Total tour distance: 186 miles
Daily tour distance: 46 miles
Difficulty: 40 / 100
Death Valley’s wide byways travel far above and even below sea level, delving into the heart of the American West’s extraordinary Basin and Range country. The park boundaries hold the greatest extremes of this multi-state geographic phenomenon: mountains rise to 11,000 feet on either side of the valley itself, which plummets to -282 feet. Wildlife and wildflowers animate the spaces between salt spires and sand dunes and when the searing desert sun drops below the jagged horizon, the night sky sparks our sense of wonder with its bedazzling display of stars. We dive into the human history of the valley at Scotty’s Castle, sampling the stories that originally gave the valley its name and notoriety. Throughout the week, we explore the immense diversity of all the park has to offer, venturing out onto the salt flats of Badwater, discovering the rainbow of earthen colors at Artists’ Palette, and winding through alpine forests and eagle eye views far above. In the evening, relax at lodging based around some of the park’s most historic landmarks. Spin your wheels while this strange land spins its tales and let nature speak for itself; Death Valley is a fantastic escape.
Available: November 1 - March 31; Temperatures during these months average in the 70’s F (21 C) during the day and upper 40’s F (9 C) during the night. A February 16-22 Departure and March 23rd-28th Departure are available for booking!
Day 1 – Arrive in Las Vegas
Arrive to Las Vegas and transfer to Beatty Junction (98 miles / 2 hours) for the night. Pick up at Hyatt Place Hotel in Las Vegas at 2pm (extra nights can be arranged, please inquire). Tonight we hear more about the tour ahead from our guides and get fit with our bikes.
Day 2 – Scotty’s Castle to Stovepipe wells approx. 44 miles
We explore the famously quirky Scotty's Castle. This unfinished 25 room villa is a creation of the imaginations of two classic characters from the 1920's. Take note of the wild stories of the swindler known as "Death Valley Scotty" and his wealthy friend, Mr. Johnson who constructed Death Valley Ranch for his wife. Our ride today is from Scotty’s Castle to Stovepipe wells, where we will catch spectacular views of the salt flats and sand dunes of the valley as we drop nearly 3,000' in elevation. This is a day to experience the dunes shown in some of the photos.
Day 3 – Stovepipe Wells to Panamint Springs approx. 56 miles
Today we cycle from Stovepipe Wells at sea level to Panamint Springs. It is a steady climb, and at 2,000ft we get to Emigrant Junction, where we take the road to Wildrose Canyon. This route takes us via Emigrant Pass (5,328ft) and it's a great ride over to Panamint Valley. After 42miles we get to Road 178 and head north to Panamint Springs for overnight (2,000ft) . Note; there is a short section of unpaved road today; about 1.5 miles.
Day 4 – Panamint Springs to Furnace Creek approx. 56 miles
Another fabulous and challenging days cycling from Panamint Springs to Furnace Creek. After 24miles we encounter Towne Pass (4956ft) followed by 18miles down hill, 5000ft of continuous drop to Stovepipe Wells and the bottom of Death Valley. Continue down the valley over undulating terrain to the oasis of Furnace Creek. Today climb 3400ft but enjoy a 5000ft downhill to our overnight stop!
Day 5 – Furnace Creek to Badwater Basin and Back via Artist Palette approx. 30 miles
Today we pedal and coast to the lowest elevation in North America, Badwater Basin, resting at 282 feet below sea level. Our ride today is truly spectacular as it passes over a landscape flanked by multi-hued features in dusty pinks, sea greens, ashy purples and moody browns. Next, prepare for a challenging loop around the aptly named Artist's Palette. We will pedal our way through narrow dips and hairpin corners on this smooth, one-way-only road. After rejoining the main road and heading south again, we’ll savor a tasty guide-prepared lunch in the basin and take advantage of a chance to venture out onto the salt flats.
Day 6 – Furnace Creek to Dante’s View options for 13 – 26miles
Our final ride takes us to the top of Dante’s Peak to savor the park’s outlandish beauty. From here, we can ponder the profound contrast of the eighth lowest place on earth immediately adjacent to 11,000 foot Telescope Peak, the highest point in Death Valley. Unforgettable views help capture the essence of the outlandish landscape that is Death Valley. After indulging in this heavenly vista, we'll descend from Dante's on a breathtaking ride losing thousands of feet along the way! The shuttle will meet us for the return trip to Las Vegas; plan to arrive in Las Vegas between 4-6pm.