Our trip begins today in Palm Springs, California. Meet your guides and fellow adventurers at 12:00pm and transfer to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Constructed in 1963 to provide easier access to cooler mountain temperatures from the floor of the Coachella Valley, the tramway takes us for a scenic 2�-mile ride through Chino Canyon up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Our loop hike this afternoon climbs out of Round Valley and offers spectacular views of the surrounding desert, towering Mount San Jacinto (10,834?) and many other nearby peaks. In springtime, ephemeral wildflowers line our trail adding bright accents of color. After enjoying our initial taste of the desert, we transfer to our hotel in Palm Springs for some relaxation time and dinner at a lively local restaurant. We spend the next two nights in Palm Springs. Dinner included.
Hiking: 4 miles with 800? of elevation gain/loss.
After breakfast, we head out to explore Joshua Tree National Park. Known for its rugged mountains, towering boulders, and vast plains dotted with the park?s namesake trees, Joshua Tree lies at an ecological intersection where California?s high Mojave Desert meets the low Colorado Desert. Our planned hike today showcases quintessential scenery as we descend along sandy trails through a forest of twisted, spiky Joshua Trees. As we hike, our guides help us understand how the location of the park impacts its complex geology and ecosystem and plays a part in everything we encounter during our walk. Before beginning our drive back to Palm Springs this afternoon, we stop at Keys View, the highest viewpoint in the park offering sweeping panoramas of this dramatic landscape including the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Mount Gorgonio (11,502?) and the Salton Sea. All meals included.
Hiking: 6.8 miles with 250? of elevation gain/loss.
We cruise out of the desert this morning and begin our 3-hour drive west towards the Pacific Ocean. Arriving at the coast around midday, we stop at a waterfront park in La Jolla where our guides prepare a tasty picnic lunch. After relaxing by the water and stretching our legs, we begin our sea kayaking adventure to the La Jolla sea caves. Our guides provide an instructional safety briefing before we slip into our sea kayaks and push off from shore. We paddle along the coastline and explore these fantastic caves ? most accessible only by water ? that the ocean has carved from ancient cliffs. En route, we watch for sea lions, harbor seals, pelicans, and other wildlife species that live or migrate through this marine reserve. Tonight, we hope to catch a legendary Southern California sunset before enjoying a final celebration dinner together. All meals included.
Sea kayaking: 2 hours. Transfer: 3 hours.
We transfer to Mission Beach this morning and cycle along one of SoCal?s famous beachside bike paths. We soak in the laid-back, local vibe as we cruise down the coast, breathing in the salty ocean air and listening to the waves crashing against the nearby shore. After a final farewell lunch, we transfer together to San Diego International Airport where our adventure ends. We plan to arrive at the San Diego airport at 3:30pm. Please do not schedule any flights out of San Diego before 5:30pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 8 miles.