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Desert National Parks of California

Operated by: Trafalgar

7 Days from $3,001 per person
JAN - DEC 2023
Desert National Parks Of California

Countries Visited

United States ...more United States

Locations Visited

Las Vegas, Death Valley, 29 Palms, Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs, Yucca Valley ...more Las Vegas, Death Valley, 29 Palms, Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs, Yucca Valley
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Las Vegas

    Welcome to Las Vegas! You’ll begin your small group tour – Desert National Parks of California, in the glitzy oasis of Nevada. It’s the city that never sleeps and you’ll be tempted to keep up with its 24/7 pace whether you choose to watch a show, tame Lady Luck or relax at the pool after your travels. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow companions to kickstart your California tour from Las Vegas to Palm Springs. You’ll board the 520-foot giant Ferris wheel that dominates the Las Vegas skyline, watching the city lights of this entertainment capital glimmer and anticipating all the most beautiful places in California you’re about to see.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Horseshoe Las Vegas
  2. Day 2 Immerse yourself in the desert Make Travel Matter Stays With Stories

    Music lovers will adore the MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience this morning at Amargosa Opera House, a labor of love in the most unlikely of destinations, Death Valley Junction. You’ll learn how Marta Becket stumbled on this desolate space decades ago and how the facility still strives to bring the arts and music to this remote place. You’ll leave knowing your visit has helped them achieve their mission for generations to come. Next, make your way to Dante’s View to admire the incredible panoramic views of Death Valley - a land of extremes and one of the must-see places in California. You’ve timed your Death Valley tour from Las Vegas well and the cooler weather this time of year will inspire you to lace up your boots for a short hike to Twenty Mule Team Canyon, stopping at Zabriskie Point where you’ll see the colored contrasts in the rocky landscape at its best. You’ll want to fuel up after your adventure and we’ll make our way back to Furnace Creek for lunch then pass Devil’s Gold Course bound for Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the USA at 282 feet below sea level. You’ll end the day tracing Artist’s Drive picking out the vibrant pink, aqua and purple colors that emerge from the sloping mountainside. Tonight’s Stays With Stories delivers a taste of the Wild West and you’ll stay overnight at The Ranch at Death Valley, a former working ranch and the perfect spot to explore all those Death Valley must-see attractions with ease.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Ranch at Death Valley
  3. Day 3 Explore Death Valley

    There’s much more to see in Death Valley and today’s active tour and hike will deliver beyond your wildest expectations. This morning incredible views of the caldera await, and we’ll walk to Ubehebe Crater, a stunning volcano crater formed by the power of an explosion pit in the heart of Death Valley. It’s an extraordinary sight, but one of many that will be a highlight on today’s walk, including your next stop, the popular Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, one of the most photo-worthy spots in Death Valley National Park a favorite for adventurers who love to sled down the silky dunes. After a day of adventure, you’ll be thrilled with a well-deserved break to spend the afternoon on your terms, whether you choose to spend it at the pool, grabbing a beer at the local saloon, or perhaps opt for another exploration, this time on horseback. As the sun sets, the sky reveals a show unlike any other and you’ll gaze up watching the constellations burn bright above this Gold Tier Dark Sky National Park. It’s a magical end to this California desert tour and one you’ll want to share with new friends.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Ranch at Death Valley
  4. Day 4 Journey to Desert Towns Stays With Stories Connect with Locals

    Tread in their footsteps of many road trippers as you visit Mojave National Preserve with its towering dunes, Joshua tree forest and cinder cone volcano landscapes. Beyond the canyons, mountains and mesas, uncover long-abandoned mines and homesteads, and hold onto your companions as you explore the ghost town of Kelso. Following a stop in the Route 66 town of Amboy in the Mojave Desert, your last destination today is Twentynine Palms, a High Desert community that sits at 3,300 feet elevation at one of the entry points of Joshua Tree National Park. Renowned for its beautiful art, pristine air and stunning desert views, get a first-hand perspective on what it is like to live in the California Outback. Your unforgettable Stays With Stories, Campbell House, is the perfect combination of desert oasis and fairytale romance as you’ll come to discover when you learn how the Campbell couple came to settle here after World War I. Join proprietor Heidi Grunt for a hearty Be My Guest Dinner and round off an adventurous day as you share stories and toast your travels.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
    hotel Campbell House
  5. Day 5 Visit Joshua Tree National Park

    Prepare for your exploration of one of the most beautiful places in California this morning during your visit to the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center which is the gateway to the park. You’ll stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden, keeping a keen eye out for the fluffy teddy bear cactus that is so characteristic of this place. Resist the urge to touch it as you hike up to the unique rounded rock formations – Skull Rock and Arch Rock, which deliver the most incredible views. The area is best explored on foot, and your stroll along the Hidden Valley Nature Trail will take you past giant rock formations, Joshua trees and incredible panoramic views you’ll want to capture on camera. As you go deep into this desert oasis, you’ll discover how two distinct desert ecosystems combine to create a captivating sanctuary for a rich array of plant and animal species. Revel in the stark beauty of this vast wilderness, admiring the surreal geological features and rich cultural history. Enjoying a desert picnic is one of the most memorable things to do in Joshua Tree National Park and it will be well deserved, so sit back and take in the natural beauty of this place while you enjoy lunch with the group. Next up is our stop at Keys View, perched on the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains and arguably the highlight of the day offering the most dramatic view in the park over the Coachella Valley. Leaving this extraordinary natural landscape behind, we head to one of America’s favorite desert vacation hotspots, Palm Springs to enjoy the evening on your own terms exploring its vibrant entertainment and food scene.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Palm Mountain Resort and Spa
  6. Day 6 Palm Springs Sightseeing Make Travel Matter

    Imagine what life is like in this stylish southern Californian hotspot when you embark on a sightseeing tour led by your Travel Director this morning. You’ll Dive Into Culture and explore the city’s mid-century modern architecture, popular with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe. You’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time as you explore this Sonoran Desert oasis then head to the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience featuring a private behind-the-scenes tour of the windmills that dominate the landscape and provide power to this desert community. You’ll Connect With Locals and gain a deep understanding of what affordable and clean energy is all about, learning how this is one of the windiest spots in the United States, making it the ideal location for the 3,218 windmills on site. You’ll have the afternoon to relax or embark on an optional visit to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which will take you through five life zones up 6,000 feet for incredible views. If you’re feeling energetic, tackle one of the trails for more epic views of your stunning surrounds, often clad in snow depending on when you’re visiting. After your unforgettable trip through this desert landscape, you’ll join your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner at a local downtown Palm Springs restaurant and toast to happy memories.

    meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel Palm Mountain Resort and Spa
  7. Day 7 Farewell Palm Springs

    Your journey through the Desert National Parks of the United States has come to an end. Depart Palms Springs at leisure.

    meals Breakfast
Desert National Parks California Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Whats Included

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Optional Experiences and free time

Dining Summary

  • 1 Welcome Reception (WR)
  • 6 Breakfast (B)
  • 1 Be My Guest (BMG)
  • 1 Lunch (L)
  • 1 Farewell Dinner (FD)

Be My Guest

  • 29 Palms: Join a group dinner with Heidi Grunt, owner and operator of the Campbell House.

Dive Into Culture

  • Palm Springs: This morning your Travel Director leads a sightseeing tour featuring the city's residential mid-century architecture. Architects such as Donald Wexler built homes featuring Southern California Modernism (a lot of steel and a lot of glass) that were popular with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Marilyn Monroe.


  • Death Valley: Visit the Amargosa Opera House, a beautiful facility that strives to bring the arts to Death Valley.
  • Palm Springs: Enjoy a private "behind the scenes" tour of windmills and learn about what affordable and clean energy.

Must-see Highlights

  • : See the High Roller, Devil's Golf Course, and Artists Palette
  • : View Badwater Basin, Dante's View, Roy's Motel and Cafe Sign, Skull Rock and Arch Rock
  • : Visit Twenty Mule Team Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Furnace Creek, Ubehebe Crater, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, Kelso Ghost Town, Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center

Trafalgar Difference

  • Death Valley: Take in the western feel of Death Valley Ranch at the heart of Furance Creek inside Death Valley National Park.
  • 29 Palms: Enjoy a stay at Campbell House surrounded by towering Washingtonia fan palms and lush gardens in the quiet and calm of the open desert.

Whats Included

  • : An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • : Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • : All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • : All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • : Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • : Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • : Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • : Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • : Optional Experiences and free time

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

April 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Apr 15 Sat
Apr 21 Fri
AARP Members Save up to $100
$3,334 $3,001 Save $333
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