Pioneertown: Chef Series with Joshua McFadden

Battery Travel's Mojave Desert party brings you Joshua Tree hikes, cowboy-chic Pioneertown, 1940s film sets, and James Beard Award–winning chef Joshua McFadden cooking our outdoor feasts under the star-studded sky.

4 Days / 3 Nights

Limited to 22 travelers

February 7-10, 2019


California's Mojave Desert

Pioneertown, Joshua Tree National Park, Wonder Valley



Speak with an adventure expert

+1 (415) 942-0785

4 Days in Pioneertown & Joshua Tree

The stars are out — they always are – over the Mojave. The last of the day’s sun rays cast long shadows over the desert, creating surreal silhouettes of the human-like Joshua Trees. We’ll take in the scene and toast a cocktail prepared by our guest mixologist, as James Beard Award–winning chef Joshua McFadden grills our dinner feast using local desert ingredients. Then we move to a former film set, where the doors of a beloved honky tonk swing open to a low-key venue that’s hosted performances by Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Lorde play.

This is a celebration of Pioneertown, California – a community of entrepreneurs and artists cultivating a desert community that combines an off-the-grid vibe with no small dosage of Hollywood magic. It’s the kind of place where you never know what you’ll find. Or even if you’ll want to leave.

Join us for this unforgettable four-day adventure in the Mojave Desert. We’ll stay in a vintage cowboy-chic motel (a former Hollywood movie set built in the 1940s for singing cowboys like Roy Rogers). We’ll savor tastings delivered by local mezcal-making Mezcaleros, take a transporting “sound bath” offered by a ufologist, and hike Joshua Tree National Park’s otherworldly landscape of its namesake trees and gigantic granite boulders.

You’ll never taste the desert the same way again. Join us!

Exclusive to Members of The Battery & Their Guests

Battery Travel isn’t just about going places – it’s about changing how you see the world.

James Beard Award-winning chef, Joshua McFadden, of Portland’s Ava Gene’s and Tusk restaurants, will joins us at Pioneertown and cook our dinner under the stars.

Private mixologist. We’re inviting a local mixologist to join us for outdoor drinks and to share personal twists on standard recipes at our Bloody Mary brunch bar.

Fully curated weekend. This Pioneertown visit includes meet-ups with local Mezcaleros and leaders in sustainability efforts, plus a full glamping-style “kitchen camp.”

A Uniquely Battery Experience

“Once you get past Palm Springs and into the desert, people start to vibrate at a different pitch than they do elsewhere.” – Anthony Bourdain

Joshua McFadden is a vegetable whisperer with the ability to turn a humble green into a thing of beauty.

We believe the world has a lot to offer beyond our building’s walls. Battery Travel is a collection of expertly curated experiences to the world’s most extraordinary destinations. Each experience is designed to change how you see the world and to create lasting connections within our community and beyond.

Day by Day

Battery Travel's Mojave adventure means exclusive, starlit open-fire meals prepared by James Beard Award–winning chef Joshua McFadden, famous honky-tonks, mezcal tastings, and meet-ups with ufologists – all while getting personal in a desert community with off-the-grid artists and fellow Battery members.

Day 1 | February 7

In Southern California, you never have to go far to go far. After meeting up in Palm Springs, we’ll head straight into Joshua Tree National Park to hike past its emblematic trees and cholla cacti and scramble up prehistoric boulders looking right out of Land of the Lost.

We’ll reach our home-base – a vintage motel gone cowboy chic, in a former 1940s film set – in time for our guest mixologist to deliver refreshing sunset cocktails. For meals, we’ll be pitching our own deluxe open-air “camp kitchen.” We’ll savor our welcome banquet under the stars, then relax by the campfire as galaxies twinkle down from the clear desert sky. What a start.

Day 2 | February 8

The desert wakes early — we do too today, with a personal yoga meditation session amongst the cacti and boulders outside our rooms. Our inner exploration continues, after a big breakfast, from a surprising source. A local figure once abducted by creatures from Venus – you heard right  – has set up an acoustically perfect dome called the Integraton. We’ll climb in and be treated to an immersive ”sound bath,” aided by quartz bowls played by wands. Expect deep relaxation (no alien probes, we promise).

Afterwards we’ll visit a surreal open-air museum featuring late sculptor Norah Purifoy’s grandiose works, made from charred debris from the 1965 Watts Riots in Los Angeles. Then chef Joshua McFadden will meet us in a remote dream-desert location looking over the aptly named Wonder Valley. Here we’ll savor Joshua’s open-air feast, and our mixologist’s freshly prepared sunset cocktails. Then we’ll listen to a fireside chat about local commitment to conservation and sustainability.

Day 3 | February 9

Today’s focus goes deeper into local life. We’ll begin by exploring Pioneertown’s own nature preserve. We’ve arranged several options of hikes for you – an easy walk into Pipes Canyon, or a more challenging ascent of Chaparrosa Peak. After an open-air lunch, we’ll saunter down Pioneertown’s “Mane Street” to learn the history of the film sets (as seen in The Cisco Kid) and meet local artists and entrepreneurs who work to create home out of this corner of the Mojave. We’ll finish by tasting mezcal made by a local musician and spirits producer.

Rest up a bit in the afternoon: The night goes long and begins early. We start at Pappy & Harriet’s, a renowned honky-tonk known for Tex Mex, cold beers and surprise celeb guests hitting its stage. (We can’t promise Paul McCartney will show, but… it happens.) After the show, with live music still ringing in our ears, we’ll move to our bonfire finale under a sky of stars.

Day 4 | February 10

Aww, it’s our last morning. After the big night out, we’ll sleep in a bit before our big farewell brunch. Our mixologist will share personal twists of the standards at a pop-up ”Bloody Mary bar,” then we’ll have a little time to pack and take another saunter thru the Wild West set.

Our time is done for now, but we’ll leave with plenty of new memories and friends and an expanded view of desert life.

Where We Sleep

We hang our hats at a cowboy-chic, vintage motel on a 1940s film set in the desert.

Pioneertown Motel

The Pioneertown Motel, anchor of Pioneertown's "Mane Street," is a 19-room desert inn with an Old West style that’s a perfect match for this movie set of a town. The town and motel, built in 1946 by Roy Rogers, is surrounded by protected lands and flat-top desert mesas.
Inside, you'll see that your living room has gone all desert-chic. That means WiFi and modern bathrooms — but still no TVs or phones to disrupt the tranquility. It's hard not to love waking up to crisp, clear mornings and the deep silence of the desert.

So many questions, right?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below, or call +1 (415) 942 - 0785 to ask us any questions you have about traveling in Pioneertown with The Battery. We're here 8am-5pm weekdays, 9am-1pm Saturday Pacific.



Three nights at Pioneertown Motel; private transport from the trip starting point in Palm Springs to Pioneertown; luggage transfers; private transport for all day trips and excursions; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; food and beverage tastings; entrance fees; daily breakfast, most lunches and dinners; menu design and preparation by chef Joshua McFadden; beverages with meals; gratuities for local staff.


What is not included?

Transport to/from the Palm Springs area; single supplement; travel insurance; transport to the trip start; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals, including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverage not included in the itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.


How many people on the trip?

We have planned this trip for up to 24 adventurists. This departure is exclusive to members of The Battery, and their family and friends. You can expect to be joined by a diverse range of people in terms of age, background and configuration – including solo travelers, couples, and friends traveling together. Our experiences are about being fun and inclusive.


Do I pay a supplement for a single room?

Yes, there is a $500 supplement for solo travelers who want to stay in a single room, to be paid after your booking is confirmed.


What is the cancellation fee?

You may cancel up to 96 days prior to the scheduled departure date and receive a full refund, minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel between 95 and 61 days in advance, there is a 50% cancellation fee. Within 60 days of departure there is a 100% cancellation fee. (See our Terms and Conditions for full details.)


what is the weather like?

February is typically dry and sunny in the desert. Daytime temperatures average in the upper 60s and low 70s Fahrenheit, dropping to the low 40s overnight.