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Hiking Death Valley National Park and the Valley of Fire

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Road Scholar
Program #7608RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging (Variable by Program Date)
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.
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.

Mary from Tallahassee, FL Number of programs attended: 23
Date attended: 02/03/14 - 02/08/14
What a great trip! Valley of Fire much more extensive and interesting then expected, and Death Valley was amazing. Furnace Creek Ranch accommodations worked well, and buffet meals there were generous and varied. Great leaders: Darrell and Paula McMahon and driver, Paul Peterson. Very well designed itinerary.

Rebecca from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/20/14 - 01/25/14
Thanks to the group leaders Darrell and Paula, we had a thoroughly educational and physically challenging vacation in Death Valley. Loved it and look forward to our next Road Scholar trip.

Gertrude from Monticello, NM Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/20/14 - 01/25/14
Death Valley and the Valley of Fire are very different landscapes with different histories. Paula and Darrell led an interesting variety of hikes. Being based in Las Vegas for two nights was a bonus. Skip the uninteresting dinners and see "The Strip". Furnace Creek Ranch was great. It has a large spring fed pool and a variety of restaurant. The Borax museum is on the property and the informative Park visitor center is in walking distance. The longest hike was six miles.

Lauren from Glenview, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/20/14 - 01/25/14
Death Valley was awesome, Darrell & Paula made a great team in coordinating the trip. Their knowledge and experience added greatly. The hiking level was at a pace most moderately active people could enjoy. We are looking forward to our next adventure

Duane from Blue Bell, PA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 01/20/14 - 01/25/14
Having traveled both internationally and domestically, Death Valley is one of the most fascinating location we have visited. The landscape is varied and is amazing to witness. Accommodations in the Furnace Ranch were enjoyable. Coupled with an excellent geologist who was knowledgable in all aspects of Death Valley, and a series of short hikes and walks, we would recommend this tour to all age groups. Note: This is not a difficult hiking tour.

Katharine from Washington, DC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/06/14 - 01/11/14
Stunning scenery, well-planned hikes and walks of varying length, excellent guide team and driver, informative videos shown en route in the new coach, fascinating visits to historic landmarks, super-nice group, perfect weather -- all combined to make this a truly inspiring trip, which I highly recommend.

Linda from Yardley, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/06/14 - 01/11/14
Leave it to mother nature to create such beauty in a desolate place. You are in for a surprise. Throw in two exceptional guides who were well informed and shared a sense of humor. I had a wonderful week.

Philip from Chevy Chase, MD Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/06/14 - 01/11/14
My wife and I were very pleased with this program; it combined hiking, learning and simply having fun with a good group of people. Guide Darrell was superb -- knowledgable, dedicated and sharing. January is a perfect time for the trip -- great weather in Death Valley, cold and gray back home. Anyone with reasonable hiking skills should be able to manage the physical challenges. A special highlight for me was using my camera; now the challenge is to sort out the pictures, some of which I will post.

Ayana from Rockville, MD Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/06/14 - 01/11/14
Ayana from Bethesda MD This is the trip for people who love what a very varied desert landscape has to offer and enjoy spending most of the day in the very great outdoors. The guides were very informative, playful and caring. We stayed in Furnace Creek Resort which has a great swimming pool fed by warm water springs. By all means, bring a swimming suit if you enjoy a swim after a day of hiking.

Premsri from Saint Louis, MO Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 01/06/14 - 01/11/14
It was a wonderful trip. The scenery/geology was outstanding. Darrell did a god job telling us about the formation of the landscape.

Carol from West Deptford, NJ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/06/14 - 01/11/14
A great introduction to Death Valley by a seasoned team. Their expertise helped me develop a beginner's understanding of whatnI was seeing, and it was remarkable. The hikes were moderate, as the information packet suggests. One more day would have been a great bonus.

Robert from Nepean, ON Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 10/28/13 - 11/02/13
Activity Level is misleading and should be more accurately described as Active. Gower Gulch was the longest hike, and at 2 miles was the only one long enough to entail lunch along the trail. The others were less than half this distance, several considerably less. I was looking forward to the hike down into Ubehebe Crater, but after a tedious conducted tour of Scotty's Castle we only had time for a hike up to Little Ubehebe and back. More like a sightseeing program, very disappointing.

Road Scholar's response:
The activities that week were impacted by flooding: this necessitated more drive time and shorter hikes. This is very much a hiking program, although to better cater to mixed ability levels we have now set aside the Nov 10, 2014 date for a more leisurely pace.
Bianca from Saint Paul, MN Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 11/11/13 - 11/16/13
comfortable hiking in a magnificent desert environment

angelo from Brooklyn, NY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/28/13 - 11/02/13
I am looking forward to taking another trip with Darrell and Paula McMahon.

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