Joshua Tree CampingJourney to an oasis in the heart of the desert

California
California
3 Days
3 Days
Intensity
5/10
18+
$695
$795 non-peak member
Book Early & Save $100
About the trip

Venture into a desert wilderness teeming with life

Sculpted by the upheaval of magma and erosion over millennia, the park is dynamic portrait of natural forces. Dusted with snow in the winter, painted with blooms in the spring, the landscape is alive. Just when it seems the desert is still, shadows shift and the rocks are awash with the molten hues of sunsets.

On this journey, you will venture far beyond roads through desert fields of the park’s namesake trees with their arms upstretched to heaven. and follow footpaths to an oasis hidden among the boulders. A scramble through the Wonderland of Rocks will connect you to the roughness of the rock and to the core of what it means to be a sensitive visitor in a severe land.

Your Guide
Sam Combs
Senior Guide

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Level 5/10
California
3 Days

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Itinerary

Arrive in LA, Transfer to Park, Sunset Hike

You'll meet your guide either this morning in Los Angeles or this afternoon in Palm Springs, depending on your travel plans. After meeting the group and saying your hellos, you will enter Joshua Tree at the South Entrance for a sunset hike of the Mastadon Loop Trail. Driving across the park at twilight, you'll open your senses to this unique environment. At Indian Cove Campground you will set up tents and enjoy a fireside meal and discussion of the days to come. (Meals: D)

Hiking Distance: 2.3 milesHiking Time: 2 hours

Wonderland of Rocks

Waking up before sunrise, your team will strike out across the desert floor. Silhouettes of the iconic Joshua Trees take shape as dawn arrives and you approach the Wonderland of Rocks, a display of the best that the park has to offer. Deep within the reaches of this formation, you'll arrive at Willow Hole, one of the only oases in this desert and a prime spot for flora and fauna alike. Exploring the side nooks and cracks of the Wonderland on your way out, your group will take a slightly different trail on our return to save time for scrambling and playing on the formations within your own campsite at Indian Cove. (Meals: B, L, D)
Hiking Distance: 12.7 milesHiking Time: 8 hours

Skull Rock, Return to LA

After your second night sleeping under a blanket of stars in the unimaginable darkness of this desert, you'll arise with the sun, enjoy a camp breakfast, and break down your tents. Today, you'll pend the day on a driving tour of some of the park highlights you haven’t seen yet like Skull Rock and Hidden Valley. Finishing up back on the south side of the park, drivers may depart and we’ll do dropoffs at Palm Springs International Airport before heading back to Los Angeles. (Meals: B)
Hiking Distance: Up to 3 milesHiking Time: Up to 4 hours
Planning

Here’s what you need

Bring

Essential Gear
  • Backpack, sized 35-40 L
  • Tent (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Sleeping Bag, rated 30 degrees or lower (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Sleeping Pad (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
  • Headlamp
  • Small towel or facecloth
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
Recommended Gear
  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Journal

Wear

Essential Clothing
  • Approach shoes or trail running/hiking shoes/boots
  • Wool hiking socks, multiple pairs
  • Long sleeve base layers (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Long pant base layer (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Light synthetic shirt or tank for warmer days
  • Hiking pants or shorts (at least one pair should be long pants)
  • Insulating mid layers (fleece jacket or vest, down jacket)
  • Waterproof, windproof shell
  • Light gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Casual clothes for camp
  • Casual clothes for travel to town

What's Included

Included
  • Round Trip Transportation from Seattle
  • Licensed and medically trained guide team
  • Meals as outlined in itinerary
  • Group equipment
  • Park permits and fees
Not included
  • Airfare to Seattle
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Meals not outlined in itinerary
  • Gratuity for guides

Weather

Expect daytime temperatures in the 70s. The nighttime temperature is typically in the 40s.

Flights

For those traveling from outside Los Angeles, you can plan to fly through either LAX or Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). Those arriving through LAX should plan to arrive by 10AM on day one of the itinerary. If you're planning on flying through Palm Springs, please arrive by 2PM. For anyone departing from Los Angeles or extending their stay in either direction, a city pick up will be arranged by our team. Departure should be booked for after 3PM from Palm Springs or after 7PM from LAX.

Training

This trip does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a moderate level of physical fitness. Trails are generally flat and smooth but there will be the opportunity to explore unique rock formations. The more balance and single-foot stability you have, the better. Give yourself adequate time to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. Robust training recommendations are available to registrants.

Why this trip?

Recommended for...

This trip is recommended for those newer to hiking or camping, but who have a basic level of outdoor skills and fitness. Each day's hike has a relatively small amount of elevation gain and the trails are mild and clear, though you will be hiking in desert conditions. First time campers are encouraged to apply.

Dates and Prices

The right trip,
at the right time.

Start
Finish
Availability
Price From
Friday
Mar 8, 2019
Sunday
Mar 10, 2019
Available
$695
Book Early & Save $100
Before Jan 8
Friday
Mar 29, 2019
Sunday
Mar 31, 2019
Available
$695
Book Early & Save $100
Before Jan 29
Friday
Apr 19, 2019
Sunday
Apr 21, 2019
Available
$695
Book Early & Save $100
Before Feb 19
Sunday
Sep 22, 2019
Tuesday
Sep 24, 2019
Available
$695
Book Early & Save $100
Before Jul 22
Friday
Oct 25, 2019
Sunday
Oct 27, 2019
Available
$695
Book Early & Save $100
Before Aug 25