Take leisurely hikes through ancient canyons and along breathtaking sand dunes and discover how flora and fauna have adapted to this most magnificent and extreme environment.

Starting at: $4,400 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park  Rolling sand dunes under stormy skies in Death Valley. Credit: Greg Clure  Zabriskie Point in Death Valley  View from Dante's Peak of Badwater Basin salt flats with Panamint Mountains   Badwater Basin salt flats in Death Valley  Badwater Basin salt flats at sunset. Credit: Brandon Yoshizawa  Sunset sandscape at Mesquite Flats in Death Valley National Park. Credit: James Mattil  Hiking the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley. Credit: Stuart Kaye  Narrow trail through Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park  The oasis of the Furnace Creek Inn, Death Valley  The relaxing pool of the Furnace Creek Inn

Death Valley Adventure

6 days from $4,400

Take leisurely hikes through ancient canyons and along breathtaking sand dunes and discover how flora and fauna have adapted to this most magnificent and extreme environment.

or Call 855-330-1542

LAST CALL!

Save $200 *per person when you book by December 16, 2016! Use promotion code LASTCALL online or when speaking to our travel specialists to secure these savings.

• March 5, 2017

*Offer valid on new bookings only.

Overview

California’s Death Valley National Park (est. 1994) abounds in contrasts and extremes, providing beauty in unlikely forms. During leisurely hikes from one to two miles, trace the valley’s birth millions of years ago and discover how flora and fauna have adapted to this most magnificent and extreme environment.

Highlights Include

  • Geology: Hike through dramatically eroded canyons, magnificent sand dunes, salt flats, and Badlands. View the layers of ancient sandstone in the spectacular Golden Canyon and witness the massive Ubehebe Crater.
  • Artistic Views: Gaze upon a breathtaking sunrise at Zabriskie Point and sunset views of the pastel-colored volcanic ash deposits of Artist’s Palette.
  • Telescope Peak and Badwater Basin: Explore Telescope Peak, which rises more than 11,000 feet above the valley floor, and Badwater Basin salt flat, the lowest place in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.
  • Harmony Borax Works: Learn about the mining history of borax, considered the “white gold of Death Valley.”
  • Sky Gazing: Enjoy stargazing and see why Death Valley is an officially recognized “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park.
  • Accommodations: Return each day to the famous and luxurious Furnace Creek Inn, a historic property located within the park. 

This trip was on our bucket list and the things we learned and sights we saw greatly enhanced the experience.

- Donna M.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Las Vegas

After individual arrivals, transfer to your hotelGather with fellow travelers, tour manager and your Smithsonian Journeys expert at 5:30 pm this evening for a welcome drink, logistical overview of the trip and presentation on the park to prepare you for your adventure followed by dinner. (D)      

Day 2 — Depart Las Vegas / Badwater / Harmony Borax Works

This morning, depart for Death Valley National Park. Stretch your legs at Badwater (walk up to 1 mile), at 282 feet below sea level, this salt flat is the lowest place in North America and the eighth lowest place on Earth! The dramatic depth is enhanced by the backdrop of the Panamint Range rising over 11,000 ft. After lunch at Furnace Creek, you’ll stop by the visitor center before touring Harmony Borax Works and learning about the mining history of borax, or “white gold of Death Valley”.

Later this evening gather for dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Dante’s View / Salt Creek / Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Today you’ll experience Dante’s View located at 5,475 ft, and take in a stunning panorama of all 11,049 feet of Telescope Peak (optional hike ½ mile). You’ll learn about the creation of the park’s many alluvial fans, the product of millions of years of sporadic, yet constant, erosion. After lunch, enjoy some free time at the hotel enjoying a siesta during the peak heat of the day.

Later visit Salt Creek (walk ½ mile) and learn about the amazing pupfish, endemic to Death Valley and uniquely adapted to survive in the desert’s harsh environment. End the day’s activities with the chance to walk among the picturesque sand dunes (up to 2 miles) before dinner nearby the hotel. After dining, you’ll enjoy the chance of some stargazing (weather permitting) and see firsthand why Death Valley is an officially recognized “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Ubehebe Crater / Titus Canyon

You’ll start the day exploring the Titus Canyon narrows and hiking (up to 2 miles) among the stratifications of rock marking millions of years of geological history. The opening of the canyon affords the best chance to see a chuckwalla in its natural habitat. These sizable lizards have evolved to inflate their bodies to wedge themselves in the cracks in the rock they live in so as to deter predators attempting to extract them. Later marvel at – with the option to hike (up to 2 miles) around—Ubehebe Crater, site of a massive volcanic explosion leaving a pit in the earth over 500 feet deep and a half a mile across. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Sunrise at Zabriskie Point / Golden Canyon / Sunset at Artist’s Palette

Wake just before dawn and transfer to Zabriskie Point to watch as the sunlight slowly illuminates the surrounding mountains. After breakfast, hike 2 miles through the multi-hued walls of Golden Canyon toward the Red Cathedral with the option to continue for a longer hike back through Gower Gulch (adds 2 miles for 4 miles total). After lunch, relax at the hotel. Later this afternoon, enjoy a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert on the endangered pupfish to better appreciate our trip on Friday to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge—home to the exceedingly rare Devil’s Hole pupfish. This evening enjoy a sunset visit to the pastel-colored volcanic ash deposits of Artist’s Palette followed by a farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)      

Day 6 — Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge / Return to Las Vegas / Home

After a final breakfast in the park, visit the Amargosa Opera House, the passionate creation of dancer and artist, Marta Becket. Transfer to the visitor center at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge to learn of the plight of the pupfish and get a glimpse of Devil’s Hole—home to a species of pupfish that was threatened with extinction by groundwater pumping for farming and a proposed housing development that was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to protect the world’s rarest fish (walk ½ mile).

Following lunch, return to Las Vegas and transfer to McCarran International Airport. (B,L)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)