Our tour begins in the morning, in the desert resort town of Palm Springs. We gather near the Palm Springs Airport, at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. Here we will fit everyone on their bicycles, then take a relaxing warm-up ride along the desert floor with a stunning view of the San Jacinto Mountains, arriving in Indian Wells at the 4-star Miramonte Resort, our lodging and dining destination for the next two nights.
Today we take a day trip by van to Joshua Tree National Park to explore the Park's confines by bicycle on a point-to-point ride. Beginning in the community of Joshua Tree you'll pedal through the west entrance and tackle a series of gentle rollers as you ascend to Arch Rock. Soak up the magnificent views of the Yucca Valley and expanses of joshua trees dotting the desert floor while savoring a guide-prepared picnic before descending into Pinto Basin. From here, it's a mild climb to the Cottonwood Visitor Center at the park's southern end, where we'll return by van to the Miramonte Resort. Relax, soak the legs in the pool, and then it's time to gather for our team dinner.
After our two night's stay in Indian Wells, we head south underneath the tall date palms of the Coachella Valley through the countryside to the Salton Sea. From here, we head west through the badlands of the Anza-Borrego Desert to Borrego Springs, an oasis of a town surrounded by desert and ringed on three sides by high mountains. Base camp for the next three nights is at La Casa Del Zorro, a golf and tennis resort nestled between the Anza-Borrego Desert and the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains. The resort boasts a variety of recreational amenities, fine dining and comfortable accommodations. Team dinner once again near the hotel.
After another team breakfast, we set out to explore the Anza-Borrego Desert by bike. A nice warm-up this morning courses along the desert floor and takes in an impressive display of creative metal sculptures. Arriving at the Anza-Borrego State Park, you can take a nice hike and stroll the visitor center. An optional rest day, perhaps you're more inclined to partake in the diverse resort amenities and spend a day off the wheels. Discover the small community of Borrego Springs, visit the desert gardens at the Borrego Art Institute. Of course, we can accommodate those riders looking to log miles with another breakaway ride. You'll be free to dine independently this evening.
Long and short options are available for today's Borrego Springs Circuit ride. The ambitious can tackle the 11-mile climb up Montezuma Road to the small desert dwelling of Ranchita. Known as the "glass elevator" because of its unobstructed views of the desert floor, you're sure to love the vista points along the way. After an epic descent, return to our resort and savor the solitude of the desert. We'll spend the last night of our trip enjoying another fantastic team dinner.
Our morning ride is a loop up and over Yaqui Pass and offers a nice final challenge for those interested in some extra miles and climbing. You'll have plenty of time to shower and change before check out. After three nights in quiet and remote Borrego Springs, it's time to make the return journey to Palm Springs. Private limo and shuttle services are available from the Renaissance Hotel to multiple destinations, with the Palm Springs Airport only 5 minutes away by car.
I was looking for a challenging cycle tour and UDC really delivered. Each of the daily routes were expertly planned to cover classic climbs up (and down) the major grades of Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. The scenery was often spectacular. The remote locales we traversed contrasted with the very civilized, superb lodgings and eateries awaiting us. Our guide, Michael Sojka, was attentive, helpful and personable. UDC's attention to detail is impressive.
TripAdvisor August 2012