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Desert Landscapes: Valley of Fire, Death Valley and the Colorado River

Program Number: 15710RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/4/2013 - 2/10/2013; 1/18/2015 - 1/24/2015; 2/17/2015 - 2/23/2015; 10/20/2015 - 10/26/2015; 11/9/2015 - 11/15/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Price starting at: $1,186.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; Outdoor Adventures, Misc.; Walking/Hiking; Water Sports
Meals: 15; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

From the sand dunes and stone of Death Valley National Park to the banks of the Colorado River waters tamed by Hoover Dam, walk, hike, and float through some of the most remarkable landscapes in the U.S. With our instructor, discover the forces at work in these starkly contrasting environments.




Highlights

• Discover Death Valley one of the most unique & hottest places on earth, visit the lowest point in the western hemisphere 282 feet below sea level near Badwater.
• Hike through the Valley of Fire among vivid 3,000-year-old petroglyphs.
• Enjoy a float trip on the Colorado River through the sheer cliffs and multicolored rocks of Black Canyon.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to two miles over varied terrain.




Date Specific Information

1-18-2015, 2-17-2015, 10-20-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



11-9-2015

This program date includes entrance fee into the Death Valley 49'er encampment events which will be in progress during our stay in Death Valley. These three days are filled with events including old-time and western-style music, an Invitational Western Art Show, craft shows, golf tournament, wheelbarrow and prospector's races, a pioneer costume contest, wagon train and horse parades, community breakfasts and our Worlds Lowest 1849 Poker Tournament.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Las Vegas, 3 nights; coach to Death Valley National Park, 3 nights; return by coach to Las Vegas, independent departures.



Coordinated by Dixie State University.




Death Valley National Park

Death Valley, a place of unexpected contrasts, is also one of subtle beauty. From the blush of dawn's light across its badlands to the awe-inspiring red-gold sunsets and the riot of color from spring wildflowers, this great national park covering over 3.3 million miles offers fascinating history and nature's splendor in large servings.



Las Vegas (Nevada)

Located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Between the world-class entertainment and gambling on “The Strip” and the region’s amazing natural resources including beautiful Red Rock Canyon it is clear why people love this desert community.



Accommodations
Las Vegas: Non-casino hotel a few blocks from the strip with free shuttle to and from airport. Death Valley: Furnace Creek Ranch situated in a lush oasis.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Darrell McMahon

Darrell McMahon has worked in natural resource management for more than three decades and has extensive experience as a wildlife biologist, entomologist and habitat biologist. In addition to teaching college courses in geology and natural history, Darrell has taught at Dixie State University and Southern Utah University the past seven years and has knowledge of natural history, forest ecology and wildlife.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Alexis Park Resort
  Las Vegas, NV 2 nights
   Furnace Creek Ranch
  Death Valley National Park 2 nights
   Alexis Park Resort
  Las Vegas, NV 2 nights
 Alexis Park Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Welcome to the Alexis Park All Suite Resort, one of the most exciting resorts in Las Vegas. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort is the premiere all-suite, non-gaming resort in Las Vegas. Unrivaled in its Las Vegas Strip proximity (directly across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel) the Alexis Park All Suite Resort features all the hotel amenities along with casual boutique hotel services. From the moment you arrive at this oasis in the sun, you will experience all that makes Alexis Park All Suite Resort a special place to stay. Here, you’ll love strolling through the lush courtyard gardens surrounded by winding pathways that lead you to three sparkling pools. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort offers one-on-one personalized service, the privacy and convenience of a tropical oasis with immediate easy access to all that Las Vegas has to offer.
  Contact info: 375 East Harmon Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89169 USA
phone: 702-796-3300
web: www.alexispark.com
  Room amenities: The Alexis Park All Suite Resort was the first non-gaming resort property in Las Vegas. With a long history of boutique experiences and guests, the hotel has been providing quality hotel service and hosting events in Las Vegas for several decades. Guests may stroll beautifully landscaped gardens to access a variety of relaxing and stylish choices in accommodations. Boasting 10 uniquely different floor plans and guest amenities to suit a variety of hotel stays, our guests can count on a comfortable and memorable Alexis Park Hotel experience. All of our Las Vegas hotel rooms are two room suites providing guests with spacious accommodations and privacy along with amenities for both Extended Stays and Last minute Getaways alike. All Hotel Suites at the Alexis Park Las Vegas include: Two Telephone Lines Wet Bar Refrigerator 32" Flat Screen with Pay Per View Movies WIFI Availability for a fee Exercise Room Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service Available All Guests of Alexis Park have access to Room Service, Guest Services, Free Safe Deposit Boxes and Business Center Services
  Facility amenities: The Alexis Park All Suite Las Vegas Resort is your oasis in the sun. Here, you'll enjoy walking along the lush courtyard garden pathways that lead you to our three sparkling pools. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort offers one-on-one personalized service, tropical landscaped grounds and FUN....LOTS OF IT. Resort Amenities include: Three Sparkling Swimming Pools Exercise Room Alexis Gardens Restaurant Pegasus Bar & Lounge Room Service Meeting & Banquet Service Las Vegas Comedy Showroom Free Airport Shuttle
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $90.00 for dbl, $65 for single Based on availability, participants can book 3 days prior to program start date and/or 3 days after program end date at contracted suite price of $90 per night double occupancy or $65 per night single occupancy.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $90.00 for dbl, $65 for single Based on availability, participants can book 3 days prior to program start date and/or 3 days after program end date at contracted suite price of $90 per night double occupancy or $65 per night single occupancy.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Furnace Creek Ranch
Type: Inn
  Description: The Furnace Creek Ranch is family oriented 224 room facility situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California - just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This resort presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape and consists of an oasis 18-hole golf course (the world's lowest course at 214 feet below sea level), four restaurants, a saloon, a cocktail lounge, retail outlets, a Borax Museum, spring-fed swimming pools, tennis courts, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, massage therapy, a 3,000 foot airstrip, a service station and conference and banquet facilities for 10 - 120. (Some services are available only on a seasonal basis.) Furnace Creek Ranch Resort is the perfect vantage point from which to explore Death Valley National Park!
  Contact info: Furnace Creek Village Rte 190
Furnace Creek, CA 92328 USA
phone: 760-786-2361
web: www.furnacecreekresort.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have views of the beautiful surroundings, nicely decorated. Wireless internet access available for a fee.
  Facility amenities: On site restaurants, adjacent to the Death Valley National Park Visitor Center and Borax Museum. Warm springs fed swimming pool and wireless internet access available for a fee.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel conference room at 4:00 pm. You will be staying at Alexis Park Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast at 08:00AM. You will be staying at Alexis Park Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking for the week is provided at Las Vegas hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Las Vegas, NV
  Nearest city or town:  In Las Vegas
  Nearest highway: I-15
  Nearest airport:  McCarran Intl, Las Vegas
  From End of Program
  Location: Las Vegas, NV
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Las Vegas

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Alexis Park Resort Shuttle
phone: 702-796-3300

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complementry
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2.5 miles

   

The Alexis Park Hotel Shuttle departs every hour on the hour from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Please call hotel when you arrive in baggage claim. Shuttle picks up at Zero Level. (See attached schedule for changes) Before or after hours take Belltrans Shuttle which runs 24 hours per day. They are located outside door 9 of the baggage claim area. Look for the "Bell Booth". (Cost is $7.00 subject to change)

 

Las Vegas

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Alexis Park Resort Shuttle
phone: 702-796-3300

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complementary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2.5 miles

   

The Alexis Park Hotel Shuttle departs every hour on the hour from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Please check with the front desk to set up your airport shuttle. Shuttle drops off at Zero Level. Before or after hours take Belltrans Shuttle which runs 24 hours per day. Call and reserve a time the day before departure at (800) 274-7433 (Cost is $7.00 subject to change)

 
Driving Directions
  The Alexis Park All Suite Resort is easy to find: From Southern California - Take Interstate 15 from the California State border into Las Vegas and exit onto E. Tropicana, turn left on Koval and right onto E. Harmon Avenue. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on the right side. From Southern Utah (St. George) - Take Interstate 15 South into Las Vegas and exit onto E. Flamingo Road, turn right on Koval and proceed to E. Harmon Avenue. Turn left onto E. Harmon Avenue and the Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on the right side. From Northern Nevada (Tonapah) - Take Highway 95 South into Las Vegas and proceed to Interstate 15 South to Exit 39 on E. Flamingo Road. Right onto Koval and proceed to E. Harmon Avenue, turn left onto E. Harmon Avenue and the Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on the right side. From Northern Arizona (Kingman via Boulder City, NV) - Take Highway 93 North through Boulder City, NV and into Las Vegas. Take Highway 215 West to Highway 15 North. Exit E. Tropicana and turn left onto Koval and proceed to E. Harmon Avenue. Turn right on E. Harmon Avenue and Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on right side. From Las Vegas Airport - Exit Airport traveling north on Paradise Road. Travel one mile on Paradise and turn left on E. Harmon Avenue Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on left side.
Elevation Note: We travel from 2200 ft in Las Vegas to over 5500 ft. We walk/hike to see the natural beauty.

Equipment Requirements: There is not any special equipment required for this program but we suggest broken-in walking shoes/hiking boots with good tread and a hiking pole if available.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive, check in and welcome
(Monday, February 4)
   
 Afternoon: 3:00-4:00 Arrive and check-in at the Hotel. 4:00 Welcome and introductions in the meeting room.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Gather for a program orientation and introductions in the hotel meeting room.
   
Accommodations: Alexis Park Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Travel to the Valley of Fire for hiking among colorful rocks and unique formations.
(Tuesday, February 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast.
 Morning: Travel with your geologist to the Valley of Fire. Explore the unique formations and view fascinating petroglyphs, including Mouse's Tank, officially known as Petroglyph Canyon. It is located in a rather unique position between two canyons of different elevations. Thus one side faces a sheer cliff of about 50 feet and the other side is a half mile long box canyon. It is named 'The Mouse's Tank' because an alleged Southern Paiute Indian renegade named 'Little Mouse' hid out there in the 1890's.
 Lunch: Box lunch in the Park.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the brilliant landscape with the geologist on short hikes/walks to include White Dome. Learn about Death Valley Geology on the bus trip back to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner.
 Evening: 7:00 pm - Evening Ecology presentation with Darrell McMahon.
   
Accommodations: Alexis Park Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Death Valley National Park/Death Valley Visitor Center/Borax Museum
(Wednesday, February 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast.
 Morning: Check out 8:15 Depart Travel to Death Valley National Park. Hike Badwater & Natural Bridge.
 Lunch: Lunch.
 Afternoon: Learn about the fascinating human history, 20-mule teams, Borax Works and visit the Borax Museum. View a spectacular sunset at Zambriskie Point.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Enjoy Death Valley Evening Ranger Programs.
   
Accommodations: Furnace Creek Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Scotty's Castle, living history tour of this fascinating landmark
(Thursday, February 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast.
 Morning: 8:15 Depart. Travel to Scotty's Castle. Our guided tours begin at Explore Scotty's Castle! Enjoy a living history tour of this fascinating land mark!
 Lunch: Lunch.
 Afternoon: Hike and explore Ubehebe Crater, Stovepipe Wells, and Mesquite Sand Dunes. "How Animals Communicate" presentation by Darrell McMahon
 Dinner: Dinner at Furnace Creek Ranch
 Evening: Enjoy Death Valley Evening Ranger Programs.
   
Accommodations: Furnace Creek Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Explore Death Valley's Willow Canyon, then return to Las Vegas.
(Friday, February 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast.
 Morning: Check out 8:00 am Depart for one last hike in Death Valley, Willow Canyon. Willow Canyon is a treat that contrasts with other canyons in the Black Mountains of Death Valley. It is one of the few with flowing water. There is more vegetation than the other canyons and a few water falls.
 Lunch: Box Lunch in the Park.
 Afternoon: Return back to Las Vegas, check in and get settled into your room.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Have a free evening to relax or explore.
   
Accommodations: Alexis Park Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Geology excursion - flat water float trip on the Colorado River through Black Canyon. Visit Hoover Dam's visitor center.
(Saturday, February 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: 8:15 Depart. Enjoy an incredible day in the majestic beauty of Black Canyon! Flat water float trip on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam with our geologist!
 Lunch: Lunch on the shores of the Colorado river.
 Afternoon: Following lunch continue the float trip. After float trip visit the Hoover Dam visitor center to learn more about this engineering marvel. Return to hotel
 Dinner: Dinner.
 Evening: Enjoy closing dinner.
   
Accommodations: Alexis Park Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Breakfast at hotel from 7:00 - 8:00 am, then independent departures after breakfast.
(Sunday, February 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast.
 Morning: Check out at your leisure. Program ends following breakfast.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Las Vegas, NV LasVegas.com
**PLEASE NOTE: There is very little free time during this program. The free time options found on this website are helpful if you plan to spend additional time before or after the program. For additional information, visit www.lasvegas.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Trip Through Death Valley's Geologic Past


Author: Kenneth E. Lengner


Description: This is a chronological trip through the geological history of the Death Valley region. It departs from the typical geological history by anchoring the text to a series of rock samples, dating from an estimated 2.5 billion years old to the present. Numerous photographs of rock samples and historical photos are used to delve into the past. An enlightening and entertaining trip through Death Valley's geological past for geology enthusiasts.



An Introduction To The Geology Of Death Valley


Author: Michael Collier


Description: Captures the drama of the processes that are constantly changing Death Valley's landscape. Michael Collier creatively weaves an account of Death Valley's one-hundred-and-fifty-year mining history into the one-and-a-half-billion-year geologic history of the valley. Through his writing and his perceptive observations of a slowly evolving landscape, there emerges a fresh perspective on Death Valley.



Death Valley A Scenic Wonderland


Author: Steven L. Walker, Dorothy K. Hilburn


Description: A brief history of early inhabitants, fourty-niners, geography, geology, flora, fauna, miners, Scotty's Castle and the National Park. Beautiful photographs highlight the geological, geographical and historical history of Death Valley.



Death Valley: Images of America


Author: Robert P. Palazzo


Description: Robert P. Palazzo, Death Valley scholar, evokes here in vintage imagery a stark, barren, desolate wasteland that gradually became one of the West's most iconic destinations. This book includes an extensive collection of rare photographs that shows Death Valley's geological features, notable personalities, industries, mysteries and tourism. This book is a rare visual record of Death Valley.



Deserts, National Audubon Society Nature Guide


Author: James A. MacMahon


Description: A comprehensive field guide, fully illustrated with color photographs, to the wildflowers, birds, reptiles, insects and other natural wonders of North America's deserts.



Geology Underfoot In Death Valley and Owens Valley


Author: Robert P. Sharp and Allen F. Glazner


Description: Thirty driving and walking tours weave the tale of a geological feature in the land of extremes in Eastern California. Some chapters spotlight the earth-sculpturing role of volcanoes and earthquakes: lava columns and fault scarps. Others focus on powerful geological processes that shatter boulders by salt crystals and smooth rocks that have been blasted by windblown sand.



Geology of Death Valley National Park, Second Edition


Author: Marli B. Miller, Lauren A. Wright


Description: This book will help you to get to know Death Valley National Park in a unique way through amazing photographs and detailed descriptions of its world class geology. Includes six different road guides for your tour of Death Valley. Detailed geology is highlighted. Geologists and non-geologists alike will be impressed by the incredible variety of geologic features and the fascinating history behind the landscape we know today as Death Valley.



Mojave Desert Wildflowers


Author: Jon Mark Stewart


Description: A field guide to high desert wildflowers of California, Nevada and Arizona. The beautiful photographs glorify the diversity of desert plant life in the Mojave desert. The guide is designed to be used easily by the wildflower novice, and accurate enough for the seasoned botanist. Chapters are arranged by flower colors. This allows plants that are similar in color and appearance to be grouped together, easing identification.



Wildflowers Of The Desert Southwest


Author: Meg Quinn


Description: Field guide to 80 of the most common flowers of the Chihuahuan, Mojave and Sonoran deserts.





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