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.

      January 20–22, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
TURTLE MOUNTAIN BACKPACK (S) Southeastern California
From Mohawk Spring we’ll cross the ridge near Mexican Hat Peak, drop into the valley, then climb to the ridge and descend steeply into the upper reaches of Gary Wash. The following day we’ll cross another ridge, head to Coffin Spring, and return to the trailhead by way of Carson’s Wells and Brown’s Camp. This was one of the first backpacks of Desert Survivors. Expect great solitude, marvelous scenery, and perhaps a bighorn sighting. Limit 8.
Contact Leader:    Bob Lyon (415) 586-6855

    January 27–30, 2017  (Fri-Mon)
Working alongside BLM staff, we will focus on restoration work to naturalize an impacted area in the Argus Range. We will work primarily in Water Canyon with the possibility of moving to other sites in the range. A week after the inauguration you’ll be wondering what you can do; this is it. We will spend three days working and one day hiking and playing in the area. Limit 10.  Contact Leader:    Stacy Goss (510) 206-3760

    February 4, 2017 (Sat)
Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow foretelling a long winter or will an overcast sky predict an early spring? Either way, Desert Survivors celebrates the event with our annual Groundhog Day party! Connect with old and new members and share our love of the desert. Bring pictures, tales (tall or short) a potluck dish and drink to share. This year the celebration will be at Marisa Seaman's home in Oakland. We will email members with more information as the day approaches, or contact: Marisa Seaman

    February 11–12, 2017 (Sat-Sun)
The Sierra Club Wilderness Committee and Desert Committee annual joint meeting is in Shoshone, just south of Death Valley. 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  Tom Budlong of the Sierra Club

    February 18–20, 2017 (Sat-Mon)
Avoiding the full desert parks, we will visit the remote Turtle Mountain Wilderness for the holiday. After meeting in Vidal Junction we will caravan on unpaved roads and through sandy washes to the trailhead, dayhike to Horn Spring and lunch at an abandoned mine, then camp both nights at a primitive site in magnificent upper Vidal Valley. Sunday we will hike past one of General Patton’s WW2 desert airstrips to a group of volcanic plugs called Castle Rock. Two-wheel-drive vehicles with good clearance are okay, but low-clearance cars will have to park at the meeting site and carpool to the camp site. Limit 16.
Contact Coleaders:    Marisa Seaman   Nick Blake

   February 21–26, 2017 (Tues-Sun)
Enjoy the desert bloom while we tour several of the seven regions of ABDSP. Some of the unique features to explore will include palm oases, slot canyons, mud caves, wind caves, large sandstone concretions, morteros and pictographs, among other features. We will also check out the park’s Visitor Center, the prehistoric freestanding art sculptures, and Agua Caliente’s heated springs. Moderate hiking. A high-clearance vehicle is required. Expect to pack up camp periodically and set up at another site when driving to another region. Some primitive campgrounds charge $15. Confirm by Feb 15. Limit 12.
Contact Leader: Marisa Seaman (510) 872-5341

   February 24–26, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
If you are interested in exploring ABDSP (see above description) but can only join us for a few days, contact leader Marisa Seaman.

   March 10–12, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
IBEX SPRINGS CAR CAMP (M) Eastern Death Valley
Old mines, a lush spring, and a small ghost town are the attraction of this area in the southeast corner of Death Valley. Talc mining was prominent in the area during the 1930s. Tall fan palms hover above a thick grove of mesquites and arrowweed at this unexpected oasis. Stark white slopes and terraces of exposed talc form an eerie contrast to the surrounding desert. We’ll make a series of short hikes to visit several mines. Primitive camping. Limit 12. Contact Leader:    Bob Lyon (415) 586-6855

    March 16–20, 2017 (Thurs-Mon)
While we will eventually get to Saline Valley and the hot springs, we will begin by spending a couple of days exploring other areas south of the valley. We will do a dayhike to Panamint Dunes, and then two more hikes in the Lee Flat area to visit some petroglyphs and explore Lee Wash (which is really a canyon!) We’ll spend two nights camping at Lee Flat and two nights at the hot springs. Limit 10. Contact Leader:    Stacy Goss (510) 206-3760

   April 7–9, 2017 (Fri-Sun)
MID-HILLS CARCAMP (M) Mojave National Preserve
We’ll 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. Limit 15.
Contact Leader:    Bob Lyon (415) 586-6855

   June 25-July 1, 2017 (Sun-Sat)

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 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.     
In order to charter this trip exclusively for Desert Survivors, ARTA requires a minimum of 12 people are required to sign up (maximum of 20).  If this quota is not met, ARTA will open up the trip to the public.  Since this is not a formally sanctioned Desert Survivors activity (no liability to the organization), Desert Survivors membership is not required.  Family and friends are most welcome to join the trip.
The lead time for making reservations is relatively short, so we
need to hear from those interested by January 25, 2017.

Mike Wells is the Desert Survivors organizer for this trip.  In order to determine the number of people interested in rafting the Green River, please contact him at: or (530) 367-4372. 

Annual membership ($30) required for trips unless the participant has Honorary Membership status.  A $20 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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