Looking to relax in the sun? Palm Springs, with 354 days of sunshine per year, might be the place for you. Want some activity and quality time outdoors in this hiking paradise too? Then Palm Springs along with Joshua Tree National Park is definitely for you! We will stay in and enjoy beautiful Palm Springs, an oasis in the desert with incredible hiking opportunities at Mt San Jacinto and Tahquitz Canyon. We’ll explore the stark beauty of Joshua Tree National Park with surreal geologic features that add to the wonder of this vast wilderness. Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. And, Joshua Tree is one of the best places for stargazing in the country, designated a Dark Sky location due to its elevation in the High Desert (5000 ft above sea level) and its distance from major cities reduces the light pollution. We’ll enjoy the best hiking options in the area, excellent cuisine, and oh, a stop in Temecula for Old Town and yes, wine! Come join us on this ‘softer’ adventure. A more relaxed pace for active foodies and with all the fun filled activities that make this a great adventure. This is an unpack once and chill trip!
Arrive in Palm Springs by 3pm, and transfer to our hotel for the week. You will be met in the lobby by your Canyon Calling Trip Leader and get checked in. We meet as a group in the hotel lobby at 5pm. Welcome Dinner tonight is at a Palm Springs classic dinner club, where “it’s hip to be hungry”. We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and get to know our road sisters. Overnight Palm Springs (our base camp so unpack once and relax).
After breakfast, we’ll drive through downtown Palm Springs to the world famous Aerial Tramway, largest in the world and the only one of it’s kind in the Western Hemisphere. We’ll enjoy the tram ascent of two and one half miles with slow cabin floor rotations for amazing views. We’ll arrive at the Mountain Station, Mt. San Jacinto State Park, to a pristine wilderness and hike the 1.5 mile Desert View Trail with a number of scenic overlooks and forest views. We’ll enjoy lunch ‘at the top’ and some time exploring before traveling back down to the Valley Station, and back to our hotel. We’ll relax by the pool before getting cleaned up and departing for a downtown walking tour of the Palm Springs stars of yesteryear, perhaps some shopping in the many trendy boutiques, and then it’s off to dinner.
After breakfast, we’re off to explore the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree National Park with an all day hiking tour that takes in the best of the region. We’ll walk to soaring granite formations with sweeping views of the arid terrain, and learn about the plants and animals that thrive in this unique ecosystem. Surrounded by twisted, spiky trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, and known as the park namesake, the Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia, is a member of the Agave family. We’ll hike, have a picnic lunch, explore and have fun immersing ourselves in one of America’s most distinctive National Parks. We’ll have dinner outside the park, then we’ll return for stargazing! The night sky is a glittering dome peppered with stars, planets, and passing meteors, and most people no longer get to see it. In urban and suburban settings, artificial lighting and atmospheric pollutants wash out the light of the stars. Cultures around the world told stories about the constellations and used the stars as a calendar. Only for the past few generations have humans been denied the chance to stand in awe of the heavens. Boasting some of the darkest nights in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park offers many visitors the chance to admire the Milky Way for the first time in their lives. After admiring this gorgeous spectacle, we’ll make the short drive back to our hotel.
After a lie in and leisurely breakfast, we’ll head out to Temecula Valley, the region’s wine country with 40+ wineries. We’ll enjoy Old Town district, blending historic buildings with unique shopping and restaurants, strolling along the wooden boardwalks. We’ll have lunch, then next up – wine tastings! Wineries in the Temecula Valley grow and produce over 50 different varietals of wine from Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot to Mourvedre, Viognier to Chardonnay. We’ll have time to enjoy two (included) tastings this afternoon at our leisure, and perhaps find your favorite! It’s back to Palm Springs and our hotel for some relaxation before another fabulous Palm Springs dinner.
After breakfast, we’re off to hike Tahquitz Canyon, one of the most beautiful and culturally sensitive areas of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian Reservation. Tahquitz Canyon is home to a spectacular seasonal 60-foot waterfall, rock art, ancient irrigation systems, and native wildlife and plants. From the Visitor Center to the waterfalls we’ll be gaining 350 feet of elevation. The trail is undulating with rock steps, beautiful viewpoints and eclectic wildlife. This hike is about five miles roundtrip. We’ll have a picnic lunch at the waterfalls as we take in the beauty of this area and learn about the legend of Tahquitz, and how this shaman’s spirit is believed to still be in this canyon. We’ll head back to the hotel for some pool time and maybe an umbrella drink before heading out for our Palm Springs Farewell Dinner.
Enjoy the hotel amenities until it’s time to transfer to the airport for flights home or choose to extend on your own.