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DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Hiking Death Valley National Park

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CA

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Walking/Hiking

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$700 - $1000

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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.
Yolanda from Albuquerque, NM Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/12/14
Death Valley is more than a desert. The geologic makeup of the area is amazing! The landscape is like looking at the greatest artist's paintings. I could sit and contemplate life while being at Dante's View!

Georgia from Bakersfield, CA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/12/14
This is a wonderful way to experience the magnificent Death Valley in all it's diversity. Talks about history and fascinating geology concurrent with hikes and visits to many areas within the park.

Richard from Dallas, TX Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/19/14 - 10/24/14
It was an excellent program. Death Valley is a fascinating place. The hikes were varied, interesting, and just the right distances for us. The accommodations were good. The food, including the salads for lunch, was good. The amount of free time was appropriate. The other participants were friendly, interesting people. We were very satisfied with the whole experience. We learned that the Manzanar National Historic Site is close by and wish that we had planned a visit there either before or after the program.

Melvin from East Lansing, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/09/14 - 03/14/14
THE DEATH VALLEY PROGRAM ALLOWS YOU TO EXPERIENCE HIKING AND APPRECIATING THE NATURAL WONDERS OF THE PARK THAT A QUICK DRIVE THROUGH VISIT WOULD NEVER ALLOW.

Carol from Citrus Heights, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/02/14 - 03/07/14
If you like hiking, if you like beautiful landscape, if you like adventure...join this program! It was the highlight of my year. Death Valley is nothing like I imagined, and it will be forever in my list of favorite trips.

Nancy from Centerville, KS Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/21/14
This was our 1st Road Scholar trip. We will definitely do more ( already signed up for 2 more)! What I liked was seeing was such a variety of terrain each day. The hiking choices for each day let you decide how adventurous you wanted to be. No pressure to do more than you felt comfortable with. Saw bighorn sheep 3 times. Our main guide Jay was outstanding!! He went above and beyond to show us as much as possible.

Michael from Normal, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/21/14
Good people and good trip. The national park was interesting, with a rugged beauty and history. The people, both the staff, and the other participants, are what made the course great. Way to go.

Jack from Belmont, MI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/21/14
A great variety of hikes, mixed in with some "touristy" things as well. Our guide was a retired Death Valley ranger who knew the Valley and its secrets extremely well. We saw things most people wouldn't even know about. While you need to be fit, the staff was very good about providing both challenging hikes and somewhat easier hikes, and you didn't feel pushed into one or the other.

Donna from Gainesville, GA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 02/09/14 - 02/14/14
My 1st Road Scholar trip and I am hooked. So fortunate we were booked into Furnace Creek Ranch for lodging and meals. Staff was great, excited and passionate to show us Death Valley. I can't imagine a better way to experience Death Valley without the knowledge that was given to us each day. The hikes led to amazing sights and views. Each morning and afternoon activity felt like I had gone to a completely different place. The highs and lows, salt and sand, creeks and volcanos, each one leaving a different impression on me. Having one staff member as a former NPS ranger certainly took us to things we would have never seen on our own. The mix of participants, the staff and the accommodations gives this trip a A+++ for me.

Rick from Evanston, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/02/14 - 02/07/14
I would agree with all the previous reviews and add only that JJ and her entire crew went out of their way to see to our every need and to make the experience very enjoyable. The stories of our may guide were both entertaining and informative.

Demetria from Wilmington, NC Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 02/02/14 - 02/07/14
This is a winner. A great balance of physical activity (hiking with some rock scrambling) with education (history, botany, geology, and wildlife). Staff most accommodating. Instructor was unbelievable. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, charismatic.

Seth from Happy Valley, OR Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 02/09/14 - 02/14/14
This is a must-do program. It is absolutely the best way to get around in and appreciate the variety of amazing sights in this park, with a great staff and excellent accommodations.

Susan from Happy Valley, OR Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 02/09/14 - 02/14/14
While I agree with Virginia from the Nov 2013 trip that there is not as much hiking as some of the other moderately-challenging rated hiking trips, I believe it was correctly rated. I enjoyed the combination of sight-seeing as well as hiking and the many and varied hiking opportunities. Our main guide for this trip was a former NPS Ranger who was fabulous. He knew the park intimately and shared his passion for education. All the staff went out of their way for participants Lodging at Furnace Creek was excellent. Breakfast and dinners were excellent. Lunches were ok. Well organized. Recommended.

Andrew from Lubbock, TX Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/24/14
Amazingly worthwhile! Loved it.

Terrie from San Diego, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/12/14 - 01/17/14
The entire experience was exhilarating. The group leader, JJ, organized and planned every detail so that we could relax and enjoy the trip. Our driver, Dominic, was always cheerful and courteous. The lectures were varied and interesting. On each hike we walked through geologic marvels at every turn. The beauty and uniqueness of Death Valley amazed everyone in our group.The hikes were as described, moderately challenging. I am glad that I chose Road Scholar to learn about this national treasure, Death Valley.

Jaime from San Diego, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/12/14 - 01/17/14
Exceeded all my expectations in every possible (and positive) way. Death Valley is a life changing experience .. Road Scholar team was excellent , fellow travelers were awesome ... weather cooperated ... so all in all ..it doesn't get any better than that ... CHEERS !

Linda from San Jose, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/12/14 - 01/17/14
This was my first Road Scholar trip. It exceeded my expectation. The hikes were perfect. I recommend this trip.

Barbara from Ruskin, FL Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 12/15/13 - 12/20/13
I wanted to be challenged and Death Valley gave them to me. I jumped for joy, with our director J.J', at the end of the first trail. How wonderful. Went with out preconceived ideas about this beautiful Vally, the colors, plants, animals and differing terrain made each day amazing. Plan to return during the spring when the wild flowers bloom.

Bruce from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/15/13 - 12/20/13
The beauty of Death Valley National Park, as viewed from a van, is incredible. With changing light, the colors and contrasts become even stronger. But then to hike in those colorful hills, in the eroded slot canyons, or along the crests of sand dune - that is when the close up sweat, beauty, quiet and sheer wonder of the site comes home.

Philip from Evanston, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/08/13 - 12/13/13
Death Valley is a terrific place to hike and see life, water and desert you can not find anywhere else in the world. It is a gem if you want wilderness with geology and ecology that makes you appreciate our good earth.

Melvin from Casa Grande, AZ Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 11/17/13 - 11/22/13
This was our first experience with a "moderately Challenging" level program and it had the amount of activity we had anticipated. The program and leaders were great.

Virginia from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 11/17/13 - 11/22/13
Death Valley National Park is magnificent. The only fault I found with this trip is in the titled description. Having participated in 9 other Road Scholar hiking trips, this is not a hiking trip. It is a sightseeing/hiking trip – more emphasis on sightseeing than hiking. I understand this trip has a different provider from previous years, and in my observation, the 3 primary staff members this year were not hikers. They were enthusiastic, friendly and sincere, but most of them had never hiked many of the trails listed in the itinerary. In my other hiking adventures with Road Scholar, the provider had guides who were experienced, knowledgeable of the area and were experts in very specific fields. I think the itinerary covered all the highlights of the area and it was amazing to walk on the sand dunes and drive through some very scenic areas, but most of the time I felt I was on a tour bus and I did not think the trip was advertised as such. Staying inside the park was a plus and keeping the group size to 18 or fewer is essential.

Marilyn from La Marque, TX Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 11/17/13 - 11/22/13
This was a very good trip. We even had a photographer. It was a great group of leaders and participants.

Barbara from Carle Place, NY Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 03/03/13 - 03/08/13
Highly recommend the Death Valley Hiking program for outdoor enthusiasts!Magnificent vistas, congenial leaders, an unforgettable experience!

Michael from Palos Heights, IL Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 03/17/13 - 03/22/13
The Death Valley Road Scholar trip was fabulous! Great guides, endlessly interesting landscape--not much choice in lodging or food, which is fine for this trip. This was on my wife's bucket list, but I sure am glad she dragged me along. She had to drag me away, too! I hope to return some day to do the "challenging" hiking week.

Shirley from South Burlington, VT Number of programs attended: 17
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/15/13
The Death Valley program was my 15th Elderhostel/Road Scholar trip since the mid 1990s. I thought the six leaders were exceptional. They were energetic, enthusiastic, flexible and very organized. They kept us on the move without being overbearing. They provided us with comprehensive materials prior to the program and during the program. For the final night, they put together a great slide show of photos helping us to relive some highlights. Our leaders, paid and volunteer, were a hard-working group of men and women. Above all, they exhibited kindness, courtesy, knowledge of the area, and respect for us and for each other. It was obvious that they all love Death Valley and through their good humored spirit helped all of us to appreciate the beauty, history, geology and diversity of an amazing place. This group could train others how to lead outdoor adventure groups.

Harry from Burke, VA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/15/13
This was a very good program and JJ and her team of 5 assistants provided great leadership. Lodging was basic motel room with fridge, and meals in a Dennys and a local diner were adequate and the trail lunch was a very good and large sandwich. Hikes were up to two a day, and averaged about 3 miles and 600' elevation gain, although few participants did the maximum hiking. The large group of 27 spent about 3 hours a day in 3 crowded vans which were a challenge to get in and out of. Potty stops took a long time at one-hole park facilities. Hiking poles, good boots with good grip, and carrying 1.5-2 liters of water was essential. Hiles were on sand dunes, rocky terrain, tricky ridges, and could involve some scrambling with pushing, pulling, and butt slides. There were some serious hills to climb making this a very honest Level 5, although varying levels of hiking ability were accomodated well. I would recommend this program to the serious hiker who would enjoy desert excursions under somewhat harsh conditions.

Janet from Athens, AL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/15/13
This was my husband's and my 1st RS trip. Leaders were outstanding. Death Valley met our expectations in every way. Hotel and food were fine (no complaints). We would have preferred a smaller group. Collecting 27 participants and 6 leaders and squeezing them in 3 vans takes time.

Gene from Bethesda, MD Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/15/13
A spectacular and unique adventure that fulfilled a long-time interest in seeing this wonderful National Park. Highly recommended for those looking for something out of the ordinary!

Nancy from Lake Tomahawk, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/03/13 - 03/08/13
This was my first Road Scholar program and I am now looking forward to many more. The staff for this program are wonderful, the hiking options accommodate different skill and comfort levels (including fear of heights and ledges!), and Death Valley is a fascinating and diverse national park!

Lawrence from Silver Spring, MD Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/15/13
Death Valley is unlike any other spot in the United States. Combine the unique hikes and the very competent staff of the Death Valley Natural History Association, and you end up with a wonderful adventure. Larry Margasak

Judy from Davis, CA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/03/13 - 03/08/13
Death Valley is such a diverse place to explore. It is still "wild" and a beautiful place to see nature at its extreme. I certainly was introduced to a great national park.

Deborah from San Francisco, CA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 02/10/13 - 02/15/13
My husband and I loved our RS trip to Death Valley. Our expectations were exceeded at every point, and we always felt well cared for and safe, even when we were pushing our personal limits on demanding and extraordinary hikes. The staff was engaging, knowledgeable, and always on top of logistics. Our fellow participants were sympatico and interesting people with whom we looked forward to sharing our adventures. This was our first Road Scholar trip but it will not be our last. We feel the world has opened up to us, now that we know we don't have to all the legwork ourselves.

Patricia from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 12/02/12 - 12/07/12
This was an excellent experience: the staff was exceptional, the participants were interesting and fun, and the loacations for the hikes were awesome.

Martha from Whitehall, MT Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 01/06/13 - 01/11/13
I loved this program! Just the right amount of hiking, learning and sightseeing. It certainly changed my view of what Death Valley really is like. I cannot wait to go back! Martha from Whitehall, Mt.

James from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/06/13 - 01/11/13
Prior to my participation in this five day program, I had always thought of Death Valley as a hot, flat, and desolate place. I no longer view it that way. Our group hiked through sand dunes, canyons, wetlands, salt flats, and volcanic craters, and toured a former vacation mansion known as Scotty's Castle. A ranger regaled us with tales of the '49ers looking for a shortcut to the gold fields and told us of the hardships involved in extracting Borax from the Valley. Two excellent films explained the unique geology found within the park.

The organization of the tour was terrific. Our volunteers’ expertise and knowledge reflected their years of experience. Everything happened as expected and on schedule. The organizers showed respect and concern for the needs of individuals. Hikes were designed in a way that they could be as challenging as an individual participant wanted. To fully enjoy the trip one should be in good physical condition.

Death Valley is the largest National Park in the 'lower 48'. The home base, Beatty, NV, is located outside the park. These facts resulted in long van rides each day; at least an hour each way. The housing and meals were adequate. The hotel rooms were sparse but large and clean. Morning and evening meals were divided between a Denny's and a local restaurant. Sack lunches served during the day were complete and satisfying.

We were fortunate to have good weather. Daytime temperatures were in the 60's. The mornings were chilly. During the day it could be warm in the sun. A visitor should be prepared for occasional heavy winds. Continually drinking water is a must as the dry conditions can lead to rapid dehydration.

Overall, I found the trip to be physically challenging, enlightening, and extremely well organized. If those are things that you are looking for in a Road Scholar excursion, I would highly recommend this one.

Kathy from Dillon, MT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/06/13 - 01/11/13
Having never been to Death Valley National Park, this program included hikes on several different types of terrain Death Valley has to offer. The program was very well organized, the guides were great & worked as a team, the January weather was great & the Stagecoach rooms were very comfortable. I would highly recommend this program. I'm still in awe of the good time I had.


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Our Value Promise To You

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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

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4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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