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. 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 two-week 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.

FALL 2021

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.

September 10-12, 2021 (Fri-Sun)

If you have never been to the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in eastern Oregon, this car camp for you. We are going to ease our way back into desert trips by taking in the highlights of this wildlife refuge––camping along the creek at the hot springs, checking out Petroglyph Lake, visiting the Lost Forest, and hiking the hills for some fantastic views. A great introduction to a vast and wonderful area, with abundant wildlife and birds. Long distances of driving on good dirt/gravel roads; evidence of vaccination is required.

Limit: 7 vehicles Contact leader: Dave Oline (541) 552-1195.


September 16-18, 2021 (Thurs–Sat)

Hiking and kayaking at Independence Lake, on the western edge of the Great Basin. This is a three-day car camp at the Cottonwood Creek Campground. A Thursday afternoon hike on the Overlook Trail. On Friday, we will pack our lunches and drive to Independence Lake, which is operated by the Nature Conservancy––which provides kayaks. (Note: The road to Independence Lake has not been maintained and is not recommended for passenger vehicles – we will carpool to the lake.) Later that day we will hike along nearby Sagehen Creek. On Saturday morning, we will drive the historic Western Pacific Railroad Museum ($8-10). The trip will end here. Due to recent and ongoing forest fires in the general area, the air quality has often exceeded PM2.5 health standards. The trip will be cancelled if the air is considered unhealthy.

Limit 12. Contact Trip Leader: Mike Wells or 530-367-4372.


October 11-15, 2021 (Mon- Fri)

This year we are trying something different by holding our AGM retreat and meeting at a desert site an hour from Las Vegas. Valley of Fire is known for its bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops displaying a varied array of shapes and textures. The park contains ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. Moderate hikes will be arranged to various sculpted arches, colorful rocks, impressive strata and slot canyons. We will be treated to stunning views of the red sandstone illuminating the valley at sunset. Our Annual General meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

We have a large group campsite reserved, with potable water, vault toilets, and concrete tables. Showers can be obtained at the main campsites. More details to come.

Please feel free to contact Marisa Seaman, the Activities DIrector, at (510) 872-5341 if you have questions.


October 16-18, 2021 (Sat-Mon


Explore Mt. Irish Archeological District––home to the distinctive and enigmatic Pahranagat style petroglyphs unique to Lincoln County NV. The 640 acre site is accessible by high clearance vehicles or hiking to some tableaus. We’ll also explore the canyons of the winding White River Narrows Archeological District––home to a large collection of both Basin and Range and Fremont style petroglyphs. Primitive dry camping in the District or near the Narrows. Limit 5 vehicles; carpooling encouraged due to limited parking access. Co-leaders: MIke Wells and Marisa Seaman. Contact Marisa Seaman 510-872-5341


November 12-14, 2021 (Fri-Sun)

JOSHUA TREE BACKPACK (S), Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Test your endurance with this three-day, 34-mile backpack through some of the parks most memorable scenery - including Wonderland of Rocks, Smith Water Canyon, Quail Mountain Peak, Johnny Lang Canyon, Willow Hole and Rattlesnake Canyon, presenting a variety of terrain, elevation, plant communities, geology, geography and wildlife including the occasional desert tortoise.

Please be prepared for the challenge: we’ll carry 4 liters of water (and cache water), pace will be fast (2 to 3 miles per hour on easy terrain), we’ll cover 13 miles per day on the first two days with a total elevation gain of 5,800’ over 3 days. Expect rough, off-trail conditions, dry falls and class 2-3 scrambling. This is a (partly) exploratory trip so bring appropriate gear and an adventurous attitude! Trailhead campsite reserved for the group in Indian Cove campground for Thursday the 11th.

Limit 12. Contact: Paul Harris 510-926-2600 OR Carol Clark 415-205-0150


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.)