Death Valley Icons
Death Valley BaseCamping
A Geologist Experience

Trip Details

Type: BaseCamp Hiking and Hot Springs

Trip Code: MODV

Duration: 5 Days

Distance: 35 mi/57 km

Fitness: 2
Comfort: 2
Solitude: 3

Origin: Las Vegas, Nevada

Cost: $1350/person

Trip Description:

Death Valley National Park is one of the most spectacular and extreme places on Earth, and a playground for those seeking adventure.  Our Death Valley Icons BaseCamp tour celebrates everything that is grand about this wonderful park, including nightly visits to the famed Furnace Creek Hot Springs, hiking forays into Marble Canyon and Desolation Canyon, and a tremendous overview of all the famous and wonderful places that Death Valley veterans know and love.  Death Valley is also one of the most geologically complex places in the American Southwest, with massive faults, 11,000 foot mountains bounding the lowest point in North America, numerous isolated and spectacular canyons, lush riparian areas with natural springs, rocks that race each other, and some of the most outstanding scenery in the entire National Park system.  Death Valley is truly a paradise unlike any other.

  1. Death Valley Bloom, Death Valley National Park
  2. Artist's Drive, Death Valley
  3. Sunset at Death Valley National Park
  4. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park
  5. Funeral Mountains, Death Valley
  6. Dante's View, Death Valley
  7. Zabriskie Point, Death Valley
  8. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Death Valley Icons BaseCamp tour begins in Las Vegas, Nevada where after final preperations, we will drive out to Death Valley through the fames Mojoave Desert.  Upon our arrival, we will get an immediate bird's eye view of our playground for the week from Dante's Point, which lends an astounding view of the Amargosa River, Devil's Golf Course, Badwater Basin, the Furnace Creek area, and into the Panamint Mountains reaching over 11,000 feet in elevation.  We will then descend and hit all of Death Valley's most famous points in a veritable tour de force, hitting Badwater Basin, Artist's Drive, Zabriskie Point, and the Playa Racetrack among other Iconic features.  After a full day, we will head out of the park to our comfortable and private campsite in the Nopah Wilderness to prepare for the epic journey we are about to embark upon.
Drive Time: 4 hours
Distance & Elevation: 2 miles, 160 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Today’s adventure starts with a hearty breakfast in camp, then a cruise back into Death Valley National Park for an excellent hike into Sidewinder Canyon, one of the truly epic canyons of Death Valley.  This is Death Valley's premier slot canyon, and it is an adventurous one that will have up scrambling and tunneling.  We will top off the day with a trip to Furnace Creek Hot Springs after dinner at the Cantina.
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 160 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

Today’s hike will be a doube dip; we will adventure into Grotto Canyon in the morning, have lunch, then hike into Mosaic Canyon.  These canyons both feature excellent water-eroded features and polished canyon walls, and offer tremendous perspective into how important water has been in shaping Death Valley.  We will enjoy another relaxing evening at the Furnace Creek Hot Springs, with optional drinks at the Cantina before returning to our campsite for dinner.
Distance & Elevation: 10 miles, 350 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Day 4 features a foray into Death Valley's towering mountains and onto the west side of the Panamint Moutains.  From here, we will observe sweeping stunning views into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, including Mt. Whitney and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks to the west. Your geologist/guide will lead the group as we hike and explore this vast expanse of outstanding wilderness, and weather-permitting, summit one of the Panamint's impressive peaks.  We will follow this up with another evening at the hot springs, with optional drinks at the Cantina.  We will return to our campsite for a delicious dinner. 
Distance & Elevation: Up to 10 miles, Up to 1000 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:

Our final day in Death Valley begins with sunrise yoga on the rocks, followed by a hike into Lower Marble Canyon, arguably Death Valley's most scenic canyon.  In this intimate setting we will enjoy lush greenery, towering canyon walls of billion year-old metamorphic rock, and a stunning waterfall, a rare sight in the hottest, driest place on Earth.  We will have lunch, then do our final excursion on a trail of your geologist/guide's choice that showcases the incredible scenery and geology of Death Valley.  We will then say our final goodbyes to this wonderful, mystical place, before we go to the China Ranch Date Farm, world famous for its excellent homemade ice creams and sumptuous milkshakes.  We will then pack up camp and head back to Las Vegas.
Distance & Elevation: Up to 8 miles, minimal descent
Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 2 hours

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: daypack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas to Death Valley and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail and in camp that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be available, and meals will be served cafeteria-style on covered tables.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Las Vegas, Nevada
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most basecamping trips in Death Valley will accommodate 6 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 10 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
IIn order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Las Vegas, Nevada and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Las Vegas. You will want to fly into Las Vegas. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Las Vegas. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Las Vegas and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Las Vegas by 6pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
January: 17-21
February: 13-17
March: 9-13
November: 25-29
December: 12-16

2018 Dates
January: 17-21
February: 13-17
March: 9-13
November: 25-29
December: 12-16

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.