California Desert Spring:
Death Valley & Joshua Tree
April 12-24, 2023
Come discover the California desert in spring with warm sunny days and wildflowers dotting the fascinating landscape! Travel to Death Valley National Park, the Mojave National Preserve & Joshua Tree National Park. With leadership by an outstanding naturalist, discover these California wonderlands of geology, desert wildflowers, and star studded night skies. We will explore the major features of each location, with a special look at the unique natural heritage.
Starting from Las Vegas, we will spend 4 nights in Death Valley. The National Park has the lowest point in the United States at 282 feet below sea level and is surrounded by snow-capped peaks which soar more than 11,000 feet overhead. It offers the pristine tranquility of wilderness and expansive scenery, as well as an historic oasis. There will be night time dark sky viewing with the waning Full Moon, and an incredible silence when you are away from civilization.
The expedition visits Zabriskie Point for the extraordinary view over Death Valley, Salt Creek, Ubehebe Crater and look for wildflowers on the bajada (alluvial fans). Next day, see the Sand Dunes and Marble Canyon. Enjoy an Evening of star gazing.
Explore Titus Canyon, a geologic wonderland of rock formations that date millions of years ago. Continue to Mojave National Preserve to see massive sand dunes and the historic Kelso train depot.
Continue to Joshua Tree National Park to see the majestic Joshua Trees, cholla and other cacti. If we are lucky, we will see the Joshua Trees blooming!
Watch for birds and red barrel cactus as we traverse the Geology Route (road conditions permitting). Don't miss the amazing boulder jumbles covered with sunning reptiles.
We will explore the major features of each location, with a special look at the spring wildflowers.
What to expect: A wonderful outdoorsy adventure in these national parks and the Mojave National Preserve. We will delight in these geologic wonderlands, and in the spring wildflower display. Look for coyotes, foxes, and other wildlife, and learn about the history of these fascinating desert parks. Travel in 15-passenger vans with excellent naturalist leaders.
Join us this spring! And discover awesome wildflowers, a brilliant dark sky and spectacular scenery.
Margaret M. Betchart
$3,995 plus air.
Desert Tortoise ©Ellen Layendecker