Death Valley National Park

Visit Badwater Salt Flats (282 feet below sea level) and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of all 11,049 feet of Telescope Peak. Hike amid surreal sand dune landscapes and between the multi-hued walls of Golden Canyon; experience sunrise at Zabriskie Point; and visit Ubehebe Crater.

Dates
Mar 21 - Mar 26, 2021  (6 Days)
Cost
from $3,495 per person, double occupancy
For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Sunday, March 21
Arrive in Las Vegas

Arrive in Las Vegas independently, and gather at 5:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Place for a welcome drink, introductions, and a trip orientation on the park by your study leader. Dinner will follow near the hotel.
Hyatt Place Las Vegas (D)

Monday, March 22
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge & Death Valley National Park Visitor Center

Transfer to Death Valley National Park. En route we stop at Ash Meadows for time at the visitor center to learn of the plight of the pupfish. We also take a walk along the the Crystal Spring boardwalk. We continue to the Oasis at Death Valley. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the Oasis Inn.
Ranch or Inn at the Oasis at Death Valley (B,L,D)

Tuesday, March 23
Dante’s View, Salt Creek & Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Experience Dante’s View, located at 5,475 feet, and take in a stunning panorama of all 11,049 feet of Telescope Peak. Learn about the creation of the park’s many alluvial fans, the product of millions of years of sporadic yet constant erosion. Later visit Salt Creek and learn about the amazing pupfish, endemic to Death Valley and uniquely adapted to survive in the desert’s harsh environment. End the day’s activities with the chance to walk among the picturesque sand dunes. After dinner enjoy the chance of some stargazing and see firsthand why Death Valley is an officially recognized “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park.
Ranch or Inn at the Oasis at Death Valley (B,L,D)

Wednesday, March 24
Zabriske Point, Titus Canyon & Ubehebe Crater

Watch the warm morning sunlight slowly illuminate the badlands and Panamint Mountains from Zabriskie Point at sunrise. After our sunrise experience, we will return to the Inn for breakfast. We then head out to explore the Titus Canyon narrows and hike among the stratification of rock marking millions of years of geological history. The opening of the canyon affords the best chance to see a chuckwalla in its natural habitat. These sizable lizards have evolved to inflate their bodies to wedge themselves in the cracks in the rock they live in to deter predators. Marvel at Ubehebe Crater, site of a massive volcanic explosion leaving a pit in the earth over 500 feet deep and a half-mile across. If you feel up to it, enjoy a 2-mile hike around the rim of the crater.
Ranch or Inn at the Oasis at Death Valley (B,L)

Thursday, March 25
Golden Canyon & Artist’s Palette

This morning we hike through the multi-hued walls of Golden Canyon toward the Red Cathedral with the option to continue for a longer hike through Gower Gulch. After lunch, relax at the hotel. This evening enjoy the sunset at Artist’s Palette before our farewell dinner at the Inn.
Ranch or Inn at the Oasis at Death Valley (B,D)  

Friday, March 26
Devil's Golf Course, Badwater, Shoreline Butte, Ashford Mill & Las Vegas
As we make our way out of the park this morning we make several stops. Visit Devil’s Golf Course to admire the rugged salt formations,. We then shuttle over to Badwater Salt Flats; at 282 feet below sea level, this salt ­ flat is the lowest place in North America and the eighth lowest place on Earth. The dramatic depth is enhanced by the backdrop of the Panamint Range rising over 11,000 feet. We continue south through the valley stopping by Shoreline Butte, so called as the horizontal lines in its rock face testify to erosion of the waters of prehistoric Lake Manly that filled Death Valley tens of thousands of years ago. We make a short stop at Ashford Mill ruins, a historic site where gold ore was processed a hundred years ago. You can learn about the mill and search for spring wildflowers. Enjoy a picnic before heading back to Las Vegas arriving by 4:00 p.m. Take an evening flight or extend your stay in Vegas and the surrounding area including Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park. Please book your return ­flights for 6:00 pm or later. (B,L)

$3,495 per person, double occupancy (at Oasis at Death Valley Ranch)
$4,195 per person, single occupancy (at Oasis at Death Valley Ranch)

Supplement to Upgrade to the Oasis at Death Valley Inn (4 nights):
$620 per person, double occupancy
$1,030 single occupancy

Included
1 night at the Hyatt Place, Las Vegas; 4 nights at the Oasis at Death Valley Ranch; 5 daily breakfasts at the hotel, 4 lunches and 4 dinners; welcome and farewell dinners with beer and wine; round-trip transfers from Las Vegas Airport to Death Valley National Park; tours, entrances, and events as specified in the itinerary; mini-bus transportation for all excursions; gratuities for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff; expert guide Drew Schlachter; services of a professional Tour Manager; the camaraderie of the Club’s travelers.

Not Included
Air transportation to and from Las Vegas, Nevada; meals and beverages other than those specified as included; optional excursions and other activities done independently; trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance; personal items such as e-mail, telephone and fax calls, souvenirs, laundry and gratuities for non-group services.

What to Expect

Average temperatures during this time range from 53-80°. Our transportation around the park is by vans. Travelers should be in active good health to participate in this trip. Though walks are not too strenuous, they are over uneven terrain and may require the use of hands and feet to climb over obstructions. Our longest hike is about 2 miles, with approximately 500 feet in elevation gain. Almost all walks are “out and back” so participants can go as far as they like, and then wait for the group to return. For those who would like more active hiking, we can help arrange that during your free time.

Trip Educators
Tour Leader and Guide
Tour Leader & Guide, Drew Schlachter
Drew Schlachter has more than 20 years of guiding experience and has been fortunate to lead a variety of trips across much of America, from Alaska to the Desert Southwest, the Pacific States to the Rocky Mountains and beyond. He has been leading groups to Death Valley for more than 10 years and been personally visiting the Park for many years before that.

Drew has engaged in a variety of interesting professional experiences, including leading trail crews for the National Forest Service, film location scout, regional manager for tutoring programs on the Navajo Reservation, and a leader for student travel programs. He has also been an instructor for recreational therapy, wilderness therapy, challenge courses, and numerous other educational programs.

Drew graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Recreation Management degree, and lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, outdoor sports, reading, photography, and visiting friends and family across the globe. His passion for outdoor education and preservation shines through on his trips, and he looks forward to showcasing the amazing locations that you will visit in Death Valley.

Eligibility:
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Deposits & Payments:
To make a reservation, a deposit of $500 per person is required by check or credit card. Please email travel@commonwealthclub.org to sign up for the trip. Please provide your full name(s), address, email, and phone number. We can call you to take your deposit or send you a link to pay by credit card.  If you want to pay by check, please mail your check (payable to “Black Sheep Adventures, Inc”) to Commonwealth Club Travel, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure.

Cancellations & Refunds:
Your deposit and payments are refundable, less the following cancel fees:

  • Cancel 91 days or more prior to trip start date: Deposit is fully refundable.
  • Cancel 61-90 days prior to trip start: $500 deposit
  • Cancel 0-60 days prior to trip start: No refund

The tour can also be canceled due to low enrollment. Neither CWC nor Black Sheep Adventures accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour.

COVID-19 and Planning Future Travel: We understand that travelers have concerns about booking future tours due to COVID-19. As we look forward, we are hopeful that conditions will be favorable to travel. However, the safety and security of our guests are always our top priorities and, should U.S. authorities – Department of State and the CDC – deem it unsafe to travel to the destinations in the itinerary, we would cancel the trip or postpone it until a later date. 

During the trip we will take additional precautions including social distancing on hikes, masks and gloves available for guests, hand sanitizer available each day, and working with all restaurants for spacing during group meals. We will be adaptable and flexible given health recommendations at that time.

Trip Insurance:
We recommend trip-cancellation insurance. A brochure describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation  and can be viewed on the Travel Insurance Services website.

Medical Information:
Participation in this program requires that you be in good health. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure.

Responsibility:
The Commonwealth Club of California and our ground operators and suppliers act only as agents for the travelers with respect to transportation and arrangements, and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motor coach, or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, pandemics, quarantine, force majure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates provide arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. Thee right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. The Commonwealth Club of California accepts no liability for any carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour.

Registration
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40