Join National Geographic photographer and Palm Springs expert Christopher P. Baker on an exciting Joshua Tree and Palm Springs multisport adventure tour with
4 days / 3 nights

“Chris, I really enjoyed you as a photographer, a guide, and of course as a fabulous story teller. I loved your positive energy


Towering rock formations, deep canyons, sweeping vistas and surreal landscapes from another planet await you around every bend in the Joshua Tree wilderness. All along the way, your expert guide will share the history and geology of the park, along with fun stories about the plants, animals and other unique characteristics. Try your hand at new activities like joining certified rock-climbing guides who’ll customize a rock-climbing adventure for you. And this multi-sport trip knows no human bounds, as you’ll also soar over the most beautiful landscape the Coachella Valley has to offer, taking in views of desert oases and date palm groves. Back on the ground, admire the mid-century architecture and old Hollywood glamour of Palm Springs. If you enjoy art, adventure and the desert, you’ll never want this getaway to end.


  • Walking amid giant boulders and cholla cactus gardens in Joshua Tree National Park
  • Hot-air ballooning over the Coachella Valley
  • Exploring the San Andreas fault zone by jeep
  • A thrilling aerial tram ride to hike atop Mount San Jacinto

Itinerary at a Glance

Begin your explorations of the Coachella Valley and Mojave Desert in California’s famed desert oasis, Palm Springs. With your Classic Journeys guide, hop on the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world, and head 8,516 feet up to the wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park with for a scenic walk that sets the stage for memorable moments to come.

You make a giant cinematic leap today, as you wake in the movie star playground of Palm Springs, then spend the day somewhere that feels decidedly like a movie set…but is 100% real-life nature. Mother Nature has made a masterpiece of Joshua Tree National Park. With its hulking boulders and yucca-studded vistas, it’s hard to explore without envisioning a T-Rex emerging from behind a rock or Indiana Jones riding across the sand. Your expert local guide introduces you to walking trails that lead to Skull Rock, Cholla Cactus Garden and Ryan Mountain with stunning 360-degree views from its peak. You’ll see otherworldly rock formations, stark desert plains, and, of course, Joshua Trees galore.

Through the Coachella Valley, a jeep whisks you away for a ride through the labyrinth of geological cuts and canyons that form the San Andreas Fault Zone. Later, explore town on an afternoon walk, hearing stories and anecdotes of how a tiny agricultural settlement grew into one of the glitziest getaways of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Pull away the covers early—just once—this week. It’s for a seriously spectacular reason: to float through desert skies in a hot air balloon. You’ll float in the morning breeze as the rising sun douses the Coachella Valley a kaleidoscope of red, purple and gold.

Starting Point: La Quinta – 1:30pm – Lobby of La Quinta Resort
Ending Point: La Quinta – Lobby of La Quinta Resort

Trip Leader

Christopher P. Baker—the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year’—is an acclaimed travel writer, photographer and tour leader based in Palm Springs, where he has lived for 15 years. His almost 30 travel guidebooks and coffee-table books include Palm Springs & Desert Resorts and five other books on California. He has led more than 100 tours on behalf of National Geographic Expeditions as well as dozens of trips for other tour companies, plus private families, to destinations as far-flung as Cuba, Colombia and Oman, including photography tours for the prestigious Santa Fe Workshops. He loves to hike and bicycle and all-things nature! He specialized in desert geomorphology for his B.A. (Honors) in Geography at University College London and loves sharing his vast knowledge of local ecology and geology, as well as Palm Springs’ Desert Modernism architecture and tales of Mad Max-era Hollywood hedonism..


Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement is only applicable if you are traveling solo and/or have a room to yourself.
October 22-25, 2020 $2895.00 $695.00
November 22-26, 2020 $3095.00 $695.00
December 20-24, 2020 $3195.00 $695.00
February 25-28, 2021 $3195.00 $695.00
April 1-4, 2021 $3095.00 $695.00
May 28-31, 2021 $2995.00 $695.00
October 8-11, 2021 $3095.00 $695.00
November 21-25, 2021 $3195.00 $695.00
December 19-23, 2021 $3295.00 $695.00
February 24-27, 2022 $3295.00 $695.00
April 7-10, 2022 $3195.00 $695.00
May 27-30, 2022 $3095.00 $695.00
October 7-10, 2022 $3195.00 $695.00
November 20-24, 2022 $3295.00 $695.00
December 18-22, 2022 $3395.00 $695.00
Looking for a different travel date? Click here to learn more about private journeys.
NOTE: Christopher’s availability to lead any specific trip cannot be confirmed at this stage