We meet this morning in the lobby of our host hotel in Palm Springs, California—near Palm Springs International Airport. We travel to the north entrance of Joshua Tree National Park for our bike fitting, then hop into the saddle. We ride through the most stunning areas of Joshua Tree National Park before descending to Keys View and being rewarded with sweeping vistas of Coachella Valley. Joshua Tree is a mecca for rock climbers, we’ll most likely see a few as we roll through the park. After the invigorating climb back from Key’s View, we will descend into the town of Twentynine Palms to visit the Oasis of Mara and spend the night indoors. Lunch and dinner included.
Cycling: 48.3 miles (5–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +3,142'/-3,844'; Van transfer: 1 hour
After a quick breakfast, we check out of our hotel and cycle back into Joshua Tree National Park. Today, we’ll ascend through the park before an exhilarating descent through the various "life zones" of this desert landscape—areas of similar plant and animal communities. We leave behind the majestic Joshua Trees and soon find ourselves surrounded by beautiful valleys of ocotillo and cholla cacti. If the timing's right, blooming red ocotillo flowers will dot the landscape, looking like small flames in the desert. Combining the surreal and majestic vistas with 3,600 feet of descent as we glide into the Coachella Valley will brighten your eyes and make that smile hard to lose! A well-deserved rest awaits as we head to our hotel in the Coachella Valley to recover from our two days of riding through Joshua Tree National Park. All meals included.
Cycling: 46.3 miles (4–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +3,418'/-3,587'; Van transfer: 30 mins
Mmmmmm… breakfast and coffee, what better way to start another glorious day of riding as we transfer to a classic ride, Box Canyon Rd. through Mecca Hills Wilderness. 20 miles of inspiring nature and gentle descents make for a wonderful trip through solitude, eventually bringing us to one of the strangest anomalies of the southwest, the Salton Sea. After digesting the local lore and a satisfying lunch, we transfer down along the Salton Sea to begin our next cycling adventure through the epic Badlands and Wildflower springs of Anza-Borrego till we roll into Borrego Springs, our oasis for the next two nights. At dinner, we’ll review options for the next day which could be a rest day or two cycling options on bikes. All meals included.
Cycling: 49.4 miles (5–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +1,447 '/-2,754’ Van transfer: 1 hour
After breakfast, we will embark on a guided 22-mile challenge loop ride in the desert that ends with a strenuous climb and exhilarating descent. For a relaxing afternoon, we prepare to venture out on an exploratory ride of Borrego Springs. The town of Borrego Springs boasts unique sculptures well worth the loop ride to explore. On both rides, we’ll return to our hotel in the afternoon for some well-deserved rest and relaxation before dinner. Participants wishing to take the entire day off from cycling, or just do one of the rides, can do so as well. In either case, we welcome you to soak in the amenities of our resort. In the evening, our guides will meet the group for dinner and discuss tomorrow’s challenges. Breakfast, dinner included.
Cycling: 21.8 miles, self-guided (2–3 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +1,423'/-1,421'
Cycling: 19.6 miles, guided (3–4 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +376'/-376'
After breakfast, we start the slow and steady ascent up the Cuyamaca Mountains into Julian, California with more than 4,000' of elevation gain over the course of 25.6 miles. Captivating vistas accompany our climb as we transition from sprawling desert to crisp pine forests. We arrive in the small gold mining town of Julian. Here we take some time to explore the kitschy and charming old-west town before settling into our lodge for the night. Feeling like you want more saddle time? Ask your expert professional guides to give you some options for additional mileage to really put an exclamation point on the day. On our short walk to dinner, we reminisce about the adventures and challenges of the week, then rest in preparation for one final ride tomorrow. All meals included.
Cycling: 25.6 miles (4–6 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +4,211'/ -514'
Today’s route takes us around the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve and close to a desert section of the PCT. After six days of riding, the last ten miles of descent will be a well-deserved treat and a wonderful chance to soak in the majesty around us. If we’re lucky, the area will be covered in a smattering of wildflowers that usher us down into the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area where we will end our ride, maybe alongside some PCT hikers continuing their own epic journey. Once there, we load up and journey to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center for lunch and a bit of leisure. Then off to Palm Springs, where our guides are happy to drop off at Palm Springs International Airport or at our host hotel. All departing flights should be scheduled for after 8pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 34.8 miles (5–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +1,609’/-3,541'; Van transfer: 2 hours