Sage Guide Tours

Exploring the Mojave Desert

between Las Vegas and San Diego
(3 days in either direction)

Note that all pre-planned itineraries
can be slightly modified at no extra cost
or can be fully customized for a small fee.

This unique desert exploration between Las Vegas and San Diego (in either direction) gives you the chance to experience the Colorado River and its associated reservoirs, the desert, the mountains, and the ocean. We can visit Hoover Dam and Black Canyon, the Nelson ghost town and the Colorado River canyon, the Laughlin resorts, Main Street in Old West Oatman, Historic Route 66, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu, Wyatt Earp's (fake) grave, the Blythe Intaglios (giant ancient drawings on the ground), (optionally the Kelso Dunes and Amboy on Historic Route 66), Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs, the Salton Sea, Borrego Springs, Cuyamaca Rancho in the mountains of San Diego County, La Jolla, and the many attractions of San Diego, Coronado, and the Mexican border area. You can include as many of these experiences as you want in the time you have. This tour can be done year-round, although the afternoon heat in the summertime can require sun protection. The mountains and beaches of San Diego have a refreshingly cool maritime climate most of the time.

An extra day can be planned for visiting the beaches and other attractions of the San Diego area and/or for crossing the border (on foot) to visit Tijuana or Tecate, Mexico.
Or we can do a one-way or round-trip visit to the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

And your guide will share other special places and background information along the way, helping you to enjoy each location to the max.


Day 1 (205 miles -- 4.25 hours driving)
Las Vegas
Hoover Dam and Black Canyon
Tour of the interior of the dam (optional)
Nelson mining town and Colorado River Canyon
Antiques store and displays
Mine tour (optional)
Davis Dam and Lake Mohave
Laughlin resort area
Hiking on the Big Bend of the Colorado (optional)
Old West Oatman
Historic Route 66
Historic Kingman Station
Overnight in Kingman

Day 2 (360 miles -- 6.5 hours driving)
Historic Route 66 Museum (optional)
Quirky art at Gianticus Headicus (optional)
Alpacas of the Southwest (optional)
Historic Bonelli House (optional)
Antique shop (optional)
Lake Havasu and London Bridge
Parker Dam
Blythe Intaglios
Ehrenberg Pioneer Cemetery
Camel driver Haiji Ali (Hi Jolly)'s grave in Quartzsite
Quartzsite Museum (optional, tour available)
Rock shop in Quartzsite (optional)
Palo Verde Historical Museum in Blythe (could be closed in summer)
Joshua Tree National Park (various viewpoints)
Box Canyon
Views of the Salton Sea
Windmill farm near Palm Springs (optional tour available)
Wet 'n' Wild in Palm Springs (optional)
Moorten Botanical Garden (optional)
Palm Spring Walk of Stars
VillageFest street market (Thursday evenings)
Palm Springs Art Museum (optional, free admission on Thursday evenings)
Hotel California (not really related to the famous song, but recommended lodging)
Spa Resort Casino (optional)
Statues of Lucille Ball and Sonny Bono and Marilyn Monroe
Grave of Frank Sinatra
Evening entertainment in the Palm Springs area (optional)
Overnight in the area of Palm Springs, California

Day 3 (185 miles -- 3.75 hours driving)
Palm Springs Air Museum (optional)
Palm Canyon Drive
Ruddy's General Store Museum (optional)
Andreas Canyon Loop Trail with palm trees (optional)
Indian Canyons Trail with oases (optional)
Ranger talk available at 10:00 am.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway with hiking on the 8,500-foot mountain (closed 10-30 September)
Borrego Springs (optional hot springs visit)
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (optional)
Scenic mountain drives
Sea cliffs of Torrey Pines
San Diego Mormon Temple
La Jolla Cove and Seal Rock
Museum of Contemporary Art (optional)
Sunset Cliffs in San Diego
Overnight in San Diego, California

Day 4 (optional touring possibilities in the area)

  • San Diego and La Jolla
    Old Town, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Point Loma, Cabrillo Point tidepools, Maritime Museum, Coronado, Mission San Diego, Liberty Public Market, Birch Aquarium, Museum of Man, Air & Space Museum, Mingei International Museum, Natural History Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Automotive Museum, Waterfront Walkway, and more
  • Tijuana or Tecate, Mexico
  • nearby attractions like Legoland and nice beaches
  • the Los Angeles metropolitan area

Note: For this tour, you can select which activities to include and to exclude for each day's plan. The items marked optional involve extra cost.

General route:

Possible extensions:

  • the Los Angeles metropolitan area
  • the California coast to San Francisco
  • Yosemite and/or Death Valley with a return to Las Vegas
  • The Baja Peninsula of Mexico (in a Mexican rental vehicle or by bus)
  • If Las Vegas is the destination, many extensions are possible in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and beyond.

Note: A detailed daily plan as well as lodging options will be provided after we discuss your desires and preferences.

Note: Your tour will never cost more than this, unless you add things that add to the cost. But you could pay less. When you express interest in a particular tour, the costs will be re-calculated with current prices based on the number of tour participants, the type of vehicle needed, etc. If the actual needed costs add up to less than this estimated amount, you will pay the lower amount.

$2,035 Tour cost for 3 days for up to 5 guests in a sedan or minivan (2-3 guests would be less)
$375 for a 4th day of touring in the San Diego / Tijuana area or in the Los Angeles area
This includes tour planning and arrangements, driver/guide services, transportation and fuel and insurance, snacks and drinks, park entrance fees, and administrative costs.

Note: As an alternative, we could plan a more relaxed tour with more days, and we can take up to 7 guests with luggage in a larger van. Or you could provide drivers, and we would arrange for multiple minivans.

Note: It is possible to do this tour in as little as 2 days, although that means more driving each day and less time to enjoy the sights.

Additional costs
3-4 nights lodging (including for the guide, estimated $80-$180 per room per night)
Arranged by the guide based on your preferences.
Meals (including for the guide)
Desired paid activities (such as museum visits, local tourist attractions, etc.)
Personal needs and desires

Listed price is for departure from Las Vegas or from the San Diego area.
Departures possible anywhere in the West for a higher cost.
All tours are private for your group only.

Your first step is to contact Steve at to discuss your possible dates and any desires for modification or customization. The sooner we can begin planning, the better your experience can be.

All Sage Guide Tours benefit
the children of Rising Star Outreach
and their families from the leper colonies of India.

More information here about this wonderful organization!


Feel free to e-mail us with your needs, wants, suggestions, and questions:



Note: Itineraries can be customized.

Itinerary for central Mexico and the Yucatán

Itinerary for a visit in Cuba

Mexico tour

Pricing philosophy

Tour director
(incl. reviews)



Note: Itineraries can be customized.

Part 1 itinerary (Scotland to Holland to Germany)

Part 2 itinerary (Germany to Italy to Belgium)

Europe tour

Pricing philosophy

Tour director
(incl. reviews)



Note: Itineraries can be customized.