Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring Joshua Tree National Park, San Andreas Fault, Palm Springs, Fantasy Springs Resort, Geographer-Guide
April 8-9, 2024 (2-Day Tour)
Tour Package (double occupancy) $399 p.p.
Single Occupancy (no roommate) +$100 p.p.
Triple Occupancy -$30 p.p.
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
On this two-day desert escape, a geographer-guide will bring the stark, yet dramatic landscape of the Coachella Valley to life while we explore the geologic phenomena, bizarre rock piles and strange plants in Joshua Tree National Park, as well as the legendary San Andreas Fault. We’ll enjoy an overnight stay at a luxurious casino resort and explore downtown Palm Springs on this tour of a region that is as diverse as it is unique.
We set out from our departure points this morning aboard a deluxe motorcoach and head for the Coachella Valley. Onboard will be a knowledgeable geography professor-guide who will provide extensive guided sightseeing as we travel in the shadow of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. No visit to the Coachella Valley is complete without a stop at Hadley Fruit Orchards. Founded in 1931, this southern California landmark has provided a friendly place to shop for premium quality Medjool dates, dried fruit, nuts, hand-mixed trail mixes, honey, preserves, freshly-ground peanut butter and a variety of gifts. At the snack bar is where you’ll find their famous date shakes! Later this morning we’ll visit the new Joshua Tree Cultural Center in Twentynine Palms. In addition to a beautiful bookstore, this visitor center features rotating exhibits celebrating the culture, history, and stories of the Native American communities in the Joshua Tree region. Upon entering Joshua Tree National Park, we’ll discover a landscape shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home amongst this stark, yet dramatic landscape. The rich cultural history and bizarre geologic formations add to the attraction of this place. With 700 species of plants, Joshua Tree is renowned for its plant diversity. No wonder that when the area was first proposed for preservation in the early 1930s, the name suggested was Desert Plants National Park. We’ll enjoy an included boxed lunch picnic and make several stops in the park to discover a unique landscape created by two distinct desert ecosystems. We’ll see strange rock formations, rugged mountains and desert plains dotted with those wacky namesake trees (actually a type of yucca). At Hidden Valley, we’ll see bizarre rock piles made from massive boulders surrounded by a healthy population of Joshua Tree, pinyon, juniper and oak along with mesquite, yucca, nolina and various cacti. We’ll admire the view at Key’s View (elevation 5,152 feet) where on a clear day exists a sweeping panorama of the Coachella Valley including the Salton Sea and the San Andreas Fault, as well as two of Southern California’s tallest summits: Mount San Jacinto and Mount Gorgonio. We’ll continue past Skull Rock to Cholla Cactus Garden where we can take a leisurely walk through thousands of densely concentrated, naturally growing cholla cacti. Each spring this region comes alive with a variety of wildflowers, though the intensity and duration of the wildflower bloom vary from year to year and blooms are never certain so we’ll keep our fingers crossed! This evening we arrive at the upscale and stylish Fantasy Springs Resort Casino – this award-winning, smoke-free resort features luxurious hotel rooms, a variety of restaurants, pool area and exciting Vegas-style gambling. (Lunch)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll begin our exploration of the famous and perhaps most accessible earthquake fault in the world, the legendary San Andreas Fault. The fault is a sliding boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate that extends more than 800 miles, slicing California in two. We’ll see synclines, anticlines, obvious signs of upheaval and other features of tectonic movement as your geographer-guide shares in-depth knowledge about the fault, plate tectonics, geology, local geography and helps to separate earthquake fact from fiction. We’ll get up close and personal and stand right on the fault during this unique discovery where you’ll feel very small! This afternoon we’ll arrive in downtown Palm Springs and enjoy time at leisure for browsing and lunch on your own. Palm Springs’ core shopping district along Palm Canyon Drive features mom and pop shops, vintage boutiques and name brand stores mixed in with a variety of restaurants. The redesigned downtown plaza captures the city’s energetic pulse point and offers a welcoming pedestrian-friendly experience. The Palm Springs Historical Society’s compound at The Village Green features Palm Springs’ earliest historic buildings. We return to our drop-off points this evening with many fond memories of our time exploring Joshua Tree and the Coachella Valley. (Breakfast)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
Visit our Departure Points page for more details on each location.
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