rugged and beautiful with an amazingly varied landscape. Our experienced leaders, Paula and Darrell, kept us well fed, well informed, and on the move through each day of carefully planned activities. I particularly enjoyed Darrell's interactive approach to learning and Paula's beautiful flute playing in the canyons. The hikes could be strenuous at times but there was flexibility for those of us who wanted a more leisurely pace. As a person traveling alone, I felt welcome in the group and enjoyed meeting interesting people from all over the United States. This was my first trip to the deserts of the South West and I am already planning a return trip with Road Scholar.

Brenda from Little Rock, AR Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 02/23/15 - 03/01/15
This is a terrific program. Darrell and Paula are great and the hikes are fantastic. Some of them pushed my limits some but it was always ok to go back or wait for folks to return on the hikes.

Lee from Phoenix, AZ Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/07/15 - 03/13/15
An incredible setting! A must see! Hiking not very strenuous.

Road Scholar's response:
Hi Lee, Thank you for your feedback! To address your comment about the hikes, please know that we have designed this program so that participants may choose between dates rated as "Moderately Challenging" (for hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go) or "Active" (for people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail). We're glad to hear that you enjoyed the program and chose the date with the activity level that was right for you!
Rodney from Los Angeles, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 03/01/15 - 03/07/15
19 photos from Death Valley National Park: http://goo.gl/gzBSV7 View the photos individually to see the captions. Two photos from Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada: http://goo.gl/ZUoEMe Three photos from Las Vegas: http://goo.gl/wZRGDj

Barbara from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/24/15 - 01/30/15
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip: knowledgeable and attentive leaders, fascinating hikes, and a delightful group of fellow travelers. I returned home with a new appreciation of the region's history, geology and fragile eco-systems. Highly recommended!

Donald from Middleton, WI Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/24/15 - 01/30/15
A superb program, with outstanding and supportive leaders. Death Valley is not only a valley, and it is certainly not dead! So much to discover! Sign up and find out. This program was most interesting and stimulating in all respects.

Ralph from Stoddard, WI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/02/15 - 02/08/15
Though we walked through the Valley of Death, we feared not, for we were led and fed and watered well by our Road Scholar Leaders! Enjoyable hiking and geological learning.

Linda from Ithaca, NY Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 01/12/15 - 01/18/15
This was a great winter escape for me. I loved being outdoors everyday in the most amazing scenery. I learned a lot of geology - painlessly. Who knew the US had so many, many rocks in so many colors and shapes?

Chris from Hummelstown, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/02/15 - 02/08/15
If you're looking for stunning desert scenery and pleasant hiking during the day, but good food and comfortable accommodations at night, send in your deposit NOW!

Lorraine from Chapel Hill, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/24/15 - 01/30/15
Each day I was in awe at the beauty I saw on this trip. I had driven through Death Valley many years ago but did not get to explore it. This was a most satisfying trip and I loved the level of activity.

Steve from Iowa City, IA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/17/14 - 11/22/14
I really enjoyed taking part in the program. The time went quickly. The leaders were excellent. They were out-going and knowledgeable. They left me wanting to learn more. I ordered books about the area during the course of the trip and am glad that they were on my doorstep when I arrived home.

Barbara from New Orleans, LA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/27/14 - 11/01/14
Late October was a beautiful time to be hiking in Valley of Fire and Death Valley with Darrell and Paula McMahon, two fantastic, talented guides for a very memorable trip. I would go hiking with them anytime!

Gay from Fond du Lac, WI Number of programs attended: 20
Date attended: 02/27/14 - 03/04/14
Very nice mix of hiking and non-hiking. I would agree with the activity level being MODERATELY CHALLENGING. Hiking sticks very helpful.

Mary from Walnut Creek, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/03/14 - 02/08/14
Death Valley is a beautiful and exciting place to visit. Darrel McMahon, our guide, has an amazing depth of knowledge about desert geology, biology and history. He is articulate, engaging, funny and an extraordinary person. Darrell uses a mix of teaching techniques, including dressing in costume, acting out the roles of historical characters, videos on the bus to educate and pass the ride time, and in-the-field explanations of the rocks, animals, plants and history of the area. He made me want to learn much more about desert geology and ecology. Our three guides, Darrell, Paula, and Paul were a great team. The motel rooms were spacious, clean, and comfortable. The hiking trips presented fascinating venues. This trip made me want to learn much more about geology and desert ecology.

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"Barren Beauty" Uploaded By: Cathleen
"Barren Beauty" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Mud Walkway formed from flash floods (Gower Gulch)" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Desert Glory" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Even in the desert, it is possible to bloom." Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Sand in the Valley of Fire formed from a violent storm the night before" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Desert Bloom" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Valley of Fire" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Wildflowers" Uploaded By: Cathleen

"Spring flower" Uploaded By: Rebecca

"Sunset from Furnace Creek Ranch" Uploaded By: Rebecca

"Manley Beacon Death Valley March 20, 2015" Uploaded By: Dotty

"Hiking Uhebe March 20, 2015" Uploaded By: Dotty

"Our group - DV Hike Nov. 17-22, 2014" Uploaded By: Judith

"Prem encounters Buddhist monks from her native Thailand" Uploaded By: Philip

"282 feet below sea level" Uploaded By: Philip

"Rock formations" Uploaded By: Philip

"Hiking the White Domes Trail, Valley of Fire" Uploaded By: Philip

"Darrell provides a geology lesson" Uploaded By: Philip

"Looking at petroglyphs in the Valley of Fire outside Las Vegas" Uploaded By: Philip

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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
12 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips


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