This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Trip members should be capable of cycling up to 50 miles (5–7 hours). Participants should come equipped with a spirit of adventure.
We meet at 8am 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 climbing 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. Later, we'll descend into the town of Twentynine Palms to visit the Oasis of Mara and spend the night indoors. Lunch and dinner included.
Cycling: 49 miles (5–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +3,232'/-3,810'; 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, we'll see the blooming red ocotillo flowers dotting the landscape. When we reach the southern part of the park road we'll have descended approximately 3,600 feet into the Coachella Valley. We'll load into the van and head to a resort in the Coachella Valley to rest and recover from our two days of riding through Joshua Tree National Park. All meals included.
Cycling: 47 miles (4–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +3,388'/-3,647'; Van transfer: 30 mins
After breakfast, we set off from our hotel toward a real-world oasis, the Thousand Palms Preserve. We will ride past the preserve where we will see palms flourishing in their natural state in an authentic desert oasis. We will drop back down into the valley finishing our morning ride. After lunch we will transfer down along the Salton Sea before cycling over to Borrego Springs Resort, our accommodations 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 bike bikes. All meals included.
Cycling: 48 miles (5–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +2,699 '/-1,494';Van transfer: 1 hour
After breakfast, we will embark on either a self-guided or guided ride—guest choice. First, 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. Second, we can prepare to take on a guided 30-mile challenge loop ride in the desert that ends with a strenuous climb and exhilarating descent. On both rides, we’ll return to the Borrego Springs Resort in the afternoon for some well-deserved rest and relaxation before dinner. Participants wishing to take the entire day off from cycling can do so as well. In either case, we welcome you to soak in the amenities of Borrego Springs Resort. In the evening, our guides will meet the group for dinner and discuss tomorrow’s challenges. Breakfast, dinner included.
Cycling: 20 miles, self-guided (2–3 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +382'/-382'
Cycling: 30 miles, guided (3–4 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +1650'/-1650'
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 31 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. 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.
31 miles (4–6 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +4,364'/ 672'
Today’s route takes us back into Borrego Springs, creating a loop around Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 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 Borrego Springs. Once there, we load up and head back to Palm Springs by van. 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: 42 miles (5–7 hours, paved road), Elevation gain/loss: +2,368'/-5,523'; Van transfer: 2 hours