Our schedule for 2022 trips is as follows:
|Death Valley||March 23 - 27, 2022|
|Grand Canyon National Park||April 27 - May 1, 2022|
|Mammoth||July 13 - 17, 2022|
|Yosemite National Park||August 17 - 21, 2022|
|Sedona||September 28 - October 2, 2022|
Since 1982 the San Diego Chapter has been offering bus trips to a variety of National and State Parks within an eight hour drive of San Diego.
Part of the largest grassroots environmental organization in the country, Sierra Club provides environmentally friendly outdoor adventures.
What makes these bus trips special is that they are organized by a fantastic team of volunteer leaders who do not get paid for their efforts. They do it out of an appreciation for these special places, and a passion for sharing them with you. Bus Trips include transportation by motorcoach unless otherwise specified, camping permits, backcountry backpacking permits, route planning and the expertise of our Chapter Outings Leaders. We look forward to having you join us on a bus trip to explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
BUS TRIP OVERVIEW
All of our backpacking trips are led by Sierra Club Chapter Outing Leaders. On each bus trip we offer a minimum of 4 backpack outing trips. We do our best to offer a variety of backpack trips from easy to difficult. We utilized a rating system to provide you with guidance on selecting a backpack that is in alignment with your fitness level and backpacking experience. The backpack trips are usually five days and four nights in duration. On some trips, you will backpack in to a remote location and set up camp and go on day hikes each day. On other trips you will backpack and travel from campsite to campsite each day. As we will be in the wilderness, restroom facilities, showers, tap water, restaurants and stores will not be available, therefore, you will need to bring all your food, cooking supplies, gear and water filtration/treatment products with you. If you have never backpacked before, we highly recommend taking the Wilderness Basics Course.
Camping Bus Trips
Camping Bus Trips are also usually five day and four night trips. On these trips the bus will drop us off at a campsite usually in a National or State Park and we will set up a base camp. We offer a number of day hikes each day led by Sierra Club Chapter Outings Leaders that range from easy to hard or you may have the option of going on a self-guided hike. Depending on the location, the bus will take us to our trail head, we will use locally provided transportation or depart from our campground.
Pre-Trip Planning Meeting
A few weeks before the bus trip, we will hold a pre-trip meeting where you will get to meet your leaders and the other participants on the trip. We will review general information about the trip, and you will have the opportunity to have your questions answered. In addition, the leaders will elaborate on the details of your outing, review plans, maps and required gear. You will have the opportunity to connect with other participants on the trip and discuss gear sharing. We will review the departure location information and what to expect on the bus.
Transportation is provided by San Diego's most trusted charter service. Our trips take us to some areas that can be quite challenging for a motorcoach to navigate. We developed a relationship with a team of dependable professional drivers to meet our unique needs. Our bus of choice is a 47 seat passenger luxury MCI motorcoach with the following features:
- Air Conditioning
- Reclining Seats
- Privacy Shades
- Large Overhead Compartments
- Luggage Bays
What to Expect on the Bus
The great part about not driving yourself is you don't have to worry about traffic and can relax and enjoy the view, eat, sleep, read a book, watch a movie on your tablet or smartphone, or talk to your neighbor. Seat selection on the bus is based on a priority system of when you signed up for the trip and your presence at the time of seating. On the ride up to our destination, we will do introductions and get to know one another. Depending on the length of our bus ride, we have a rest stop at the half-way junction to stretch our legs and grab a bite to eat. On our return trip home, every outing group is encouraged to share their trip's experience.
Post Trip Gathering
A few weeks after the trip, we all get back together for a post trip gathering. We set up a slide show for everyone to share their favorite pictures and videos and recount stories about their experience. Depending on the venue, participants are encouraged to bring a potluck meal to share and friends and family are welcome to join in on the post trip gathering.
August 17-21, 2022
Our trip features a number of trips in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is home to fabulous granite faces, majestic domes, and striking peaks standing above expansive green meadows. Beautiful, glacier-filled lakes offer refreshing afternoon dips and create rushing streams and spectacular waterfalls. It is one of the finest of our national parks. John Muir called Yosemite "...the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter." Join us as we explore the less crowded areas of this temple north of the Valley.
We will be offering several backpacking trips of varying degrees of difficulty. We will travel in a chartered, air-conditioned bus. Participants must provide their own meals and camping equipment. Please check the information under the resources tab for more information about what to bring. Upon registration, you will receive an email confirmation and information about an optional pre-trip meeting to meet your leaders and ask questions (highly recommended for first-timers). A hand-out will also be available with suggestions about what to pack, weather, safety tips, etc. Please check out the documents found under the Resources Tab for more information.
Polly Dome Lakes Glen Aulin Backpack
Leader: PJ Jeffery, Assistant Leader: Kris Watkin
Trip Rating: M6C
Event capacity = 3
# of back pack days = 3, # of back pack miles = 15, # of dayhike miles = 16+ (optional)
On Thursday our 3-mile backpack roughly parallels Murphy Creek. We will climb about 600' through shaded Lodgepole forests with abundant wildflowers and cross large granite slabs before a short, cross-country trek to our camp site next to shallow Polly Dome Lake (elevation 8775'). After setting up camp, we will head off to May Lake (elevation 9270' 10 miles, +/1200 feet). Friday we will pack up and head over to Glen Aulin which is Gaelic for "Beautiful Valley" (elevation 7900'); crossing Cathedral Creek and making a stop at McGee Lake before heading to the beach at White Cascade for a swim. (6 miles, +340', -1200') Saturday we will enjoy the grandeur of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne on our leisurely hike to California Falls, Le Conte Falls, and Waterwheel Falls while enjoying ample opportunities for basking in the sun and swimming. (6 miles, +/- 1600') Sunday we will get an early start for our hike out on the PCT following the Tuolumne River to Tuolumne Meadows (6 miles, +1000')
Porcupine Creek to Tenaya Lake Backpack - North Rim of Yosemite Valley
Leader: Mike Fry, Assistant Leader: Tanya Ingorvate
Trip Rating: M6C
Event capacity = 9
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 20 Number of Day Hike Miles: 2 miles (optional)
See Joe's Guide to Yosemite: https://www.citrusmilo.com/yosemiteguide/northdome.cfm
There are many outstanding views from the North Rim of Yosemite Valley, and this backpack visits 5 of them. Total backpack mileage is 20 mi.
Total elevation gain/loss is -3300', +3620'. Total day hike miles = 2 mi. Thurs, August 18, Backpack 4.5 mi from Porcupine Creek to North Dome,
+800' -1400'. Camp near Royal Arch Creek. 0.5 mi day hike to North Dome and amazing view of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. Fri, August 19. Backpack over Indian Ridge and down to Snow Creek, 6 miles, +700', -1400'. 0.3 mi dayhike to Indian Rock and the only natural arch in Yosemite. See one more magnificent view of Half Dome. Sat, August 20. Backpack 5 mi and camp west of Hidden Lake, near Snow Flat Creek. +1800' . See outstanding views of Cloud's Rest from Mt.Watkins. Visit historic Snow Creek cabin. Sun, August 21. Backpack 4.5 miles to Tenaya Lake, -500', +420'. and meet our bus.
Eagle Peak/El Capitan
Leader: KH Chong Assistant Leader: Sharon Young
Trip Rating : M7C
# of backpack days: 4, # of backpack miles: 21 # Dayhike miles: 11.5 (optional)
Event capacity: 6
This backpack trip will be visiting and viewing some of the top Yosemite highpoints such as El Capitan, Eagle Peak, Yosemite Falls, North Dome and Half Dome. First day backpack will be just 5 miles of steady descent to Cascade Creek. After finding our campsite, we have an option do an off trail 5 mile out and back scramble to check out the Twin Falls of Cascade Creek. On day 2, we will continue our backpack trip with a 1500’ ascent over 3.5miles before arriving at our 2nd night campsite at Ribbon Creek. We can then go on a 3 mile out and back day hike to the summit of El Capitan. The 3rd day will be our longest backpack day with a 7 mile backpack with viewing stops at Eagle Peak and Yosemite Falls. We will arrive and look for our final night campsite at Lehamite Creek. We can do a 3.5 mile out and back day hike to North Dome for views of Half Dome. On the last day of our trip, we will break camp early for a 4 mile backpack out to catch the bus home at Porcupine Creek trailhead.
Ten Lakes to Polly Dome Backpack
Leader: Monica Elrod, Assistant Leader: Lynn Nebus
Trip Rating: H7D
Event Capacity: 8
# of backpack days: 4, # of backpack miles: 23, day hike miles: TBD
Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. John Muir said, “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer… Nature's peace will flow into you … while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” That pretty much sums it up for me.
Day 1, from Yosemite Creek Trailhead we will hike 6.5 miles through pine forests, across creeks and meadows, up 2300’ past granite outcroppings to our first campsite. Day 2 we will do a leisurely 5.5-mile hike along shimmering lakes, through a mountain pass, following the south fork of Cathedral Creek until we reach our camping spot. Day 3 we will continue our 7-mile hike among granite peaks, across meadows and granite slabs to camp along Murphy Creek. We will visit beautiful Polly Dome Lakes, one of the best kept secrets in Yosemite. Day 4 – Break camp and hike the 4 miles down to Sunrise Lakes TH, where we will catch the bus.
Waterfalls and Swimming Holes of Yosemite’s Grandest Canyon
Leader: April Armijo, Assistant Leader: Sussi Yamaguchi
Trip Rating - H10E
Event capacity = 5
# of backpack days 4, # of backpack miles 33
John Muir described the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne as “quintessential Yosemite”. Traversing this spectacular canyon from White Wolf to Tenaya Lake begins with a steep descent on Day 1 into Pate Valley to camp beside the roaring Tuolumne River with its famed swimming holes, surrounded by lush trees and meadow. The roughly 3800’ descent over 10 miles paves the way for the next three glorious days as we gradually climb in the footsteps of John Muir, enjoying almost a dozen waterfalls including Waterwheel, Tuolumne, and Le Conte, while gazing at steep glacially carved granite walls from within Muir Gorge. Our second and third nights will be spent in the vicinity of the multiple falls and Glen Aulin with ample time to hike and explore.
The temperatures in the Canyon are usually much warmer than in the High Sierra, ideal for swimming or enjoying excellent fishing for fishers carrying a rod and valid California fishing license. The leaders love swimming. We will be stopping frequently to jump in waterholes. If you don't like stopping for swimming this is not your trip! We will have a moderate hiking pace.
The distance we travel each day will be determined by group interest, weather and available campsites. It is possible that a day or two may exceed 10 miles and 2500 feet of elevation gain. So, if you are a strong hiker who has recently demonstrated the ability to thrive on a trip of similar difficulty please sign up. If in doubt, please contact the leader with questions.
Event Capacity = 19
Visit our Trip Rating System to determine which Backpacking Trip is right for you.
Space: Limited to 47 participants (including leaders and assistants)
Registration Opens: June 18, 2022 at 6 am
Pre-trip Meeting: August 9, 2022 - at 6:15 pm, Zoom meeting
Departure: August 17, 2022 at 12 noon
Return: August 21, 2022 approx. 9 pm