Trips & Events

Current Trip Information

You must be a current member of Desert Survivors to join in with one of these trips.   Each membership applies to one individual adult.  For reasons of liability insurance coverage each adult trip participant must have his or her own individual membership.  Children 17 years and younger participating on a trip will be covered by the adult parent or legal guardian's Desert Survivors membership.  Trip participants are required a sign a relase of liability form at the beginning of each trip.


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.

Our 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.

A trip leader may ask that you contact them directly by telephone. This enables the leader to assess your skills and abilities and to answer any questions 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 emailed additional information concerning the meeting area, car-pooling, last minute changes, etc.

Click here for your Overnight Backpacking Checklist.

Covid-19 Safety Policies for Desert Survivors Trips

The welfare of Desert Survivors members is a paramount concern in all of our activities. For this reason, participation in all in-person trips is limited to those members who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 including booster. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges all people age 12 and older to get vaccinated for Covid-19, and says the vaccines are safe and effective in preventing the disease, as well as reducing the symptoms of Covid-19 if a vaccinated person is infected.

If you have not been vaccinated and want to join one of these trips, please get your shot/s and finish the inoculation process before the scheduled departure, and you will be welcome.

At the time of this writing the CDC is allowing vaccinated people to take part in many activities they did prior to the pandemic. Most Desert Survivors trips take place outdoors where the risk or possible transmission of the disease is greatly reduced. Because of this, trip participants may go without wearing masks while outdoors. In instances where the group might go indoors (such as to a visitor’s center or museum) masks will be required. Trip participants who wish to take the greater precaution of wearing a mask while outdoors, are welcome to do so.

When you sign up for a trip, you will be asked by the trip leader if you have been vaccinated. The trip leader may require verification––such as seeing your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card––before allowing you on the excursion.

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms shortly before a trip please stay home. If Covid-19 symptoms arise during the trip, please tell the trip leader as soon as possible.

Desert Survivors encourages carpooling for travel to and from our excursions. CDC rules allow vaccinated persons in confined places (such as in a vehicle) to go without wearing a mask. If you plan to carpool, please work out in advance any Covid-19 mask measures you wish fellow car poolers to practice. If you are uncomfortable sharing your vehicle with others please drive alone.

These Desert Survivors Covid-19 polices, follow the best information available at the time of this writing. The Covid-19 pandemic is an ever-changing crisis. These safety protocols are subject to modification at any time, and could include the cancellation of the trips.

Desert Survivors is hopeful we are in a stage of the pandemic where we can again explore, share and experience our beloved deserts. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we wrestle with how best to resume in-person trips and events while keeping everyone safe and healthy.


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.

May 11, 2022 Wednesday 7:00-8:30PM


With so many desert-topic books out there, how do you decide which to read?  And then you want to talk about them!  Join some like-minded folks at this book-discussion group.  For this meeting we will be talking about Land of Little Rain (1903) by Mary Austin.  Contact Chuck McGinn,


May 14, 2022 Saturday, 10:00AM-12:00 noon & 2:00–4:00PM


The time has arrived for the Desert Committee to resume regular meetings.  The springtime event will be virtual and feature talks and presentations on a wide variety of issues toward preserving our deserts.  Current plans call for the summer meeting taking place in person. All Desert Survivors are encouraged to take part; the general public is welcome.  Contact Nick Blake


May 15, 2022 Sunday, 7:00-8:00PM

PRESERVING THE AMARGOSA RIVER BASIN: a Zoom Presentation with Susan Sorrells

Susan Sorrells is president of Friends of the Amargosa Basin––a newly formed non-profit pursuing national monument status for the region. She will speak about her family’s deep roots in the area, projects that restored desert wetlands and efforts to save the desert pupfish and Amargosa vole from extinction.  Ms. Sorrells has a wealth of stories and information on this special place.  This event is in conjunction with the Sierra Club, Range of Light Group’s 30 by 30 Campaign and is open to the public.  The Zoom link for this meeting will be included in an email announcement and posted on the Desert Survivors website close to the date.

To learn more about the 30 by 30 campaign CLICK HERE.


May 20-22, 2022 (Fri-Sun)


On this trip you will see it all––archeological masterpieces, historic ruins, modern engineering marvels, Joshua Trees, crashed aircraft and a rock ‘n’ roll shrine.  On Friday we will start in Lone Pine and caravan in vehicles up into the Coso Mountains where along the way we will check out many special sights.  On Saturday we hike to Upper Centennial Spring where will find a box canyon that was used by ancient hunters to trap bighorn sheep.  The site is festooned with petroglyphs.  On Sunday we will drive onto Owens Lake and check out the massive dust mitigation project.  All places can be reached in a standard automobile. Limit 16. Contact trip leader Nick Blake –


June 5, 2022, Sunday, 2:00-3:30 PM

THE MOJAVE DESERT’S HIDDEN HISTORY: A Zoom presentation by David Nichols, Archeologist 

David Nichols specializes in digging up the past. As Park Archeologist at the Mojave National Preserve, he has explored historic ranching, examining the vestiges of the Rock Springs Land and Cattle Company, the second largest cattle ranch in California in the 1890s. He has tracked historic wagon routes such as the Mojave Road, a critical route for emigrants, mail and military conveyances to and from Southern California. Exploring further back in time, Mr. Nichols identified a variety of prehistoric resources including rock art sites.

A Los Angeles native, David Nichols has been working in the field of archaeology since 1990. For the past 22 years he has supported the National Park Service in the Mojave National Preserve. As Park Archeologist and Cultural Resources Program Manager, he provides interpretation to the public and professional peers on the history of the Preserve. He has been instrumental in listing historic and prehistoric resources in the National Register of Historic.  He also manages Cultural Resources for Castle Mountains National Monument.  This is sure to be an excellent presentation. Don’t miss it!


June 10 - June 12, 2022 (Fri-Sun)


An adventure drive loop will lead us into the empty country along the Oregon-Nevada border between the Sheldon and Hart Mountain Refuges. Lone Mountain surprises with colorful rock outcrops and Junipers, and Hawks Mountain has spectacular views – we will climb them both. Our last night will be a relaxing playa camp on the curiously named Hawksy Walksy, an important prehistoric site. Requires a high clearance 4WD with a low gear, or a seat in one for the drive. Expect intriguing volcanic formations, raptors, expansive views, and to be very much alone.   Limit: 6 vehicles.

Contact leader: Dave Oline (541) 552-1195


June 16-18, 2022 (Thurs – Sat)

INDEPENDENCE LAKE CAR CAMP (E/M) Sierra and Plumas Counties

Hiking, kayaking and railroad history are all part of this three-day, car camp at the Cottonwood Creek Campground, located north of Truckee on the edge of the Great Basin. A Thursday afternoon hike on the Overlook Trail will take us to a spectacular view of the region. On Friday morning, we will pack our lunches and drive to Independence Lake; where the Nature Conservancy provides kayaks. A hiking trail parallels the shoreline on the west end of the lake. Fishing is an option. On Saturday, we will drive north into Sierra Valley, to visit the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, CA and a late lunch in town.  Limit 12. Contact Trip Leader: Mike Wells or 530-367-4372.


Save the Date - July 2, 2022, Saturday 4:00 – 8:00PM - Save the Date

SUMMER DANCE PARTY (E) Stan Huncilman’s Home, Berkeley

It’s never too early to plan for summer fun. Save the afternoon and evening of July 2nd to join your friends at an overdue Survivors celebration. Come rattle your bones to music you love played by Gerry the DJ. It’s been too long since we’ve partied together! Location details will be forthcoming before the event.


Save the Date - October 6-9, 2022 (Thurs - Sun) - Save the Date 


Anxious to get out in the wild?  Let's hone in on our skills on desert survival. Workshops on locating water, creating shelter, fire making, navigating, signaling for rescue, outfitting your vehicle, changing and fixing tires, will be featured during the retreat.  We will learn skills for survival situations in the desert and how to prevent such instances from occurring in the first place.  We will also lead daily hikes in the Los Padres National Forest.



Annual membership ($30) required for each adult trip participant. Beginning January 2019 each spouse of a married couple, who participates in a Desert Survivors trip, will need to pay the $30 annual membership fee. The membership fee is not required if the participant has Honorary Membership status, or if the participant is the minor child of Desert Survivors member. 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.
• 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 all arrangements and financial compensation should be clearly negotiated in advance.
• 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 locals.
• Firearms are not allowed on any Desert Survivors activities (trips, events, meetings.)