For reference, we have many listings for Past Trips.


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.

   April 7–9, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
MID-HILLS CARCAMP (M) Mojave National Preserve
We will visit the world's largest Joshua Tree forest while hiking to Teutonia Peak on Cima Dome. We'll also hike from Mid-Hills to Hole in the Wall and climb the wonderful Ring Trail at Banshee Canyon leading to the visitor center. The campground at Mid-Hills has restrooms, picnic tables, water, and fire rings.  With a bit of luck, we should witness some of the 2017 desert wildflower bloom. For the latest info on the flowers go to: DesertUSA wildflower report.  Limit 15.   Contact Leader:    Nick Blake

   Joaquin Rocks Backpack was cancelled and resceduled to May 19-21, 2017.  See details below.

   April 21-23, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
What better way to spend John Muir’s birthday and Earth Day than by helping BLM mend the Piper and Sylvania Mountains Wilderness Areas. These Wilderness Areas are located east of Bishop. The two are neighbors and border the northern boundary of Death Valley National Park. We will aim to visit both Piper and Sylvania to work on old restoration sites that have been reopened from vehicle trespass or the restoration that has been destroyed by the wind, water, or cows. There will be two full days of work and a hike in the area on the third day.
Contact leader Stacy Goss:

   May 6-7, 2017 (Sat-Sun)
VEHICULAR FIRST AID (E)  Whiskey Hill Farm, Watsonville, CA
Are you able to change a flat tire, or jump-start your car? How about getting your vehicle out of the sand or mud? We'll spend a day discussing how to prepare your vehicle for the desert, and then getting into trouble and getting out again. Jannet Schraer will host this outing at her farm, and we'll combine the mechanicals with an outing to the Pinnacles or the beach. Limit 15. 
Contact Neal Cassidy 510-527-5913 or


NEW DATE!       May 19-21, 2017 (Fri-Sun)       NEW DATE!
JOAQUIN ROCKS BACKPACK (M)  Fresno County, near Coalinga, CA
Visit the purported hideout of legendary bandit Joaquin Murrieta and hunt for Native American rock art. These three sandstone outcrops peek alluringly over Highway 5 near Coalinga. Up close, they retain their otherworldly quality as they loom over a mountaintop hideaway. A giant tinaja on one is big enough to swim in! Nearby rocks preserve signs of Indian life. We will meet Friday evening at a campground outside the Clear Creek Management Area, then drive in to the trailhead for a two-day backpack. (Note: high-clearance vehicle needed, and permits are required for vehicles and people.) Limit 12.  Contact leader Neal Cassidy at 510-527-5913 or

   May 20-21, 2017 (Sat-Sun)
SIERRA CLUB DESERT COMMITTEE MEETING (E) Black Canyon, Mojave National Preserve
The Sierra Club Desert Committee will hold its spring meeting in the Mojave National Preserve. Hear speakers and presentations on a variety of desert conservation issues. You will leave much better informed and prepared for the fight to protect our precious wildlands. The meeting is open to everyone. 
Contact: Nick Blake 

   May 27-29, 2017 (Sat-Mon)
Southern Sierra Spring fling! Day hike to the summit of Olancha Peak (12,000') and over the top to meadows beyond. Visit Ayer's Rock from Coso Junction to see some of the premier pictographs of the Coso region. Limit 8
Trip leader: Barb Bane at 928-607-6316 or

   June 10, 2017 (Sat. 9:00 am-1:00 pm)
WILDERNESS NAVIGATION (E)  Redwood Bowl, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA
 If you go into remote wilderness areas, should you be able to find an off trail objective and return by yourself? What if your GPS has developed a dead battery? If you think you should know more about navigation, this would give you a good start on learning those skills. Bob Davis will give an introduction to basic wilderness navigation skills including orientation to topography, direction finding, and route finding. There will be an introduction to USGS topographic maps, compass basics, navigation by map and compass, and wilderness route finding. There will be a brief discussion of the GPS. After this we will hike several miles on trails in Redwood Park where we could do some navigation but are very unlikely to get lost. Limit 12.
Contact Leader Marisa Seaman at 510-872-5341 or

   June 16-18, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
 South of Gerlach, the rugged Fox Range rises to 7600 feet at Pah-Rum peak, from which we should have incredible views of Pyramid Lake and the Smoke Creek desert. We’ll investigate Rough Canyon to see if it offers a route up to summit, and finish up with a relaxing playa walk on the Smoke Creek. Requires and adventurous spirit and willingness to scramble over rocks and up steep slopes. Limit 12
Contact Leader: Dave Oline (541) 552-1195

June 17-June 23 (Sat-Fri)

June 25-July 1, 2017 (Sun-Sat)


There is still time to join the adventure of rafting on the Green River through Desolation Canyon. As of March 21, there are few openings available for each the June 17th and the June 25 trip. If interested in making either one of these trips, please contact Steve or Isaac at ARTA directly at (800) 323.2782. ARTA requests that you contact them by April 7 so that they can begin their trip preparations for these outings. They will maintain a wait list if demand exceeds trip capacity. As these trips have been chartered for Desert Survivors, the Group Rate is $1099 per person. If you have questions regarding this trip, contact Desert Survivors organizer Michael Wells at (530) 367.4372 or

This is a six-day raft trip on the Green River through Desolation Canyon, one of the most remote areas in the lower 48 states.  Traversed by John Wesley Powell in 1869, traces of human occupation of the area date back a few thousand years as evidenced by numerous pictograph and petroglyph sites and, more recently, abandoned homesteads.  We will meet in Green River, Utah on June 17, 2017 or June 25, 2017 for an evening orientation with our guides.  The next morning, we will take a scenic 45 min. flight to the launch site.  The next six days will be on the river, easy floating at first, and then some larger rapids on days 5 and 6.  There will be numerous hiking opportunities in the canyon.  The trip will be provisioned and guided by the American River Touring Association (ARTA)--a nonprofit corporation with a mission to introduce people to the wilderness with river excursions.  
   July 1-4, 2017 (Sat-Tue)
This trip has it all – a scenic but rugged road tour up the to plateau atop the remote Oregon Canyon Range, a hike to fishable Willow Creek, a base camp with fantastic views over the escarpment, and a one-night backpack down one fork of Oregon Canyon Creek and back up the other, part of the ONDA’s new Oregon Desert Trail – not to mention a stop at Whitehorse Hot Springs on the way out. Limit 10. Contact Leader: Dave Oline (541) 552-1195


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.

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