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.

January 30 – February 4, 2022 (Sun – Fri)


Looking for something to fill those blank spaces on your winter calendar?  How about camping at sunny Valley of Fire near Las Vegas?  If you were unable to attend the AGM last October, or if you want another chance to visit the park, you are in luck.  Desert Survivors has camping reservations a Group Site #3 beginning Sunday afternoon January 30, with trip activities starting on Monday afternoon January 31.

Our itinerary is open and flexible; activities will be decided each day, but could include loafing around, trail or off-trail hiking, petroglyph sites, and visits to surrounding locals such as nearby Moapa National Wildlife Refuge (birdwatching!) or the shores and canyons of Lake Mead.  No pot luck, but we are allowed campfires this time of year.  Parking fees of $25 per night per vehicle includes our entrance fee.  Participants can join the camp for a few days or stay all five.  Proof of vaccination and booster required.  Limit 15 people, 12 vehicles.  Contact leader Michael Wells:


February  4-6, 2022 (Fri-Sun)

Hikes in the Mojave on relatively easy terrain. On Friday we set up our base camp at Red Rock Canyon State Park, then caravan in vehicles to Pine Tree Canyon. From the Los Angeles Aqueduct we will hike up the dry wash to Tolly Spring.  On Saturday we caravan to the Golden Valley Wilderness for a hike to petroglyphs at Steam Well and a loop route with views of the Mojave that go on forever.  Sunday we check out the back country of Red Rock Canyon.  Proof of vaccination and booster required.   Limit: 14  Contact leader: Nick Blake 323-829-5449


February 9, 2022 – Wednesday 7:00 to 8:30PM Pacific time

CONSERVATION CONVERSATION, aka Desert Issues Meeting via Zoom

Want to know more about current issues threatening the deserts of California and the southwest?  Can you inform fellow Survivors of current desert conservation concerns and conflicts?  We will discuss protecting the desert and more in an informal online get-together.  Your participation will significantly add to this event.  If you cannot make this date, sign up anyway and be notified of future meetings.  This group will also tentatively meet the second Wednesday of April, June, August and October 2022.  Contact Stacy Goss,


March 9, 2022 – Wednesday, 7:00-8:30PM Pacific time


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.  To get the ball rolling, our first title will be Cadillac Desert by March Reisner (1986, revised 1993).  The group will decide on subsequent books.  If you cannot make this date, sign up anyway to be notified of future meetings and books.  This group will also tentatively meet the second Wednesday of May, July, September and November 2022.  Contact Chuck McGinn,


March 18 – 20, 2022 (Fri-Sun)


Join us for an amazing trip to Anza-Borrego to explore wind caves, slot canyons, fossils, petroglyphs, palm oases, elephant trees and the world’s largest complex of mud caves. If the winter rains come through, we will be treated to a desert bloom as well. We have two shorter hikes and two 8 to 10 mile hikes planned over three days including Arroyo Topaido Mud Caves, Mountain Palm Springs/Torote Bowl, Domelands and Sombrero Peak/Summer Solstice Cave (if we can find it). These hikes highlight a variety of terrain, elevation, plant communities, geology, geography and archaeology.

We’ll gather Friday morning at the Bow Willow campsite then drive to the trailhead for an early start. Please be prepared for the challenge: pace will be moderate, expect up to 2,000’ of elevation gain and rough, off-trail conditions––including scrambling. These are (partly) exploratory hikes so bring appropriate gear and an adventurous attitude! Carry all water. High clearance 4WD vehicle REQUIRED for sections of the trip. High clearance suitable for campsite. We will arrange carpooling for day excursions requiring 4WD. Limit 12.

Contact trip leaders: Paul Harris 510-926-2600 or Carol Clark 415-205-0150   Proof of Covid-19 vaccination and booster required. 


March 25 – 27, 2022 (Fri-Sun) 


The best place to see the desert tortoise chomping on spring desert blooms is the Desert Tortoise Natural Area in the north Mojave Desert.  We will join the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee for their annual volunteer work weekend, restoring tortoise habitat and other tasks to protect this threatened species.  We will car camp at nearby Red Rock Canyon State Park with one day of hiking (hopefully) with wildflowers.  Proof of vaccination and booster required. Contact Barb Bane, 928-607-6316


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.)