Current Trip Information

Remember: 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, beginning in January 2019 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.

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.

Download a pdf of the Winter/Spring 2019 Trip Schedule mailer.

      May 11-16, 2019 (Thurs-Sat)
We’ll spend the week searching for signs of the ancients—rock art, ruins and oh so many other signs. We’ll camp at Sand Island campground near Bluff and do dayhikes to Natural Bridges NM, Canyon of the Ancients NM, and Cedar Mesa (about 10 mi. each day, on untrailed, rough and not flat terrain). We’ll also spend a day rafting the San Juan river to see more rock art, and a day touring Monument Valley with a Navajo guide. Approximate cost of tours and group camping is $350 per person. Limit 10. No signups before February 1.
Contact Leader:    Stacy Goss

     May 11-13, 2019 (Sat-Mon)
The Seven Troughs range lies in the no-man’s land between I-80 and the Black Rock, and is seldom even seen, being blocked from view by other ranges closer to travelers’ routes. We will explore this area featuring an extensive mining history and ruins, and a 7000+ foot peak we will climb. Nearby are the curious non-volcanic rocks of the misnamed “Lava Beds”, and a section of the Desert Trail featuring an extreme geological contrast between the brightness of Kumiva Playa and the darkness of Black Mountain. With luck, we will enjoy a once-in-seven-years floral display. Requires significant driving on rough roads.  Limit: 7 vehicles
Contact leader: Dave Oline 552-1195

       May 18–21, 2019 (Sat-Tues)
UPPER PARIA RIVER BACKPACK (S) Grand Staircase Escalante, New Mexico/Utah
In contrast to its busy neighbor to the south, the Upper Paria River provides quiet solitude among red-rock cliffs and arches, painted mountains, and unending surprises. A particular focus of this trip will be to find the many petroglyphs along the route. Please join us for an amazing four days and 35-plus off-trail miles (8 to 12 mi. per day) of adventure exploring Upper Paria River, Kitchen Canyon Falls, Starlight Narrows, Deer Creek, Asay Slot Canyon, Sheep Creek, Bull Valley Gorge and Willis Creek Narrows. Each side canyon is distinct: petroglyphs, slot canyons, desert marbles, fern-lined cathedrals and a stream bed so littered with brightly colored pebbles it will make you stop in awe. The core hike is flat, and fresh water is available at regular intervals so we can travel light. The terrain in the side canyons can be more challenging: expect rough, off-trail conditions including some scrambling. Pace will be moderate. You will be hiking in wet shoes all day, every day, so bring appropriate footwear (trail runners that dry quickly and extra socks works well). Access to the trailhead is via graded dirt roads that are accessible to low-clearance vehicles. This is partly an exploratory trip; please be prepared for the anticipated degree of difficulty as well as the unexpected, bring appropriate gear and an adventurous attitude! This is a car-shuttle trip. Limit 12.
Contact Leaders:    Paul Harris (510) 926-2600 or co-leader Carol Clark (415) 205-0150

   June 1-3, 2019 (Sat-Mon)
The last wolf sighting in Nevada was almost a century ago - until 2016 when video evidence confirmed a lone wolf on Fox Mountain. Not to be confused with the Fox Range south of Gerlach, the 8222-foot high Fox
Mountain is that distinctive peak sprouting radio antennas north of the Black Rock, at the northern end of the well-watered Granite Range. Though this accident of dispersal is gone now and not likely to return, we will explore a world of forests, springs, meadows, and rugged canyons hidden on the north side of the mountain in land that
has no special protection or status, yet briefly played host to this intriguing event.  Limit: 12 people
Contact leader: Dave Oline 552-1195

    June 5, 2019 (Wed 11:00am)
Over 40 years ago, Ruth Bancroft (yes, that Bancroft) began collecting succulents, cacti and other drought resistant plants from her travels around the world. She cultivated these plants over a lifetime at her Walnut Creek estate. The garden provides a living archive of desert and dry climate plants, some disappearing from native habitats. On June 5th, Desert Survivors will visit her extraordinary desert garden on a docent-led tour. After the tour will be a potluck lunch. The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a nonprofit dedicated to public education and enjoyment. $15 ($12 for Seniors) We have a limit of 15 members. Please sign up only if you intend to come. Email your response to and include your name, phone number and # of people.

     June 9, 2019 (Sun 10:00am - 4:30pm)  
Point Reyes, Marin County, California
When the sand dunes in the desert are too hot during the summer months, its time to head off to the dunes of Dillon Beach off Tomales Bay, one and a half hours drive from Oakland. We’ll meet at Tomales
Deli and Cafe before carpooling to Dillon Beach where we will explore the dunes and Lawson's Landing. A hike to the top will give us a view, if not shrouded in fog, of Tomales and Bodega bays converging. We'll also take advantage of the minus tide and hike along the coastline of Tomales Bay.  Bring a lunch and layers of clothing for possible fog and wind. Entrance fee: $8 per vehicle. Limit:15 
Contact Leader: Marisa Seaman or 510-872-5341 

      June 10–15, 2019 (Mon-Sat)
Desert Survivors is again organizing a raft trip on the Yampa River in Colorado and Utah. Rafting on the Yampa offers spectacular scenery and more adventurous rapids. The trip starts and ends at Vernal, Utah. Orientation on June 10 and then five days of rafting on the Yampa and Green Rivers through Dinosaur National Monument. Desert Survivors has chartered this trip, which is limited to 20 people (priority will be given to those individuals who were originally scheduled on last year’s trip). Desert Survivors membership will be required. Cost is $999 per person. Visit the following link for a trip description:
Contact:    Mike Wells  or (530) 367-4372

   July 20, 2019 (Sat) 1 p.m. onward
Join us for our Summer annual picnic at Marta Perry’s beautiful 250-acre family ranch in the Castro Valley hills. It features a swimming pool with a hot tub surrounded by deck and lawn area as well as a covered outdoor kitchen with a barbecue. Bring a swimsuit, camp chair, maybe something to grill and a potluck dish to share. After your swim and socializing, enjoy a late afternoon hike to the ridge for sweeping views of the bay. Anyone wishing to camp out is welcome to set up a sleeping bag on the lawn or deck areas. More adventurous types may wish to make a small camp high on the ridge with views of Bay Area lights.
Contact  Marisa Seaman for additional information: or (510) 872-5341

   July 21, 2019 (Sun) 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
All trip leaders and those interested in becoming trip leaders or co-leaders are encouraged to attend. This is a chance to get better acquainted over a meal followed by a meeting to discuss ideas, issues, leadership requirements, and future activities for Desert Survivors trip leaders. Brunch will be hosted by the Activities Director Marisa Seaman at her home in the Oakland hills.
RSVP to Activities Director Marisa Seaman or (510) 872-5341

    August 1–3, 2019 (Thur-Sat)
Enjoy hiking, kayaking and some local history during a three-day carcamp at the Cottonwood Creek Campground in Tahoe National Forest about 20 mi. north of Truckee. A Thursday afternoon hike on the Overlook Trail will take us to a view of the surrounding area. Friday we will drive to Independence Lake, operated by the Nature Conservancy, which provides kayaks, rowboats and small motorboats free of charge (donations welcome). A hiking trail parallels the shoreline to the west end of the lake; fishing is also an option. Saturday we will drive north into Sierra Valley, through Sierraville to Loyalton docent-led tour of the Milton Gottardi Museum. Although small, this museum displays Loyalton’s history in several thematic rooms in a converted schoolhouse. The trip will end in Loyalton. Limit 12.
Contact Trip Leader: Michael Wells (530) 367-4372

   Aug 31—Sept 2, 2019 (Sat-Mon)
Some of the largest remaining herds of antelope migrate through the empty country along the Oregon-Nevada border between the Sheldon Refuge, Hart Mountain, and Steens mountain. Starting at the Oregon End Table, a small mesa at the western base of the Pueblo Mountains, we will drive an adventurous route west along the border to explore past Lone Mountain and Hawks Valley with the goal of reaching the big playa of Hawksy Walksy before returning to pavement. Expect significant driving on rough roads, intriguing volcanic formations, raptors, expansive views, and to be very much alone. Limit 12. Contact leader: Dave Oline  (541) 552-1195

   Sept 26–29, 2019 (Thur-Sun morning)
Did you miss the chance to stay at the high elevation research center last August? We will return this year in September with three nights at Crooked Creek Field Station, 10,200′, ten miles south of the Patriarch Grove in the White Mountains. $70 per person per night includes a bed in either the station dorm or rooms if available (bring sheets/sleeping bag) and three amazing meals a day cooked by their professional chef. Activities include lounging, hiking, bristlecone groves, and an outdoor fire pit at night. Fall colors and a new moon will be an added bonus. Limit 15. Anyone is welcome to sign up, but first preference to Desert Survivors members who did not attend Crooked Creek weekend in 2018. Contact Leader: Michael Wells (530) 367-4372

   Oct 11–13, 2019 (Fri-Sun)
2019 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING RETREAT (E/M) Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Kenwood, CA
This year we will host the AGM retreat at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park one and a half hour’s drive north of Berkeley. Adventure and exploration await in the stunning Valley of the Moon, known not only for its wineries but also for a number of points of historic interest, including Jack London State Historic Park where author and bohemian adventurer Jack London lived and wrote at his pristine Beauty Ranch. Ample opportunity for hiking, cycling, wine tasting. More information to come.  Contact: Marisa Seaman

Annual membership ($30) required for each adult trip participant.  Begining 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 Survviors 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.
•    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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