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Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour

The Big Desert Drama of Southern California

From $2,398 - $2,898 pp dbl. occ. | 4 days / 3 nights

(+$560 to $590 for sgl. occ.)

Give a cactus a second look. Change your point of view on a crag. Experience a canyon from the inside out. From spiky Joshua trees to rare palm oases, every step in the desert reveals something magnificent and surprising. Open sky, open mind. It's time to see the desert in a new way.

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California

Palm Springs

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree Walking Tour Map

Highlights

  • Explore Joshua Tree National Park's remarkable landscape strewn with gigantic boulders and dotted with shady palm oases
  • Marvel at the desert's distinctive beauty—from Joshua trees to unique wildlife like roadrunners and desert bighorn sheep
  • Admire the expansive desert vistas from the popular Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Hike a section of the famous Pacific Crest Trail, taking in impressive views of San Gorgonio Mountain 
California

Palm Springs

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree Walking Tour Map

Itinerary

Day 1 Behold Joshua Tree National Park—a landscape like no other | You can't help but marvel at the park's namesake flora—the cartoon-like Yucca brevifolia, more commonly known as Joshua trees | While you hike, soak up breathtaking vistas beneath vast desert skies | Take advantage of countless photo ops amid the jumbo boulders.

Day 2 Enjoy some of the area's best hiking | Journey through palm-filled ravines that lead to a hidden oasis where year-round water sustains the largest stand of native California fan palms | Bird lovers rejoice—these lush palm groves are great places to view many of the canyon's feathered inhabitants, including hummingbirds and orioles | Add a final flourish to the day with dinner in a dramatic cliffside setting.

Day 3 From Palm Springs, head into the hills and onto a section of the legendary Pacific Crest Trail, leading to the new Sand to Snow National Monument | Choose to descend to the rushing Whitewater River—an unexpected sight in the desert!

Day 4 Get set for a Palm Springs classic—a ride on the famous Aerial Tramway, with the world's largest rotating tram cars | Take in views of Chino Canyon's sheer cliffs and rugged Coachella Valley | A gondola carries you to Mountain Station for a high-elevation walk through a ponderosa forest.

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.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

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  • Private Trip
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C Classic Dates

2018 January
2018 October

View Private Dates

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities. You can pick from the selection of dates below for your group of 8 or more. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 10 or more guests: from $2,398 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $2,898 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $4,298 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $4,898 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $5,598 pp dbl occ

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Classic Tours

2017 December
2018 February
2018 March
2018 April
2018 October

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $2,398 - $2,898 pp dbl. occ.
4 days / 3 nights

(+$560 to $590 for sgl. occ.)

Premiere Hotels

Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

Palm Springs (3 nights)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-3

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

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Premiere Hotels

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

Palm Springs (3 nights)

Set on a bluff overlooking glittering Palm Springs, this chic retreat complements its desert surroundings with elements of wood, stone and fire. (pool, spa)

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-3

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 1* 100 7 300 9 400
2 1 200 4 500 4 700
3 4* 400 6 700 8 1100
4 2 300
 

Note: The 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. Our hike at the top of the Palm Springs aerial tram takes place at 8,500 feet, which may make the route more challenging than the mileage may suggest.

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity level and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Meals

All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about 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 most days and will experience some longer rides (1–1.5 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.

Why Travel with Backroads in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree

Nobody Else Walks This Way

Backroads is the only active travel company to offer a walking and hiking trip in this part of California, combining the stark beauty of Joshua Tree National Park with the oasis of Palm Springs. Crossing desert landscapes dotted with odd rock formations and the park’s namesake trees, you can set your mind free—when not spotting roadrunners and bighorn sheep. Then enjoy civilization at its most civilized in the boutiques, galleries and cafés of Palm Springs.

More Leaders to Support You

On our Palm Springs and Joshua Tree trips we have an extra leader supporting you along the trail—for a total of three, compared to the industry standard two. So we can be in more places at once, giving personal attention to guests traveling at their own pace. Here's more on our Trip Leaders.

Signature Backroads Picnics

Guests rave about our picnic spreads. Enjoy a welcome break in a scenic spot, or a quick refuel stop if you don't want to lose momentum. And because we have two vans, one can host lunch while the other is out providing support along the route.

Only the Best Hotels

On this trip featuring Premiere Hotels, you can count on the best lodgings Palm Springs and Joshua Tree has to offer. In fact, the hotels we've chosen in this region have higher retail room rates than those offered by any other active travel company—even when their trips cost more.

Your Trip Will Run. Period.

Under our Book with Confidence policy, your Backroads trip will run even for one or two people (or a family of three or four), subject to a nominal extra fee. Or transfer to another trip, and we'll give you a credit. It's all part of our trademark commitment to treating guests with integrity, transparency and total accountability. Read all the details.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our Palm Springs and Joshua Tree trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

A Second Van When You Need It

Backroads is the only active travel company providing two support vans in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree—because we know it's essential to ensure a truly great travel experience. It doubles our ability to be there when you need us to offer hydration, lighten your load or give you a lift if it's time to take a break. Read more on why two vans make all the difference.

We've Set the Standard

For nearly four decades we've worked to earn and maintain our right to call Backroads the world's #1 active travel company. In pursuing that vision on behalf of our guests, we believe we've set the standard for our industry—captured in the Backroads Quality Guide, which clearly sets out the benchmarks of excellence, choice and support that we live by

Quality You Can Measure

Since 1979, Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale has shown that staying #1 means constantly evaluating our performance using the best possible source of information: our guests. As we systematically analyze your feedback on our trip consultants, leaders, hotels, meals and on-trip activities, we never stop working to make a great company even better.

Photo Gallery

Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Cactus - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Hiking on Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking and Hiking Tour
Joshua Tree Nationals Park - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Ram - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Lizard - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Ritz Carlton Pool - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Pacific Trail - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Hiking - Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour
Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Walking & Hiking Tour

Videos

Straight Talk

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 most days and will experience some longer rides (1–1.5 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.
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