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Hiking Death Valley National Park and the Valley of Fire

Program Number: 7608RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/3/2014 - 2/8/2014; 10/27/2014 - 11/1/2014; 11/17/2014 - 11/22/2014; 1/12/2015 - 1/18/2015; 1/24/2015 - 1/30/2015; 2/2/2015 - 2/8/2015; 2/23/2015 - 3/1/2015; 3/1/2015 - 3/7/2015; 3/7/2015 - 3/13/2015; 10/26/2015 - 11/1/2015; 11/9/2015 - 11/15/2015; 11/15/2015 - 11/21/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Tread the sands of time to discover Mother Nature’s diverse palette of colorful rock formations in this stunning corner of the desert Southwest. Among layers that span every major geologic era, find history hidden in the rocks. Study geology, ecology and human history through lectures, daily walks and hikes with geologists and other experts in their fields. Travel in our own comfortable Road Scholar 32 passenger bus with an upgraded video/audio system allowing our instructors to teach while "on the go."




Highlights

• Learn why the sun-lit rocks inspired the park’s name “Valley of Fire,” as you view fascinating petroglyphs.
• Find a world of sand dunes, rugged canyons and landscapes carved from primeval rock in Death Valley.
• Hikes include visits to Badwater, White Dome, Mouse Tank, Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, Mesquite Dunes, Grotto Canyon, Mosaic Canyon, Ubehebe Crater, Willow Canyon and Zabriskie Point.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to five miles daily over uneven terrain. Shorter, slower paced hikes on "active" weeks.




Date Specific Information

2-3-2014

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



10-27-2014, 11-17-2014

2014 departures are 5-nights duration, with 3-nights inside the park
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



1-12-2015, 1-24-2015, 2-23-2015, 3-1-2015, 10-26-2015

2015 departures are 6-nights duration, with 4-nights inside the park.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



2-2-2015, 3-7-2015, 11-9-2015

2015 departures are 6-nights duration, with 4-nights inside the park. We will offer shorter hikes and a more leisurely pace on this departure which is in the "active" activity level category.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



11-15-2015

2015 departures are 6-nights duratuion, with 4-nights inside the park.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Las Vegas, 2 nights; coach to Death Valley, Furnace Creek, 3 nights (4-nights in 2015); coach to Las Vegas, departure.



Coordinated by Dixie State University.




Valley of Fire State Park

The oldest state park in Nevada was established in 1935 and is named for its huge red sandstone formations dating to the age of the dinosaurs. The park is home to fine examples of rock art left by ancient Anazasi people who inhabited the nearby Moapa Valley for centuries and may have visited the Valley of Fire for hunting and religious ceremonies.



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, close to strip. Death Valley NP: Furnace Creek Ranch Resort, located inside the park with recently remodeled rooms, in a western themed ranch setting.

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 3 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

 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
  Check out time: 3:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Meet in Hotel Lobby between 3:00 to 5:00 pm You will be staying at Alexis Park Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Las Vegas Intl Airport at 11:00 am (Pacific Time) You will be staying at Furnace Creek Ranch 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
 

To Alexis Park Resort, Las Vegas, NV

 

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:

 

10-15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2.5 miles

   

Complimentary shuttle leaves hotel every hour on the hour from 7 AM to 9 PM. Call Hotel after you retrieve your luggage. Other Commercial services run 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.

 

To Alexis Park Resort, Las Vegas, NV

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Multiple Commercial Van/ Shuttle services available

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx $7 per person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 - 15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2.5 miles

   

Airline Shuttle Corp Strip Hotels: $7 ($13 rt) 24 hours, 7 days a week 888.554.1156 I 702.444.1234 www.airlineshuttlecorp.com Bell Trans Strip hotels: $7 ($13 rt) 24 hours, 7 days a week 800.274.RIDE (7433) 1.702.385.LIMO (5466) www.bell-trans.com Executive las Vegas Strip hotels: $6 ($12 rt) 24 hours, 7 days a week 702.646.4661 www.executivelasvegas.com Showtime Strip hotels: $7 ($13 rt) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 702.895.9976 www.showtimetourslv.com

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Dixie State University Road Scholar Bus

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Free
Prices are subject to change.

   

Our Dixie State Road Scholar Bus will deliver you to the airport or arrival hotel on the final day.

 
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.
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, welcome and orientation
(Monday, February 3)
   
 Afternoon: 3:00-5:00 pm Arrive and check-in
 Dinner: Enjoy a buffet dinner which includes mixed greens with julienned carrots, sliced cucumber, tomato & crisp croutons, rolls & butter, Chicken Piccata, fresh vegetables, cake for dessert and Starbucks coffee or tea.
 Evening: Welcome, introductions and orientation. Followed by an introduction to Geology 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 4)
   
 Breakfast: Alexis Park Breakfast Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, smoked bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.
 Morning: Travel with your geologist to the Valley of Fire. Geology lecture on the bus. Explore the unique formations and view fascinating petroglyphs!
 Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch as you listen to Darrell's "Let's get Wild" lecture.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the brilliant landscape and learn about Desert Ecology with your instructor on short hikes/walks to include White Domes, Mouse Tank and Atlatl Rock.
 Dinner: Enjoy a dinner with fresh salad, Herb Baked Tilapia, rice pilaf, fresh vegetable, rolls & butter, cake for dessert and Starbucks Coffee or tea.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Alexis Park Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Death Valley National Park/Hike Willow Canyon and Badwater Basin.
(Wednesday, February 5)
   
 Breakfast: Alexis Park Breakfast Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, smoked bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.
 Morning: Check out 8:00 am - Depart and travel to Death Valley National Park. Hike Willow Canyon a beautiful 4 mile round trip hike up an alluvial fan, through a deep narrow canyon ending at a 40 ft waterfall. The rock here is well polished with pretty bands of white, red, green, and gray.
 Lunch: Box Lunch on the Trail.
 Afternoon: After lunch explore Badwater basin, noted as the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 feet below sea level. After viewing a beautiful, colorful sunset check into the Furnace Creek Ranch, a hotel nestled against the Funeral Mountains in the heart of Death Valley.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Furnace Creek Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Scotty's Castle, Stovepipe Wells, Mosaic Canyon, and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
(Thursday, February 6)
   
 Breakfast: Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.
 Morning: 8:10 am - Depart and travel to Scotty's Castle. Enjoy a living history tour of this fascinating land mark! After tour hike Ubehebe Crater.
 Lunch: Box Lunch at Stovepipe Wells.
 Afternoon: After lunch hike Mosaic Canyon walled with both mosaic conglomerates and smooth marbleized rocks. We then proceed on to explore the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. These dunes have been used to film sand dune scenes for several movies including the Star Wars series.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Furnace Creek Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Natural Bridge, Gowers Gulch, and Borax Works & Museum.
(Friday, February 7)
   
 Breakfast: Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.
 Morning: 8:00 am - Depart for exploration of Death Valley's Natural Bridge and Gowers Gulch.
 Lunch: Box Lunch on the Trail.
 Afternoon: After lunch learn about the fascinating human history, 20 mule teams, Borax Works and Borax Museum. Hike through the palm grove to visitor center.
 Dinner: Closing Dinner at Wrangler's Steakhouse.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Furnace Creek Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Depart for Las Vegas.
(Saturday, February 8)
   
 Breakfast: Furnace Creek Ranch Breakfast Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, hot & cold cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits & gravy, toast, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea, milk and assorted juices.
 Morning: 8:00 am Depart for Las Vegas, arriving at Las Vegas Airport at 11:30 am.
   
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 noted here are helpful if you plan to spend additional time before or after the program. For additional information, visit www.lasvegas.com
  Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
If you have time to sightsee, this is an extraordinary place to go! A 13,573 square foot, indoor, glass-domed garden abounding in fragrance just beyond Bellagio's lobby. Exotic plants and flowers highlight every season and holiday. Do not miss the evening outdoor Bellagio Foutains and light show all set to music. Be sure to stroll into the lobby to see the stunning display of hanging blown glass flowers! For additional information, visit www.bellagio.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.



Mojave Desert Wildflowers


Author: Jon Mark Stewart


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



Wildflowers of the Desert Southwest


Author: Meg Quinn


Description: A field guide to common desert wildflowers. $9.95



The Practical Geologist


Author: Dougal Dixon, Raymond Bernor


Description: This book is a great introductory guide to the basics of geology. Great diagrams, pictures and is well written. $16.00





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