Region Overviews: California Travel Guide: Overview
Take some time to explore California, and you'll understand why visitors from all over the world flock here.
In the California desert, less is more. A single white cloud stands out in the vast blue sky. Joshua trees take center stage against the National Park's infinite landscape. Shady spots feel even more welcome in the arid warmth of the sun. Here, in stark contrast to the outside world, the real beauty is not found in what is… but what isn’t. Bring your family and discover the wonders of Palm Springs and beyond.
THIS ITINERARY: Trip length varies per departure date.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels
Special Kids Prices
Start/End Palm Springs
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
DAY 1 Kick off an epic family adventure amid the picturesque desert landscapes of Palm Springs | Kids play and grown-ups hike in Mission Creek and Whitewater Preserves, where a dry rocky valley gives way to a cascading river | Discover tranquil desert wetlands and craggy mountain ridges | Be immersed in Southern California cool at our stylish downtown retreat.
DAY 2 Journey to Joshua Tree National Park and be awed by its otherworldly rock formations and iconic yucca trees | Follow hiking trails past pockets of native flora in the park’s aptly named Hidden Valley | A surreal labyrinth of sculpted granite, massive boulders and secret craggy passageways awaits in the Wonderland of Rocks | Kids rock climb with an expert guide in one of the world's top climbing destination | Splash around and take in a desert sunset from our hotel’s rooftop pool.
DAY 3 Bike through historic Palm Springs neighborhoods on an architectural cycling tour | Ride past cactus-dotted cliffs en route to the lush oases of Indian Canyons for a picnic lunch | Hike amid California fan palms, keeping an eye out for colorful orioles and hummingbirds | Kids ride horseback through Indian Canyons | Roll out one of the hotel’s yoga mats for an evening stretch before another great family dinner.
DAY 4 Rise early for a ride up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway | Marvel at the views of Chino Canyon’s breathtaking cliffs | Hike amid pine trees and rocky ridgelines, pausing at overlooks with picturesque panoramas of the surrounding desert | Extend your family getaway in one of Old Hollywood’s favorite escapes.
Desert luxury, epic views and superb hospitality await at this ultra-stylish Kimpton retreat in the heart of Palm Springs. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy.
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.
The hiking terrain on this trip includes well-maintained paths and rugged desert trails with some rocky and sandy sections, and a few steeper climbs and descents. Weather permitting, we may hike at the top of the Palm Springs aerial tram, which takes place at 8,500 feet and may make the route more challenging than the mileage may suggest. The biking terrain varies from level to rolling with a few steeper hills. Possible extreme weather conditions, such as heat and wind (or colder temperatures in winter months), can make biking more strenuous.
The key to a stellar day's ride is a bike that's perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
To bring you to our favorite parts of Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs, we make liberal use of shuttles on this trip. Although you'll see the inside of the Backroads van on each day and will experience some longer rides (1–1½ hours) as we shuttle between highlights, consider it an opportunity to view some spectacular scenery while resting your legs in preparation for your next adventure.