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California & Nevada: Death Valley National Park

In California’s Death Valley National Park, rich hues of otherworldly beauty and hexagon-laced salt flats paint our days, spring flowers splash by roadside, hills roll to a dancing horizon, and wide open spaces remind us why we ride. And ride we will, with options to head north and south in this massive park, with staggeringly scenic rewards. To appreciate it all in comfort, we’ll visit during its coolest months, and luxuriate at the renowned 4-diamond Inn at Death Valley. Join us for Death Valley cycling at its most relaxed and rewarding!

Tour Highlights

  • Admire views of Death Valley and the 11,049-foot Telescope Peak
  • Hike the dramatic terrain of the Golden Canyon
  • Be surrounded in quiet comfort in your private casita at the AAA 4-diamond rated Inn at Death Valley inside the National Park
  • Swim in the resort’s natural, spring-fed 84ft pool
  • Tee-off at the lowest grass golf course in the world
  • Ride to and through the other worldly Artist’s Palette and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

What to Expect

We will be riding at elevations between 282 feet below sea level and 100 feet above sea level. Our rides are entirely on paved roads within the National Park and we share the road with car traffic. Terrain is rolling. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance. This vacation is ideal for more experienced cyclists.

  • Daily Mileage: 5 - 47 miles|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hours|
  • Group Size: 18
Activity Moderate Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Feb74º/46º

Mar82º/55º

Apr90º/62º

Oct93º/62º

Nov77º/48º

Average
Precipitation:

Feb0.4 in

Mar0.3 in

Apr0.1 in

Oct0.1 in

Nov0.1 in

Air Package

Tour Only

3 nights in casita accommodations at the 4-diamond-rated Inn at Death Valley Check
9 meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners Check
Transportation from Las Vegas International Airport to the Inn at Death Valley and return Check

Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sun, Feb 19 to Wed, Feb 22 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

VBT will offer a shuttle from the Las Vegas Airport (LAS) to Furnace Creek, departing the airport at 9:00 am. Please meet the shuttle at Level Zero of Terminal 1. From Terminal 1 baggage claim, take the elevator or escalator down one level. Exit the terminal building and proceed across the pedestrian crosswalk to the bus parking area. The VBT shuttle and/or driver will be displaying a “VBT” sign. Note that the bus operator is not allowed to leave the bus unattended to enter the building. If you arrive at Terminal 3 you will need to take the airport’s courtesy shuttle to Terminal 1 and our meeting location. The airport’s courtesy shuttle departs every 12-15 minutes from Zero Level of Terminal 3 from the center of the curb. If you are arriving after the VBT shuttle departs or if your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach Furnace Creek. A rental car is going to be your best option.

You will meet your VBT trip leaders at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center at 11:30 am. They will direct you to our picnic location adjacent to the center. Note that restrooms are available in the Visitor Center main building. Please be dressed to ride or have your gear easily accessible in your hand luggage. You may also wish to have with you a pair of shoes suitable for walking in the sand dunes.

For guests driving to the tour, plan to park your car at the Visitor Center and meet us for the picnic. Later you will need to shuttle your car to the Inn at Furnace Creek where parking is available for four days without charge. Your trip leaders will let you know where to leave your car.

There will be time to enjoy the excellent presentations available at the Visitor Center during your four days in Furnace Creek. After lunch, join your trip leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session. Then, your Death Valley cycling begins as you head out to explore this astounding landscape!

On today’s shorter option, take advantage of our shuttle in one direction and ride in the other to visit the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Our longer option offers an opportunity to ride directly from the Visitor Center to the sand dunes, returning to the inn.

One of the most popular sites in the park, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor near the village of Stovepipe Wells. Because of the dune’s easy access from the road and the overall proximity of Death Valley to Hollywood, these dunes have been used to film sand dune scenes for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The largest dune is called Star Dune, whose depth at its crest is 130–140 feet. Other dunes in the area are up to 700 feet deep. There will be time to take in these towering wonders before riding to the inn.

We ride past and have an opportunity to visit the Harmony Borax Works. Here, you can walk the interpretive trail and learn how Borax deposits were discovered here in 1881. The Harmony operation, run by business associates Coleman & Smith, was best known in the 1880s—and now—for its 20-mule teams that hauled double wagons of borax along an overland route to the closest railroad in Mojave, California. The Harmony Works remained under Coleman’s operation for just five years, until 1888, when his business collapsed.

Tonight, get to know your fellow travelers during a wine and cheese reception. We’ll have dinner together in the inn’s dining room.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Visitor Center to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes — 23 miles | Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes to the Inn at Death Valley — 24 miles

What to Expect: Ride north from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center through the heart of the park and to the site of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Take time to leave the bike behind and walk into the impressive hills of shifting sand. You may choose to ride in both directions to the dunes, or shuttle one-way and ride the other. Our rides pass the former site of the Harmony Borax Works, also worth a visit. Today’s ride is on CA-190, a well maintained state road, alongside vehicle traffic.

Cumulative Distance Range: 23 — 47 miles

Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, perhaps taken on the inn’s patios, we ride south, descending through the valley on relatively level and very scenic roads. Our destination is Badwater Basin.

Welcome to a high point of your Death Valley cycling—the lowest point in North America! Take some time to stroll the boardwalk over the salt flats here. From this lowest point in North America, it is possible on very clear days to view the highest point in the lower 48, Mount Whitney, standing just 85 miles away.

Badwater Basin gets its name from the salt-rich waters left behind when an ancient lake evaporated here. These salt flats, many of them etched into hexagonal grids, are still fed by an underground spring, but the water never stays for long with the valley’s rapid evaporation rate. Despite that the water in the pool is undrinkable (hence the basin’s name), it does harbor some animal and plant life. Pickle weed, aquatic insects, and the Badwater snail all thrive here.

The route retraces its way back to the inn.

Our trip leaders provide a picnic lunch today. Then there’s free time to enjoy the oasis that is our inn.

Options for dinner on your own include the inn’s dining room or Pool Café, and the Last Kind Words Saloon, 1849 Restaurant, 19th Hole Bar & Grill or Ice cream Parlor, all located at the nearby Ranch at Death Valley.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: The Inn at Death Valley to Badwater Basin — 17 miles | Badwater Basin to the Inn at Death Valley — 17 miles

What to Expect: Riding in the cool of the morning today, it’s a gradual downhill ride on Badwater Road to Badwater Basin. Explore the salt flats at the lowest point in North America, some 282 feet below sea level. Return to the inn by bike or shuttle.

Cumulative Distance Range: 17 — 34 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Catch stunning views of Death Valley National Park and the surrounding mountains during a guided hike in Golden Canyon. We shuttle just five minutes from the inn to our trailhead this morning. Here we hike up from Golden Canyon to the top of Zabriskie Point (or vice versa depending on conditions). The hike offers spectacular views over the valley and surrounding mountains as well as an up close encounter with some of the park’s unique geography. Our 2.5-mile trail winds through twisting narrows and colorful rock formations, delivering us to a spectacular view of Manly Beacon and Red Cathedral.

Back at the inn, you may decide to get a massage, tour the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or visit the Borax Museum to learn about the tools and machinery that were used and left behind when the short-lived practice of mining borax ended.

Tonight we have a final dinner together at the inn.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Zabriskie Point / Golden Canyon — 2.4 miles / 2 hours

What to Expect: Though not far from the inn, once inside Golden Canyon, you will feel far away from civilization.  We are hiking on packed sand and gravel trails. The popular hike pass through both narrow canyon and exposed ridge.

Cumulative Distance Range: 2.5 mile hike

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Up for a challenge today? You can join us for an invigorating spin along the steep, dipping, curving and narrow roadway known as Artist’s Drive. This one-way circuit is a 9-mile jug-handle that is accessed off the Badwater Road. The highlight of this thrilling loop is a lookout point called Artist’s Palette, where mineral deposits appear as brilliantly colored paint splotches against a drab “canvas.”  You may return to the inn from the end of Artist’s Drive by bike or shuttle.

Alternately, you may decide to spend your final morning enjoying the quiet private terrace of your casita, going for a swim in the inn’s spring-fed pool, or playing a round of golf at the par 70 18-hole course with its palm-lined fairways and views of the surrounding mountains.

Join fellow travelers and trip leaders for an early lunch prior to farewells and departure.

Your included transportation departs Furnace Creek at 12:30 p.m. and arrives at Las Vegas Airport (LAS) at approximately 3:00 p.m. We recommend flights departing after 5:00 p.m.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: The Inn at Death Valley to and through Artist’s Drive — 18 miles | From end of Artist’s Drive back to the Inn at Death Valley — 5 miles

What to Expect: We rejoin Badwater Road this morning, for a gentle downhill start to our ride. The scenery and the riding gets kicked-up a notch when we join the one-way loop road known as Artist’s Drive. The drive undulates up and down through some short, narrow canyons, offering colorful views of the mineral deposits in the surrounding hills. There are plenty of pull-offs from which to enjoy the view. And don’t miss Artist’s Palette Viewpoint.

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 — 23 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

California & Nevada: Death Valley National Park 8

Download PDF Itinerary:

Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (May vary depending on departure date. )

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Dates & Prices

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7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Sun, Feb 19 - Wed, Feb 22, 2023

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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