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Desert Oasis: Zion, Death Valley & Palm Springs

  • 9 Days / 8 Nights
  • January to March
Deserts are where nature paints its big-canvas, its most astonishing and colorful landscapes and wildest sculptures, flaming sunsets and deepest, starriest night skies. Highlights of this fully-escorted motorcoach tour include a tour of both Death Valley National Park and of the Valley of Fire in Fire State Park, a guided walk through Zion Canyon, a visit to the Center & Garden of Sunnylands – the sprawling Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, plus a stay in Las Vegas.
  • Round trip scheduled flights
  • Accommodation for 8 nights as specified
  • 17 meals as specified
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
  • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
  • Classic tours

2024 Departure Dates

January 11th, 18th & 25th

February 15th & 22nd

March 7th, 14th & 21st


Pricing Information

With airlines and hotels regularly introducing special offers, we’ve elected to not display pricing on our website. In order to ensure that we give you the most competitive price for the itinerary you’re interested in we’ll apply the best rates, promotions and offers that are available when we receive your enquiry. Please contact us via email, telephone or our websites ‘make an enquiry’, and we’ll endeavour to provide you with a tailor-made quotation within one working day.

Day 1

Arrive Las Vegas

Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Four Seasons Las Vegas, a luxury hotel that is a tranquil, non-gaming retreat away from the action, but shopping, bright lights, and entertainment are just a short walk away. The rest of the day is yours to explore Las Vegas as you please, before starting your Tauck holiday tomorrow.

Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas
Day 2

Las Vegas

Today you will have more free time to explore the incredible sights and sounds of Las Vegas! Why not soar 550 feet above the centre of the Las Vegas Strip on the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel? Or perhaps take a balloon ride over the Nevada desert. In the evening you will join the rest of your tour group where you will enjoy a welcome dinner. 

Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas (Welcome Dinner Included)
Day 3

The Valley of Fire and Zion

This morning the excitment begins as you travel to Valley of Fire State Park, in the Mojave Desert, a landscape of red sandstone mountains, bizarre rock formations, cacti, and undulating striped hills of pink and orange; it is a vast, mystical, outdoor gallery, where ancient tribes left hidden messages in strange, indelible petroglyphs. Drive to Zion National Park in Utah, arriving in time for dinner at your classic wilderness lodge inside the park’s south entrance.

Zion Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)
Day 4

Zion National Park

Zion, named by Mormon settlers, is known for its dramatic, diverse geography: forests, deserts, canyons with soaring red sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, emerald pools, weeping rocks, and hanging gardens, and monumental rock formations with titles like Angels Landing, Court of the Patriarchs, the Temple of Sinawara (coyote-god of the Paiutes), and the Great White Throne, that suggest a place between earth and heaven. California Condors and golden eagles sail over canyons that harbor bighorn sheep and mountain lions; forests along the winding Virgin River are home to mule deer, spotted owls, and peregrine falcons. This morning experience an awe-inspiring guided walk through Zion Canyon, featuring some of the park’s iconic scenery, molded, and sculpted from soft rock by currents of water. After lunch in nearby Springdale or at the lodge, rejoin the group on a scenic drive highlighting the major landmarks in the eastern half of the park, a photogenic realm of orange-tinted rock, petrified dunes, arches, plunging canyons, and stunning vistas. Tonight, dinner is followed by a lecture on the park’s ecology and history.

Zion Lodge (Breakfast and dinner included)
Day 5

Death Valley

Depart Zion National Park and head back to Las Vegas via St. George, where you’ll board a small plane for a flightseeing trip over the west side of Grand Canyon National Park and Lake Mead; arrive at North Las Vegas Airport. Depart the airport for the drive to Death Valley, a stretch of desert east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Named by luckless prospectors looking for a shortcut to the California Gold Rush, Death Valley is known as the lowest, driest, hottest place in North America, 282 feet below sea level. In an earlier era, it was the bottom of a vast lake which evaporated and left behind a moonscape that a million years of wind and elements have carved into strange rolling hills, unexpected rock formations, desert plains, sand dunes, and salt pans. Arrive at your luxury resort deep inside Death Valley National Park, under the shade of palm trees on a lush desert oasis.

The Inn at Death Valley (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Day 6

Badwater Basin and Artists Palette

Among Death Valley’s stranger features are sand dunes that emit ghostly sounds, like the low notes of an organ. Strange, too, is the fact that this inhospitable place has been the ancestral home of a Native American tribe, the Timbisha, for at least a thousand years. Perhaps most surprising, Death Valley teems with hidden life. Bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, and occasional mountain lions live discreetly in the hills; small creatures survive by burrowing underground or under rocks; some, like kit foxes and black-tailed jackrabbits, are nocturnal, and some endemic species like the Badwater Snail actually thrive in hostile environments. Board a special vehicle for a tour of major landmarks, including Zabriskie Point, a location for westerns, Star Wars movies, and an Antonioni art film; Badwater Basin, covered in salt, looks from a distance looks like a tundra blanketed with snow, where the constant cycle of freezing, thawing, and evaporation of water has carved a honeycomb pattern on the plain; and Artists Palette, a psychedelic (geologic) patchwork tinted with many colors. Return to the lodge for lunch, then it’s your choice: spend the afternoon at the inn enjoying the pool, the spa, tennis, or a game of golf, or venture out to Mesquite Flats, where mesquite trees and creosote bushes are habitats for birds and small animals, and hiking trails wind among towering, mesmerizing sand dunes. You’ll also visit the remains of a mining facility at Furnace Creek that used to haul borax out of the valley in 20-mule-team wagons; the company went bust in 1888, but the 20-mule-team logo remains a commercial and cultural icon. Keep your eyes peeled for elusive wildlife; you may not see a coyote riding an Acme rocket, but there are roadrunners galore. Tonight, experience the dazzling constellations of the desert sky, untouched by ground lights; Death Valley has been designated the largest dark-sky national park in the country by the International Dark Sky Association.

The Inn at Death Valley (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 7

Joshua Tree National Park

Depart for Palm Springs, with a picnic lunch along the way, and arrive this afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park. Here the Mojave and Colorado deserts, with their distinct vegetation and ecosystems, merge to create a surreal landscape of creosote and cactus, weird rock formations, boulder hills, wandering canyons, and windswept desert plains where giant yucca plants called Joshua Trees open their spiky arms to heaven. Along nature trails that wind through Lost Horse Valley, hidden oases, abandoned mining camps, arresting monoliths, and the Wonderland of Rocks, the park is a place out of time, made for awestruck wonder and meditation.  Begin the last leg of your road trip, and arrive at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage in time for dinner.

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Day 8

Palm Springs & Sunnylands

Once famous for its restorative springs and health tourism, Palm Springs in the mid-20th century became a hot destination for movie stars, presidents, and entertainers drawn to its burgeoning golf resorts, nightclubs, and casinos, where they created an impressive community of wealth and influence. Depart your hotel on Frank Sinatra Drive for a visit to Sunnylands, the former estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg. The exquisite modernist mansion, designed by A. Quincy Jones, sits on 200 acres with its own golf course (naturally), and was known as “Camp David of the West” for the number of presidents who stayed and played there; the estate is now a retreat and meeting place for world leaders, dedicated to international understanding; peruse the garden and visitor’s center for a sense of Sunnylands’ history, then embark on a tour of the area’s extraordinary wealth of mid-century Desert Modern architecture. Spend free time in town for lunch and explore on your own, then join us at the hotel this evening for a farewell reception and dinner.

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage (Breakfast and dinner included)
Day 9

Journey Home

Following check-out, you will be transferred to Palm Springs International Airport, California your flight back to the UK. Alternatively, you may choose to extend your stay for a few extra nights in California. 

Get in Touch

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