Southern California Ocean & Desert Multisport

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4-12
Activity level
Starting from
$1,999 for REI Members
$2,199 for non-members

Departure dates will be announced soon.

We can let you know as soon as they are.

Sun-soaked adventures in California?s diverse ecosystems.

On this sun-drenched 4-day multisport exploration, we?ll hike, bike and kayak through the splendor of southern California?s unique desert and coastal landscapes. In the shadows of 10,000-foot peaks, dramatic landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park lead us to the convergence of two deserts sprinkled with fascinating geology, flora and fauna. Each evening, we dine on delicious local cuisine and return to a comfortable bed for a well-earned rest.

From Palm Springs, we jump on the aerial tramway and ascend thousands of feet to our hike near the base of 10,833? Mount San Jacinto. Heading west to one of the most beloved stretches of coastline, we?ll kayak through ancient sea caves carved over the millennia by the relentless forces of wind and water. Dip your toes in cool Pacific waters and spend some time taking it all in as we cycle the beachside bike paths of Mission Beach. From cacti to coast, this exhilarating yet easy-going adventure transports us away from winter?s chill and into southern California?s warm and welcoming embrace.

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Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy spectacular desert views on a hike in Mt. San Jacinto State Park
  • Hike through the unique landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park
  • Go sea kayaking among the 75-million-year-old La Jolla sea caves
  • Ride beach cruisers along beachside bike paths
  • Spend each night in comfortable hotels in Palm Springs and San Diego

Activities

This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. Participants should enjoy hiking and feel comfortable hiking up to 6 miles with elevation gains/losses of up to 750' for multiple days in succession. The cycling and sea kayaking excursions are both suitable for novices and do not require previous experience other than being comfortable riding a bike. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least 2-3 months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking, jogging, cycling and/or swimming.

  • Hiking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Cycling

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 through lunch on Day 4; transportation from Palm Springs to San Diego; professional guide leadership; support vehicle; snacks and water; cruiser bikes on Day 3; sea kayaks and associated gear on Day 3; park entrance fees, permits and local taxes.

Accommodations

Hotel: 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Embark on a scenic tram ride then hike in the wildflower-laden Mt. Jacinto State Park.

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.

Day 2�

Hike through the unique desert landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park.

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.

Day 3�

Journey from desert to coast then paddle through marine reserves to ancient sea caves.

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.

Day 4

Cycle beachfront bike paths and soak in the SoCal vibe one last time.

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.

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.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (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.