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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

Join us for an opportunity to stay in an exceptional part of the California Desert and devote three days to making new photographs. The class is based at the Desert Studies Center, south of Baker, CA. The Center— also known as Zzyzx (zy-zix)— lies inside in the Mojave National Preserve and is a former health spa with interesting buildings, palms, ponds, springs, plus fine views of Soda Dry Lake and desert mountains. Special emphasis is placed on photography in the field to allow students to work with color, light, shapes, and textures of the desert at an unhurried pace. On one half-day field session we’ll photograph lava beds and a Joshua tree forest. Two night photography sessions are scheduled to take advantage of dark skies over Zzyzx. Instructional topics include: exposure, making panoramic photographs, HDR photography, controlling image sharpness.

Hiking on field sessions easy – to moderate. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their cameras.

This field study is based at the Desert Studies Center (of California State University) located within the Preserve at Soda Springs (Zzyzx), about a three-hour drive from Joshua Tree. The course fee includes two nights’ lodging at the Center and meals starting with dinner on Friday through breakfast on Sunday. Upon enrollment, you will be sent detailed information about the Center and what to bring.

Register today!

The ultimate goal of survival training is to prevent survival situations from occurring in the first place. However, when survival is unavoidable, mindset, skills and improvisation are key. Learn the essential considerations needed to safely explore the some-times harsh and often challenging desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. This workshop will provide an introduction to the fundamental thought processes, skills and knowledge needed to survive in desert regions and the hazards associated with desert travel.

After a 1.5 hour presentation on desert survival, we will have a dinner break. After the dinner break, we will travel into the park to the trail head where we will hike under a moon. The hike is approximately 2 miles round trip.

Register today!

Volcanoes of Southern California? We are famous for faults, and earthquakes, and maybe for other geologic phenomena, but not volcanoes. Still, when we look to our landscape we find evidence of volcanic activity, some of it quite recent. In this class we will learn basic concepts of geology and explore Amboy Volcano and the surrounding lava fields to understand why they formed, and if they could become active again! Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973, Amboy Crater was recognized for its visual and geological significance. There are a number of dormant volcanoes in the Mojave desert, and Amboy crater is a perfect example of a cinder volcanic cone very similar to the volcanoes throughout the region. Join Professor Alessandro Grippo on this all-day field trip.

Get ready for a night race through the desert with the 4th annual Joshua Tree Half Marathon on November 7, 2020!

This is one of 14 National Park Half Marathons by Vacation Races, and has quickly become a favorite of thousands.

Course description:

This course is a challenging course through the Mojave Desert in Joshua Tree, CA (just minutes outside of Joshua Tree National Park) near Copper Mountain. This will be a night run. Running through the desert at night comes with unique challenges. The course will not have lighting.

The race will start and finish at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground. With the exception of a quarter mile at the start and a one mile section in the middle, this course is entirely on dirt roads and trails. The dirt roads will have sand on them adding to the challenge of this course. The loose sand on course that, depending on recent weather and traffic conditions, can range from hard packed dirt to deep sand (imagine running on the beach).

The darkness and the loose sand make this a challenging course and not stroller friendly. Runners should take these conditions into consideration when choosing this race.

*Headlights are required
**Gaiters and buffs/bandanas/etc. are recommended

Learn more and register today!

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Know Before You Go

Your health and safety is the top priority for our hospitality businesses. In accordance with State/County guidelines we kindly remind you to wear your face mask/covering, practice healthy hand-washing, maintain a safe social distance, and postpone travel if you are sick.

Together, our everyday actions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.