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Cycle Nevada: Death Valley & Valley of Fire


Combine cycling with dramatic deserts, memorable hikes and the excitement of Las Vegas as you take in the highlights of Death Valley and the Valley of Fire. Cycle to Hoover Dam, ride winding roads through Nevada’s biggest state park, discover red rock canyons, sandstone cliffs and ancient petrified trees, or take in heavenly vistas of the Badlands from Dante’s View lookout. With great weather and scenery, the cycling in these National Parks is second to none. Off the bike you’ll find some of the country’s best hiking as well as small towns and friendly locals – this cycling adventure takes in the best of it all at a pace everyone can enjoy.

6 days, from

$2,420

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: SSXDV
Style: Original
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Simple Hotel/Motel (5 nights)
Transportation: Bicycle (e-bike option available , subject to availability) , Support vehicle
Meals: dinners, 5 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Lose yourself among the bright lights of Las Vegas and the Strip, and remember, what happens in Vegas...

  • Take in spectacular views of the Colorado River as you cycle along the Historic Hoover Dam Railroad Trail which includes five short but huge tunnels.

  • Ride to Death Valley’s largest and most famous sand dunes which were the inspiration for the dunes of planet Tatooine in the original Star Wars movie.

  • Cycle through dramatic desert scenery in Nevada’s oldest and biggest state park, the ominously named Valley of Fire.

  • Jump on your bike and discover an amazing view over the vast, stark expanse of Death Valley, America’s largest national park outside Alaska.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas, a surreal oasis in the desert and the gambling capital of the world. Meet your fellow cyclists and guide at midday for a group meeting before taking a short 40 minute drive to Boulder City for your first ride in Nevada. After being fitted for your bike, take the Historic Hoover Dam Railroad Trail as it gradually winds its way over hardpacked gravel through five short but huge tunnels and down to the Hoover Dam. The views from the Lake Mead Overlook are nothing short of spectacular. Take some time to take in the immense size of the dam and the epic views down the Colorado River towards the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge – and get a cheeky entry into Arizona half way across the dam before climbing back on the bike and joining the traffic-free River Mountain Loop Trail which follows the contours of the lake for around 16kms (10 miles). Your support vehicle will take you back to Las Vegas with the evening free to hit the shops, ride a rooftop roller coaster or simply wander along the Strip, soaking up the glitz and glamour. Later in the evening, perhaps feast on an 'all you can eat' buffet, check out one of the many shows on offer – book in advance if you can, to get the best deals – or party the night away in a Vegas nightclub.

Day 2: Cycle the Valley of Fire State Park

Start your day with a one-hour drive from Las Vegas to Nevada’s oldest and biggest state park, the ominously named Valley of Fire. From here, cycle the lightly trafficked road through dramatic desert scenery as you wind your way beneath bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in grey and tan limestone. Ancient natural and man-made history is everywhere, from the prehistoric, petrified trees to the Anasazi petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. While the route does involve a good amount of climbing, the views serve as an amazing distraction as you cycle past Winstone Arch, Beehives, and Elephant Rock before heading up into the heart of the park and the outstanding vistas over Fire Canyon and Pastel Canyon. Head back to the start point before reboarding the vehicle for the drive back to the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Day 3: Cycle Rhyolite to Furnace Creek

Leave Las Vegas behind and drive two hours east to the ‘ghost town’ of Rhyolite, a former gold rush town now slowly decaying back into the desert. Here you will start your ride along the appropriately named Death Valley Road as it slowly climbs up to Daylight Pass and crosses into California. From the summit, more than 1,000 metres (4,317 feet) above the valley floor, enjoy your first views over the vast, stark expanse of Death Valley, America’s largest national park outside of Alaska. From here you can simply stop pedalling as the road drops down into the valley on a freewheeling 27 km (17 mile) descent, losing almost 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) of elevation on the way down. After your brakes have cooled, ride the last flat 17 km (10 mile) stretch through the desolate yet beautiful landscape past the famed Harmony Borax Works and into the small town of Furnace Creek, your home for the next 3 nights.

Day 4: Zabriske Point & Badwater Basin

Start your day early with a superb 5 km (3 mile) hike into Golden Canyon, a spectacularly eroded landscape that’s often described as “Mars on Earth”, and up to the Red Cathedral and Zabriskie Point, arguably Death Valley’s most famous viewpoint. Watch the Badlands glow gold and the Panamint Range across the valley turn pink in the early morning light before it’s time to jump on the bike and ride. Start with an enjoyable 9 km (6 mile) downhill ride back through Furnace Creek to the lowest elevation in North America, the Badwater Basin, where salt flats cover nearly 518 square kilometres (200 square miles). Take a short walk along the boardwalk to view the flats, the spring-fed pool, and distant Telescope Peak which towers more than 3.2 kms (2 miles) above you. To escape the growing heat, jump back into the vehicle and enjoy the scenic return trip to Furnace Creek, stopping en route to view the spectacular array of colours that adorn the hills of Artists Palette. Spend the afternoon relaxing and resting your legs.

Day 5: Cycle Ubehebe Crater to Mesquite Flat

It’s an early morning start to beat the heat with a one-hour drive up to the Ubehebe Crater, a 180 m (600 ft) deep volcanic crater. Enjoy a short 2.5 km (1.5 mile) hike around the rim to take in the view of the colourful layers of sedimentary rock exposed by the explosion, then hop on your bike for your final ride, a long mostly downhill ride, passing right through the menacingly named Devil’s Cornfield to Mesquite Flat Dunes. Amazingly, only one percent of Death Valley is sand dunes but this dune is the biggest and most well-known. The 100 ft (30 m) high mounds were the inspiration for the dunes of planet Tatooine in the original Star Wars movie and are home to many animals including the unique kangaroo rat. After a short hike into the dunes, empty the sand from your shoes and reboard the support vehicle for the short drive 30 minute drive back to Furnace Creek.

Day 6: Dante’s View & Las Vegas

With no riding today, enjoy a well-earned sleep in or go for one last (unsupported) ride before taking the vehicle up the steep sides of the Black Mountains to the breathtaking vantage point at Dante’s View. Your legs and lungs will thank you for driving and not cycling as you look down on the valley floor you left behind, now more than 1.5 kilometres (5500 ft) below your feet. Despite the name, the panoramic views over where you have ridden are heavenly as you look down on Badwater Basin and Death Valley. From here, it’s back into the van for the 2.5 hour drive across the dry vastness of Nevada’s landscape and through the Spring Mountains to the desert oasis of Las Vegas where your cycling adventure finishes on arrival. If you wish to spend more time in Las Vegas, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

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