Frequently Asked Questions

Are your tours safe?

Yes, absolutely! Our company is committed to providing a safe and memorable experience. Our tours are NOT thrill rides. They are ecologically minded adventures.

To ensure your safety and comfort, all of our vehicles go through a 14-point safety inspection before each tour. In addition, all of the vehicles receive regular, thorough safety and mechanical inspections by our mechanic and receive regular maintenance to ensure that everything is in good working order. Our guides maintain contact with our office, all vehicles contain a first aid kit and fire extinguisher, and all guides are CPR and First Aid certified.

In over 30 years of operating tours in the Greater Palm Springs area, we have never had a major accident or injury. You can trust the safety of your family to Desert Adventures!

Do we need to make a reservation in advance?

Yes, advance reservations are recommended for all tours. You can book online or call our Reservations Desk for assistance at (888) 440-5337 toll free or locally.

Are there tour minimums?

Yes, all tours require a minimum of 2 guests to operate.  

What is the minimum age for children?

The minimum age for children varies by tour from 3 years for our San Andreas Fault BONES OF THE EARTH or MOVERS AND SHAKERS Jeep Tours up to 8 years for hiking tours.  Please see the individual tour pages for age minimums for specific tours.  

Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Children must be at least 3 years of age AND must 1) weigh at least 40 pounds or 2) be 40 or more inches tall to ride in our Jeeps.  Children under 8 and less than 4’9″ tall must be secured in a child booster seat (provided by the parents).   Note that our Jeeps can only secure booster seats using a standard 2-point seat belt. 

What is your cancellation policy?


To give you peace of mind during these unprecedented times, we have temporarily updated our booking and cancellation policies for tours booked through May 2021.  We want you to feel comfortable booking now, while having the flexibility to change or cancel your reservation if needed.

(For tours booked through May 2021):

  • You may cancel for any reason up until 48-hours before departure for a full refund of all monies paid.
  • For cancellations received 12 to 48 hours in advance of your scheduled departure, we will issue a gift card for the full amount paid.  Gift cards never expire, they are transferrable, and they can be used at any time and on any tour.
  • For cancellations received within 12-hours of departure or for no shows, there will be no refund or credit offered unless we cancel the tour due to vehicle mechanical issues or any other reason that makes the safe operation of the tour impossible. However, in the event a tour is cancelled within 12-hours of departure due to one of the following events, a gift card will be issued for the full amount paid: 
    1. Governmental action, travel restrictions imposed due to a global pandemic, government shutdown, fire, flood, insurrection, earthquake, power failure, riot, explosion, embargo, strikes whether legal or illegal, actions or inaction of third parties, third party equipment not within our reasonable control, or any other condition beyond our reasonable control that prevents us from providing the agreed-upon services.
    2. Death or serious illness and/or injury of a tour participant (you will be required to provide verification and/or documentation to confirm that you were unable to take your tour under this provision).
    3. The guide cancels the tour at the pick-up location due to suspected COVID-19 related illness of one or more participants.
Can you pick me up at my hotel?

Complimentary hotel pick-up is available on a space-available basis for public tours from some hotels in the Greater Palm Springs area. Please call our reservations desk at  to inquire about the availability of hotel pick-up for your tour.

What happens if it rains?

All of our tours take place as scheduled: rain or shine, cloudy or clear, hot or cold. Thus, you should dress appropriately for the weather.

The California desert has a lot of micro climates, so most rainfall is short-lived and isolated. In the unlikely event that it does rain, we carry rain ponchos in all our vehicles.

At Desert Adventures’ sole discretion, tours may be altered to accommodate changes in weather so as to provide the safest and most enjoyable experience possible.

If you wish to cancel your tour due to inclement weather, our normal cancellation policy applies. However, when possible, we will allow you to reschedule your tour to a different day at no charge, subject to space availability.

If we must cancel a tour due to weather or safety concerns, then a full refund will be issued, you may reschedule your tour at no charge (subject to space availability), or you may elect to receive a gift card for the full purchase price that you can use at another time.  Gift cards never expire and they can be used on any tour.

Are there restrooms available on the tour?

There are restrooms available on all tours except Painted Canyon & the Mecca Hills (though the guide can stop on the way to/from the Painted Canyon area, if needed).

If you have concerns about the availability of restroom facilities during the tour, please speak to your guide privately before you depart so that he or she can plan bathroom stops as needed.

Is it customary to tip my guide, and if so, how much?

Guide Gratuities are not included in the tour cost. While gratuities are not required or expected, our guides do appreciate gratuities as an acknowledgement of their excellent service and knowledge. Therefore you might want to bring along cash in case you want to express your appreciation to your guide in this way.

The suggested gratuity is 10-15% of the tour price, or whatever you feel is appropriate. If you prefer, we can also add a gratuity to the credit card used to pay for your tour.  Email or call us at (760) 324-5337 to add a gratuity for your guide to your credit card.

How many people do your vehicles hold?

Our Jeeps hold seven guests.

For our Joshua Tree National Park Tour, we use a climate controlled 5-passenger van and a 3-passenger SUV.

Can we split the payment among two or more people?

We can split payments any way you prefer. When booking online, all charges are run on the credit card used during the booking process. If you’d like to split the payment, please give our office a call at (760) 324-5337 to make your reservation and our customer service agents will be happy to assist you.

What should I wear/bring on the tour?
  • Wear closed-toe walking shoes (such as tennis shoes).  No sandals or high-heels please!
  • Wear comfortable clothing – we recommend you dress in layers as desert temperatures can change quickly. In the cooler months (November through March), we suggest you bring a sweater or light jacket.  For guests on our Joshua Tree National Park Tour, keep in mind that the temperatures in the high desert can be as much as 20 degrees cooler than in the Greater Palm Springs area.
  • Contact lens wearers may want to switch to eyeglasses on jeep tours, as tours can be dusty at times.
  • Bring a hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen before the tour.
  • We supply plenty of cool bottled water and granola bars on all tours. If you are traveling with children, you are welcome to bring along additional snacks or beverages for them. However, we request that you do not bring glass bottles or containers.
  • Don’t forget your camera or video camera – the photo opportunities are amazing!
Are there any tour advisories?

 Guests with neck or back injuries and women who are pregnant are advised to consult with their doctor before taking this Jeep Tour.

You will get in and out of the vehicle several times and all tours include a nature walk or hike.  Please let us know when booking if you have any mobility issues so that we can help you choose an appropriate tour or discuss accommodations that may be available.

Will there be other people in the vehicle with my party?

Our tours often sell out, and we maximize each vehicle to accommodate all of our customers. If you book a public tour, most likely you will ride with other guests unless your party fills the whole 7-passenger Jeep.

If you book a private tour, the Jeep will be reserved exclusively for your party.   Each Jeep holds up to 7 guests.

Can I get a private tour?

Yes! Private tours include complimentary pick-up from your home or hotel and can be fully customized according to your preferences.  Hotel pickup adds up to an hour to your tour, depending on your pickup location.

Our pickup area for private tours includes Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio.

What is the difference between public and private tours?

Public Tours:

  • Public tours are sold by the seat.
  • Multiple parties are often paired together in the same Jeep.
  • Each Jeep holds up to seven guests.
  • Parties of seven or fewer guests will be kept together, if at all possible.  Parties of eight or more people, will be split between two or more Jeeps.
  • Outside food and beverage is not permitted on public tours (with the exception of snacks for children).
  • No alcohol or bottled beverages are allowed.
  • Children must at least 5 years of age AND 1) must weigh over 40 pounds; or 2) be at least 40 inches tall to ride on public tours.
  • Children under the age of 8 or 4’9″ tall must ride in a booster seat (secured by a 2-point seat belt in the back of the jeep).  Guests must provide their own child booster seat.
  • Children under 5 or who are too small to legal ride in a booster seat are not permitted on public tours.

Private Tours:

  • Private tours are sold by the Jeep.
  • Each Jeep holds up to seven guests.
  • When you book a private tour, the Jeep is reserved exclusively for your party, regardless of your party size.
  • Departure times for private tours are somewhat flexible.  However morning tours need to return by Noon and afternoon tours must depart at 1:00 PM or later.
  • Please contact us to book more than three Jeeps. (Max capacity: 105 guests).
  • There is no minimum age for children on private tours.  However, please contact us before booking if you have children under the age of 5 or who are not big enough yet to ride in a child booster seat.
  • Private tours can be customized based on your group’s interest.
  • You are welcome to bring your own food and beverage on a private tour, or we have a variety of catering options available to enhance your experience.
  • Please inquire about the possibility of bringing along beer, wine, or champagne if you are celebrating a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, engagement, bachelor/ette party, girlfriend get-a-way, etc.).
How much walking/hiking is involved in the tour?

The amount of walking varies by tour. Our San Andreas Fault Jeep Tours include a number of stops with short walks/hikes (which can be adjusted based on the abilities of the guests in the Jeep). Walking is mostly through packed sand, but in some places the sand is soft.

We also offer a dedicated San Andreas Fault Hiking Tour by Jeep for those who moderately strenuous 2 to 3 mile hike to the top of the fault line.

Our Mecca Hills Painted Canyon Jeep Tour is geared for guests who want to do more walking/hiking.  A variety of hikes of various levels are available on this tour.

Guests on our Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep and Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Tour should be able to walk at least a mile (with slight elevation gain).  The walks on these tours are relatively easy, though they may include some scrambling over small to medium sized rocks/boulders.

Guests who have mobility issues may want to consider booking a private tour, where the amount of walking can be adjusted to your ability. Please feel free to give us a call at (760) 324-5337 before booking if you have any questions about the suitability of a particular tour for you or your guests.

How far away is Joshua Tree National Park?

It takes about an hour to get to the Joshua Tree National Park from the Greater Palm Springs Area. However, your guide will provide interesting narration from the moment you enter the vehicle, so the time will fly by!

Do you offer discounts? How do I take advantage of them?

We offer a 10% repeat customer discount, a 10% AAA Member discount, and a 15% discount for active military members and their families.

Please call our reservations desk at (760) 324-5337 for reservations to take advantage of these special rates. These discounts cannot be combined with any other promotion or special offer and are not valid on packages.

Do we need to bring our own water?

We provide bottled water and granola bars on all tours. Our Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Tour also includes a picnic lunch. If you are traveling with small children, you may want to bring additional snacks for them to enjoy throughout the day. Please no glass jars or containers, however, and please put your trash in the trash bag in the vehicle.

Can I go on the tour if I am pregnant?

We do accept reservations for expectant mothers if you are in your first two trimesters and are otherwise in good health.

We do recommend, however, that you speak with your doctor before booking a tour to make sure he or she does not have any concerns.

You should be able to comfortably walk a mile and be able to handle sitting for an hour or more on some tours.

Can we get married at Metate Ranch?

Yes! We have helped many couples tie the knot over the years. Whether you are looking for a fun pre-wedding excursion, bachelor/bachelorette activity, or you want to actually get married, we can help you. Please contact us for more details.

Can we hire one of your guides to take us to other places?

Absolutely! If you have your own transportation but would like to hire one of our knowledgeable guides to take you hiking or touring in the area, give us a call and we will be happy to help you arrange a custom excursion. However, you cannot drive your own 4WD vehicle at our private Metate Ranch location.