Death Valley Weekend Cycling - Lodge Based

Trip Length3 Days
Group Size4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$2,499 for REI Members
$2,749 for non-members
DeparturesNov 2024-Dec 2024

Cycling in one of the West's most unique & remarkable national parks is an experience like no other.

A land born of fire and steeped in history, Death Valley's smooth, winding roads undulate above and below sea level, rolling through some of the most dramatic scenery in this 3.4-million-acre national park. The largest national park in the contiguous United States, Death Valley is known the world over as a geological and geographic treasure. Beginning in the aptly named Funeral Mountain Wilderness, we ride into the park, getting our first taste of the wonders of this awe-inspiring landscape. Mountains rise to 11,000 feet on either side of the park's namesake valley and multi-hued rock formations jut out between salt spires and whimsical sand dunes.

Our rides on this adventure find us skirting the edges of the Badwater Basin salt flats, and riding through the Devil's Cornfield. We peer down into the maw of Ubehebe Crater and ride alongside of the Devil's Golf Course.

A weekend spinning through Death Valley National Park will renew your spirit, fill you with exhilaration and introduce you to the exceptional beauty, majesty & mystery of this awe-inspiring desert wilderness.

Escape to one of the West's most remarkable national parks and relish a biking experience that simply can't be duplicated anywhere else on the planet.

Trip Highlights

  • Spend three days cycling the otherworldly landscapes of Death Valley National Park
  • Discover alien hideouts and peer down into Ubehebe Crater
  • Cycle to lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin
  • Watch the sunset from the park's famous sand dunes
  • Spend two nights in a comfortable iconic Death Valley hotel

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants should have road cycling experience and be comfortable riding in a group with light vehicle traffic. Rides consist of both moderate and more vigorous cycling days covering 31-42 miles in distance with a maximum elevation gain up to 3,000'. Vehicle support will be available throughout the trip when needed. We recommend a conditioning program beginning at least 3 months prior to departure that incorporates back to back rides of at least 30-35 miles.

  • Cycling
  • Road Cycling

What's Included

Lodging and meals as indicated on the daily itinerary. Professional guide services. Transportation during the course of the trip. Guest's choice of Drop Bar Road Bike, Flat Bar Road Bike, or an e-bike (based on availability).

Accommodations

Hotel: 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Death Valley Weekend Cycling - Lodge Based
Day 1

Meet your companions and transfer to Death Valley for our first ride!

Meet your guides and fellow travelers this morning at our host hotel located in Henderson, Nevada (approx. 20 minutes from Las Vegas). A brief orientation ensures we are all systems go before we load into our private van and set out for Death Valley National Park. Driving to the east side of the park, we'll be fitted on our bikes and begin our ride through this alien landscape to Stovepipe Wells. We take in our first spectacular views of this vast national park and catch glimpses of the salt flats and sand dunes as we drop over 2,000' in elevation. After reaching Stovepipe Wells, we can leave our bikes behind and venture out onto the nearby Mesquite Flat sand dunes for a memorable Death Valley sunset. After a soul rejuvenating sunset, we enjoy a rustic dinner at the Toll Road restaurant before cozying down in our hotel rooms to muse about the day & enjoy a well-earned rest. Lunch and dinner included.

Cycling: 36.8 miles with 651' of elevation gain and 2,763' of elevation loss. Drive time: 2.5 hours.

Day 2

Enjoy a ride down the valley from the Ubehebe Crater

After breakfast, we shuttle to the start of today's ride at the Ubehebe Crater. Ubehebe, meaning "Big Basket", is a 600' deep Maar crater formed as little as 2,100 years ago by steam and gas explosions of an active volcano. You will also see other lesser craters as well as cinder fields. After an optional hike exploring the crater, we are a light snack away from a brief but invigorating climb out of the crater region and the start of nearly 3000' of descent down the valley toward Stovepipe wells. Those wishing to extend the day will have the option of climbing partially up daylight pass before rejoining the main route. A hard earned meal awaits and don't forget all those stars that are visible in the desert night sky! When is the last time you saw the Milky Way? All meals included.

Cycling: 46 miles. Elevation gain of 879'; elevation loss 3486'. Optional ride up to 18 miles with elevation gain/loss 2,125'; Walking: .25- 1.5 miles with minimal elevation gain/loss. Drive time: 1 hour.

Day 3

Ride to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America

Our memorable morning ride leads us to iconic Badwater Basin, 282 feet below sea level & the lowest point in North America. Our route is a dramatically scenic one as it slices through a landscape flanked by multi-hued geological formations that reflect dusty pinks, sea greens, ashy purples, and moody browns. In springtime, roadside meadows may be dotted with colorful wildflowers, adding more pops of color to our surroundings. A 12-mile loop to Artist's Palette (optional) along Artist Drive should not be missed. The ride takes you through canyons, past mountains covered in fantastic colors & a little bit of cinematic history. Once at the basin, we savor the unique & hostile landscape, as well as a tasty picnic lunch prepared by our guides. Walk out to explore the salt flats to see unique salt crystals formations, created as a result of evaporation and erosion. After our visit concludes, we jump into our van and begin the return trip to Las Vegas, musing about our amazing time here and why this is called "The Valley of Death". Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 30.5 miles with 2458' of elevation gain and 2543' of elevation loss. Optional extended ride of 54.8 miles with 3019' elevation gain and 3287' of elevation loss. Drive time: 2.5 hours.

Itinerary map for Death Valley Weekend Cycling - Lodge Based

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Already booked this trip? Sign into your online traveler profile for a more detailed list of what you'll need.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

We provide

  • Drop-bar or flat-bar road bike; e-Bike
  • Flat Pedals
  • Front and Rear Bike Lights
  • Paper Maps/Odometer
  • Repair Kit, Including Spare Tube

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.