Current Trip Information

Remember: You must be a member of Desert Survivors with a release on file to join in with one of these trips. Join Desert Survivors if you are not yet a member.

If you are new to Desert Survivors or contemplating joining one of our interesting desert trips as a new member please read General Trip Information at the bottom of this page.

Many of our popular trips, particularly car camps on 3 day holiday weekends, tend to fill early and quickly, so plan accordingly. We ask that if you do secure a reservation with a trip leader, please be sure to use it, but if you cannot keep the reservation then advise the trip leader immediately to allow someone on standby to take the open slot.

Other backpacking trips tend not to fill to maximum at all times and may have an open space or two. If you find yourself with an open weekend and want to join in, try phoning the trip leader, space may still be available.

Most of our trip leaders ask that you contact them directly by telephone. This enables the leaders to assess your skills and abilities and to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Your safety and enjoyment while on the trip is just one of their many concerns. They want you have fun and the trip to be a rewarding experience. This also enables the trip leaders to build a "balanced group" that will enhance everyone's enjoyment of the trip.

Upon securing a slot for the trip you will be mailed additional information concerning the meeting area, car pooling, last minute changes,  etc.

Click here for your Overnight Backpacking Checklist.



Trip leaders may add trips during the schedule period.  Refer to this webpage for updates.


These trips and events are for current Desert Survivors members.  Lapsed in your membership?  Want to join?  Please go to THIS PAGE.

Download a pdf of the Summer 2018 Trip Schedule mailer.

June 8–10, 2018 (Fri-Sun)
BUFFALO HILLS WSA BACKPACK (M/S) Northern Washoe County, Nevada
Along the California border west of Gerlach is a 6000’ rolling plateau rich with mule deer, antelope, wild horses, and hopefully flowers. After setting up a convenient car shuttle, we’ll start our 2-night backpack by drop- ping into the intriguing micro-caldera named Hole in the Ground. On our second day we’ll hike to the edge of the plateau for grand views of Buffalo Creek Canyon, then on day three wander north across rolling hills dotted with junipers and dry lakebeds. The terrain is easy, but we will have to carry lots if not all our water. Limit 12.
Contact Trip Leader: Dave Oline (541) 552-1195

    June 16–21, 2018 (Sat-Thur)
If you have put off considering this rafting adventure on the Yampa River, you still have time to make your reservation.  The trip starts and ends at Vernal, Utah.  Orientation with our ARTA guides is on the evening of June 16 and then we will put in the next morning for a 5-day raft trip down the Yampa and Green Rivers in Colorado and Utah.  Desert Survivors has chartered this trip and 12 people have signed up at this time - there is space available for 8-10 additional people.  ARTA will accept reservations up to June 9.  The Group Rate for the trip is $999.00 per person.  Click on the following link for a trip description:  If you are interested, call Isaac or Steve at ARTA directly at (800) 323-2782.  Mike Wells has organized this trip and he can be contacted at: or (530) 367-4372

   July 20-22, 2018 (Fri – Sun)
On Friday we will head to a remote shore of Mono Lake to check out the amazing sand tufas and to view the bird and insect life. The trip leader plans on harvesting fly pupae from the lake as Native Americans once did, with hopes of tasting this ancient delicacy. We will camp both nights at Saw Mill Meadows. Saturday’s activities include a hike to the summit of Glass Mountain (11,123’). Be prepared to see more obsidian than you could possibly imagine as well as spectacular views of the Mono Basin and surrounding terrain. Sunday’s itinerary is TBD. This is a unique and wonderful part of the world that everyone should see. Limit 16. Trip co- leaders Nick Blake and Kim Marcus. Contact Kim Marcus:

   JULY 28, 2018 (Sat) 1 pm – late into the night
DESERT SURVIVORS SUMMER PICNIC (E), Marta Perry's Family Ranch, Castro Valley, CA
Come and join us for swimming, socializing, and a potluck meal with your friends. Cap off the afternoon with a hike to the nearby ridge for stunning views of San Francisco Bay. Bring a dish to share, your swimsuit, and perhaps a chair. You can camp overnight but let your host know. Check the DS website for any changes. No limit.
Contact Activities Director Marisa Seaman: or 510-872-5341
   July 29, 2018 (Sun) 9:30am – 12:30pm
All trip leaders and those interested in becoming trip leaders or co-leaders are encouraged to attend. This is a chance to get better acquainted over a meal followed by a meeting to discuss ideas, issues, leadership requirements, and future activities for Desert Survivors trip leaders. Brunch will be hosted by the Activities Director Marisa Seaman at her home in the Oakland hills.
RSVP to Activities Director Marisa Seaman or 510-872-5341
   Aug. 8-11, 2018 (Wed.-Sat. morning)
RETURN TO CROOKED CREEK FIELD STATION (E-S) Crooked Creek Field Station, White Mountains CA
Did you miss the chance to stay at the high elevation research center last fall? We will return this year in August with three nights at Crooked Creek Field Station, located at 10,200 feet, ten miles north of the Patriarch Grove in the White Mountains. $60 per person per night includes a bed in the station dorm or rooms (bring sheets/sleeping bag) and three amazing meals a day cooked by their professional chef. Activities include lounging, hiking, bristlecone groves, and an outdoor fire pit at night. On Sat. morning, join the Sierra Club Desert Committee Summer Meeting in the White Mountains for a weekend of desert talks and strategy. Limit 15, Anyone welcome to sign up, but first preference to DS members who did not attend Crooked Creek weekend in 2017.
Contact Leader: Barbara Bane 928-607-6316
   Aug. 11-12, 2018 (Sat-Sun)
During the summer, the Sierra Club Desert Committee beats the heat by holding its meeting at high altitude in the Nelson Group Camp (7,300 ft.), in the White Mountains. The weekend will feature speakers on a wide variety of issues toward preserving our deserts as vital wilderness. You will learn much and meet great people. All Desert Survivors are encouraged to attend; the general public is welcome. Contact: Nick Blake

  Sept. 1-3, 2018 (Sat-Mon)
Spend a few days living on the edge––of the highest fault escarpment in the nation, 2500 ft. above Abert Lake. We’ll set up a car shuttle so that we can complete a 2-night backpack with both camps on the rim. Starting at the forested edge of the Warner Mountains, we will reach clarity as the land gradually changes from complex and rugged to simple and flat, from forest to desert with the deep blue expanse of the lake shimmering far below us. Views will be fantastic. The terrain is easy, but we will have to carry ALL our water. Will require driving on rough roads. Limit 12.   Contact Leader: Dave Oline (541) 552-1195

   September 8-15 2018 (tentative)

Mark your calendars now for a car camping tour of the highlights of Central Nevada archeology.   Day hike Alta Toquima on Mt. Jefferson, and climb to the summit of Table Mountain in the Monitor Range. Visit rock art at Toquima Cave and the historic town of Belmont. Bonus: Relax in Spencer Hot Spring in Big Smoky Valley. Sturdy, high clearance vehicles with excellent tires required for these remote areas. Carpooling encouraged. More trip details to follow via email announcement and the Fall trip schedule; signups in July or early August.  Limit 7. 
Trip Leader: Barbara Bane 928-607-6316


    Oct. 12-14, 2018 (Fri-Sun)
Our annual gathering will be at the Mission San Antonio de Padua, California's third mission established in 1771. Nestled in the picturesque San Antonio Valley, the surrounding terrain has changed little since Juan Bautista de Anza's expedition passed by the mission on March 6, 1776 on its journey to establish the first settlement at San Francisco. We will have guest speakers making presentations about the Spanish era of California history. More information to come. Contact: Activities Director Marisa Seaman 510-872-5341

Annual membership ($30) required for trips unless the participant has Honorary Membership status.  A $25 donation may also be requested by the leader at the trailhead. This donation is voluntary.  Each participant must sign a general liability waiver and to list emergency contacts before departing on the trip. Trips are cooperative in nature. Some trips may be exploratory (not previewed by trip leader). Conditions may be difficult and the unexpected may occur. Consult with leader for details before deciding to go on trip. Trip sign-up procedure: You must call or write leader in advance to reserve space and receive a map and detailed trip description. Leader will confirm your sign-up. Due to past instances where participants signed up for a trip and did not show, a trip leader may require a $20 reservation fee.  Trip participants will learn if the fee is required during the confirmation with the leader.  This fee will be refunded at the trailhead.
•    As noted in trip write-ups above, some leaders have set limits to the number of participants.
•    Sign-ups are first come, first served. A waiting list will be maintained to fill any spaces that arise due to drop-outs. Please notify the leader ahead of time if you are dropping out.
•    As noted in write-ups, some leaders have set beginning and end dates for signing up.
•    Desert Survivors’ trips begin at the designated trailhead. While trip participants are expected to cooperate with the trip leader, each participant is responsible for his or her own safety. In particular, trip participants are responsible for safely transporting themselves to and from trip locales.
•    Desert Survivors encourages trip participants to carpool as a means to increase driver safety while reducing costs, energy consumption and environmental impacts. Trip participants are responsible for making their own carpool arrangements. Desert Survivors recommends that trip participants make equitable arrangements to share costs, and that all arrangements and financial compensation should be clearly negotiated in advance.