Why Settle for a Tour When You Deserve a Real Learning Adventure?

If your group, large or small, is searching for a special experience in Joshua Tree National Park tailored to your interests, the Desert Institute will design an educational class for you making sure that the expert instruction is just what you are looking for. The activity level and optional field component will match your itinerary perfectly for one-day or multi-day excursions.

Our most popular custom-designed programs are below:

Day with a Desert Naturalist
Learn the secrets of Joshua Tree National Park in an all-day field class with a desert naturalist. Groups will explore the unique landscape of the park focusing on an area of interest to them. Common topics to be covered are: geology, cultural history, flora, and ecology found in the vast valleys, rock mazes, desert cactus gardens, and Joshua tree forests. Most programs cover eight miles at a moderate pace with uneven terrain and moderate elevation gain.

Sunrise or Sunset Photographic Workshops with a Master Photographer
Let us show you where and how to take stunning sunrise or sunset images in the Joshua Tree National Park! We can create a customized program to spend four hours in the morning or evening photographing the iconic boulders and joshua trees. This workshop is perfect for those photographers looking to work on composition and creating unique and original imagery. Working with our instructors will help you make sense of the landscape and begin to understand how to make unique and effective images in this truly bizarre and wonderful terrain. If you’re just a beginner, no problem, this workshop will provide you with beginning instruction in landscape photography, filter use, and sunset or sunrise silhouettes.

Discover the Wonderland of Rocks
The Wonderland of Rocks is a large labyrinth of granite formations and meandering corridors. It’s an easy place to get lost, but it’s also full of secret, picture-postcard settings, wide-eyed views, and any number of natural surprises.  Spend an enjoyable day hiking and scrambling through this rare place, feeling the rough texture of its timelessness underfoot and in the finger tips. More than just a day of outdoor adventure, this Desert Institute hike includes introductory instruction in how the Wonderland formed, why it looks the way it does, and how this unique environment helps support a diverse and interesting community of plants and animals.  Come prepared to hike seven to ten miles, depending on conditions, with occasional stops for rest, lunch and teachable moments. The route is cross-country and requires some scrambling and rock-hopping, none of it extended or technical.

Program Cost (rates effective through December 2017)

1 – 6 Participants, Half day – $300

1 – 6 Participants, Full day – $500

7 + Participants, please call for rates

For more information contact the Desert Institute office:
or (760) 367-5535