California evokes thoughts of sunshine, wide-open farmland, mountains that scrape the sky, and sparkling beaches. The Golden State offers seemingly endless open space, from the vales of the Sierra Nevada wilderness to the hidden coves of the central coast.
Weave among vineyards and farmland as you explore the heart of the state by bike, or backpack Yosemite National Park and imagine the bewilderment of the miners who came west hoping to strike gold and found themselves at the mercy of these rugged mountains.
California has been called the land of opportunity and when it comes to adventures possibilities abound. When the weather turns cold and gray on the coast, head inland and explore mysterious and otherworldly Death Valley National Park. Have something else in mind… biking Napa Valley, multi-sport vacation on the Central Coast? Give us a call!
“Custom” is about You
At Arizona Outback Adventures we’ve been designing adventure vacations for 20 years and custom itineraries are our specialty. All it takes is a phone call, and we do the rest. Don’t forget, all of our scheduled departures can also be personalized to fit your personal vacation style!
Why AOA? : Find out more About Us
Get inspired by past custom trips in California!
Death Valley – Sample Trip
6 day Multi-Sport Adventure
Death Valley transforms from hot and dry under the blazing summer sun to a desert oasis during the oh-so-pleasant winter and spring months. Escape to a surprising and a multi-sport experience that simply cannot be duplicated anywhere else on the planet. Death Valley’s smooth winding roads oscillate above and even below sea level, taking us through a land born of fire, rich in minerals and steeped in a curious history.
DAY 1: LAS VEGAS TO RED ROCK CANYON
Meet your group and your experienced local guide in Las Vegas and gear up for a week of exploring. Depart to Red Rock Canyon where options for adventure abound as we hike and/or cycle our way through the otherworldly and breathtaking terrain.
- Lodging: Beatty Junction, Nevada motel
- Cycling: Up to 17 miles gradual 700 foot ascent followed by winding descent
- Hiking: Up to 5 miles
DAY 2: EXPLORATION OF DEATH VALLEY
Enjoy a guided tour of eclectic Scotty’s Castle, a unique Mission Revival-style villa and our launch point for an easy downhill cruise to Furnace Creek Inn, our home for the next 4 nights. This is a great introduction to riding and hiking in Death Valley.
- Lodging: Furnace Creek Inn
- Cycling: 54 miles of rolling hills – elevation loss of 3,000 feet
DAY 3: HIKE THE CANYONS AND SAND DUNES
Hike Mosaic Canyon, an intriguing destination considered a geologic “outdoor museum”. Next embark on the Stretch Pebble Canyon hike, a challenging route through a picturesque narrow canyon. We continue to put boot to earth as we set eyes on the awe-inspiring Mesquite Sand Dunes, but hiking here is not enough. Grab a sand sled and enjoy a wild ride you won’t soon forget.
- Lodging: Furnace Creek Inn
- Hiking: Up to 10 miles
DAY 4: BADWATER BASIN TO ARTIST’S PALETTE
Time to get low as we venture to Badwater Basin, the lowest elevation in North America and eighth lowest location on earth at 282 feet below sea level! We will explore the other-worldly salt flats and after lunch, climb in the saddle to enjoy the Artist’s Palette ride. As its strange and wonderful colors stretch out before us, you will immediately understand how it got its name.
- Lodging: Furnace Creek Inn
- Cycling: 34- and 41-mile options – elevation gain of 950 feet
DAY 5: EXPERIENCE WILDROSE CANYON
Welcome to Wildrose Canyon, a beautiful drive along a winding and narrow road through a canyon which leads to highlights like Mahogany Flat, the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and Telescope and Wildrose Peaks.
Lodging: Furnace Creek Inn
Hiking: Up to 5 miles
DAY 6: FINAL RIDE TO DANTE’S PEAK
Ride or bike or take AOA’s shuttle 25 miles up to Dante’s View for a fantastic high-elevation perspective of the entire park. Riding this route is challenging but rewarding.
Descend from Dante’s View back into the wonderfully desolate rock and sand wild land below. This ride is exhilarating beyond belief and is a perfect farewell to Death Valley. Transfer back to Vegas.
Lodging: On your own
Cycling: 13- and 26-mile options – elevation loss of 2,500 feet or gain/loss of 5,000 feet
Yosemite to San Francisco – Sample Trip
7 day Cycling
Conquer California by bike on this incredible week-long cycling trip. Not for the faint of heart, this adventure begins in the awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park and ends at the foot of one of the world’s most recognizable structures, San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. We pedal the hallowed vales of the Sierra Nevada in the shadow of such magnificent monoliths as El Capitan and Half Dome. California comes to life in a whole new way as you conquer challenging mountain climbs, cruise past golden pastureland and roll through sandy beach towns.
DAY 1: EXPERIENCE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Meet up with your local guides and fellow cyclists in San Francisco and transfer to the breathtaking Yosemite National Park. Explore a bit of Yosemite Valley and camp here this evening, neighbors for the night with the awe-inspiring granite faces of El Capitan and Half Dome.
- Lodging: Camping in Yosemite Valley
DAY 2: ROLLING HIGHWAY AND PINE FORESTS
Cycle along Route 120 West. The highway rolls out ahead of you and the scenery begins to change from forest to picturesque farms reminiscent of early America.
Highlights today include beautiful views of Lake McClure set against a pine and oak forest backdrop before setting up camp on the shores of Turlock Lake.
- Cycling: 65 miles
- Lodging: Camping at Turlock Lake
DAY 3: TACKLING THE MILES
Start early and tackle the longest ride of the trip. Our route rolls gently along a quiet country road bordered by pastures and orchards, keeping to picture-perfect country lanes, historic mining towns and quaint villages. Camp among the cottonwoods at Lake Camanche, a popular fishing locale.
- Cycling: 73 miles of mostly rolling hills
- Lodging: Camping at Lake Camanche
DAY 4: SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY AND ROHNERT PARK
Ride through San Joaquin Valley, one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. The valley is crisscrossed by an elaborate system of irrigation canals and studded by fields of grapes, citrus, nuts and cotton. Top off the day with a relaxing dinner at the family-owned Six Hands Winery.
- Cycling: 50 miles
- Lodging: Hotel in Rohnert Park
DAY 5: THE PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY
Clip in and get ready – today we ride the jaw dropping Pacific Coast Highway. Highlights today include the Bolinas Lagoon, an estuary located on the San Andreas Fault teeming with wildlife including herons, egrets and harbor seals.
- Cycling: 35 miles
- Lodging: Camping at Olema Park Campground
DAY 6: FINAL RIDE AND GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
Hairpin turns punctuate today’s ride as we pedal the final leg of our journey along the coast into Marin City and along the Marin Headlands through Sausalito where we catch our first sights of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Breathtaking views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean are a just reward after our journey as we pedal across the Golden Gate Bridge to a triumphant finish.
- Cycling: 35 miles
- Lodging: On your own
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does planning a custom trip work?
A: On each adventure trip that we lead, our goal is always to provide the most memorable and personal experience for each of our guests. One way to do this is by creating a custom trip or tailoring an existing itinerary to suit your travel style. It’s simpler than you think.
Step 1: Call us!
Give us a general outline of your adventure vision, including your group size, the time of year or exact dates, the location(s) you’d like to travel, the activities that interest you, and any special requests.
Step 2: We create your personalized itinerary and estimate of costs.
Keep in mind that it is a “custom trip proposal” and you may change, modify, add, or subtract anything you wish until it suits you and your budget perfectly.
Step 3: Hit the trail!
…or singletrack, or river, or sit on your chosen lodge’s veranda with a perfectly chilled beverage, learn all about the flora, fauna and geology – let our world-class guides help you create a life-long memory.
Q: Can we reserve and customize one of your regularly scheduled dates exclusively for us?
A: Yes! As long as there are no other customers booked on that date – it is yours and we can modify it to suit you.
Q: Is there a minimum or maximum amount of people for each trip?
A: We can accommodate groups ranging in size from 2-60 people.
Q: Is it more expensive to do a private or custom trip?
A:Not necessarily – there is no additional charge for a custom or private trip. However, pricing varies greatly and is always dependent on a number of factors such as group size, activities selected, accommodations preferred, special requests, and trip duration – all of which are under your control and at your discretion.
Q: Can we alter one of the example itineraries or standard trips you offer?
A: Yes, absolutely! The itineraries listed here are only intended to inspire you and show you what is possible. We will propose your own trip just for you! All of our trips can be extended, shortened, combined or modified however you wish.
Q: Can you do a trip in a location that you don’t talk about on your website?
A: As long as we have expertise in the area you have in mind – no problem. Even if we don’t we likely can work with one of our partners to create just the experience you have in mind. Want to join your favorite AOA guide rafting in Chile? We have just the trip for you…