Mojave National Preserve  
Death Valley Backpacking
An Epic Experience

Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Trip Code: DVMO

Duration: 4 Days

Distance: 38 mi/61 km

Fitness: 3
Comfort: 1
Solitude: 5

Origin: Las Vegas, Nevada

Cost: $1000/person

Trip Description:

The Mojave National Preserve protects over 700,000 acres of some of the most remote, stark, rugged, and intensely beautiful desert in North America.  Here, Joshua Trees are king, growing in literal forests that blanket the desert floor.  Surrounding the valley floors are rugged mountains mountains that seem to rise instantly, waiting to be climbed.  Our Mojave National Preserve Backpacking tour will give you a new sense of solitude, beauty, and true wilderness as we hike, climb, explore, and ramble all over this howling backcountry treasure.  Mojave National Preserve lies in the geologic province known as the Basin and Range, characterized by fault-bounded mountain ranges and sediment-collecting basins.  Just south of Death Valley and just north of Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve encompasses the scenery, geology, and outstanding wilderness of the other two parks, but does not attract nearly the same number of people, which is great for you as we hike and explore this fabulous desert wilderness in a largely trailless environment.  Be warned: the desert calls for thee! 

**The Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley make world-class winter hiking destinations!

  1. Sunset, Mojave National Preserve
  2. New York Mountains, Mojave National Preserve
  3. Teutonia Peak Trail, Mojave National Preserve
  4. Teutonia Peak, Mojave National Preserve
  5. Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve
  6. New York Mountains, Mojave National Preserve
  7. Horned Toad, Mojave National Preserve
  8. Keystone Canyon, Mojave National Preserve
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Mojave National Preserve Backpacking tour begins with an interesting drive from Las Vegas, Nevada to the Teutonia Peak Trailhead, where we will climb through the largest, densest Joshua Tree forest in the world.  From the summit of Teutonia Peak, we will gain a spectacular overview and orientation to Mojave National Preserve, as your geologist/guide walks you through the many landmarks and talks about our hiking and backpacking adentures for the next few days.  After lunch on the summit, we will make our way down the mountain, and head south towards Kelso Dunes.  Kelso Dune, along with it sub-dunes, rise over 700 feet above the Mojave Desert floor, giving us a wonderful opportunity for a rewarding hike filled with sweeping views, photo opportunities, and of course a chance to contemplate where all of this sand comes from.  After a wild sandboard down the front side of the dune, we will make camp nearby and prepare for our epic journey ahead.
Drive Time: 2 hours
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 1500 foot ascent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 2 & 3:

Day two starts at sunrise, as we head north towards the New York Mountains and the heart of Mojave National Preserve.  We will spend the next two days hiking and exploring the canyons, valleys, and summits of this rugged and spectacular desert mountain range from our deep wilderness basecamp in the New York Mountains.  Get ready for a surprisingly alive desert, spectacular sunsets, and wild hiking adventure!
Distance & Elevation: 8-11 miles each day, 1000 foot elevation gain/loss each day
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Our final day begins with sunrise yoga on the rocks, the further morning exploration of these fabulous Mojave Desert mountains.  We will then trek back to our shuttle and head back to Las Vegas, stopping to celebrate our epic trip like a geologist; with a cold beverage at a local watering hole.
Distance & Elevation: 8 miles miles, 1000 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas to Mojave National Preserve 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 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 limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods.  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 backpacking trips in Mojave National Preserve will accommodate 5 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 8 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?
In 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 either St. George, Utah (2 hour drive) or 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: 13-16
February: 9-12
March: 11-14
November: 19-22
December: 19-22

2018 Dates
January: 13-16
February: 9-12
March: 11-14
November: 19-22
December: 19-22

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.