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The Bus Trip Program

The website will be updated frequently, keep checking to see what we have planned for 2021.

The Sierra Club has extended its COVID-19 response through July 4th, 2021. This means all national, chapter, and shared offices will remain closed. Public events and outings will also remain on hold through at least July 4th.

Decisions about whether to run these trips will depend upon local quarantine and social distancing policies along with Sierra club guidance and is subject to change quickly.

We are developing special trip protocols to reinforce best practices such as practicing good personal hygiene; bringing additional hand sanitizer; maintaining personal distance in large group settings; avoiding physical contact; avoiding sharing of water, food, and personal items; and isolating ill members of the group. We will continue to develop and refine these practices as the situation develops.

Our tentative schedule for 2021 trips is as follows:

Tonto – April 7-11, 2021 MOVED to 2022
Grand Canyon  – May 5-9 MOVED to 2022
Southern Sierra – June 9-13 MOVED to 2022
Hoover – July 14-18 NO BUS, travel arranged by attendees 
Yosemite - Aug. 18-22 NO BUS, travel arranged by attendees
Santa Cruz Island – Sept. 9-12 Bus trip CANCELLED
Zion – Oct. 1-5 Bus Trip

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.




Backpacking Trips

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

Bus Camping & Day Hikes

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

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
  • Restroom-equipped
  • Privacy Shades
  • Large Overhead Compartments
  • Luggage Bays
What to Expect on the Bus

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

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.

Hoover Wilderness and Tahoe Rim - NO BUS

July 14-18, 2021

The Sierra Club Bus Trip Committee is optimistic that we will be able to offer backpack and car camp outings starting in July. Due to Covid health concerns and restrictions we will not be traveling by chartered bus for our July outings. 

Our July outings will take us to the Hoover Wilderness Area and the Tahoe Rim. Our transportation will be by individual vehicles, which allows us the flexibility for outings to be across a greater area. We have planned three backpack outings and one campground/tent-camping outing. All outings are limited to a maximum of ten people each and Covid safeguards will be in place. Participants must provide their own meals and camping equipment. 

Hoover Wilderness is in the gorgeous Sierra Nevada Mountains. Running along the eastern slopes of the Sawtooth Range, this wilderness encompasses some of the most spectacular high alpine landscapes in the Sierras. Between Yosemite National Park to the west and the Great Basin to the east, the Hoover Wilderness is home to soaring jagged Sierra peaks, glistening alpine lakes and lush meadows. We are planning two backpack outings and one campground outing in the Hoover Wilderness area.

Trip 1
Type of Trip: Car Camp with Day Hikes
Trip Name: Honeymoon Flats Campground/Dayhikes
Leader: Karen Nelson
Event capacity: 8

We will meet at our campsites at Honeymoon Flat campground on Wednesday night, just outside of Bridgeport, near Twin Lakes. The dayhike format will allow us to sample some of the most beautiful locations in the area. This trip is intended for hikers who are fit, have had recent experience at altitudes up to 10,000 ft, and want to explore the area by hiking each day. We will hike at a moderate pace on well-used trails, with ample stops for snacks, lunch, and enjoying our surroundings. Each day includes a hike to a lake that is perfect for the adventurous to jump in for a refreshing swim. Planned hikes include Twin Lakes to Barney Lake (M8C), Green Creek to Green Lake (M6C), Saddlebag Lake near Lee Vining (M4B), as well as side trips to Mono Lake, Panum Crater, and the Bodie Historical Site. It is our goal to finish our hikes in time to stop for a quick snack or supplies at the “resort” amenities near our trailheads before returning to our campground. Hot showers are a quick five minute drive from our campground for those who want to clean up before our evening activities. Evening activities include social time around a campfire and/or a quick trip to the nearby Travertine Hot Springs. Of course, all of our hikes may be modified due to weather and trail conditions, as well as the needs of the participants.

Trip 2
Type of Trip: Backpack

Trip Name: Green Creek to Virginia Lakes
Leader: Monica Elrod, Assistant Leader: Tanya Ingorvate
Trip Rating: M10C
Event capacity: 7
Number of Backpack Days: 3, Number of Backpack Miles: 16, Number of Day Hike Miles: up to 20

We will meet at Honeymoon Flat campground Wednesday night before shuttling our cars to the Green Creek (start) and Virginia Lakes (finish) trailheads early Thursday morning. We will hike 4.5 miles from the Green Creek Trailhead to East Lake where we will camp for two nights. On our layover day there are options for a 12 mile loop hike that will take us back to Green Creek, then up and over Virginia Pass. Once over the Pass we hike South through Virginia Canyon to the trail that heads East to Summit Lake, then back to East lake. Another option for the layover day is a shorter hike to Summit Lake and back. On the third day we hike approximately six miles from East Lake up and over Summit Pass to the Virginia Lakes area, and camp within two miles of the Virginia Lakes Resort. Day four offers an easy hike into the Resort where we can shower or eat at the restaurant before shuttling drivers to their cars and heading home. 

Trip 3
Type of Trip: Backpack 

Trip Name: Barney Lake, Peeler Lake, Crown Point Loop
Leader: Sonya Shaffer, Assistant Leader: Mike Shaffer
Trip Rating: M11C
Event capacity: 7
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 11, Number of Day Hike Miles: 12

We will meet at the Honeymoon Flat Campground Wednesday night before heading to the Robinson Creek trailhead early Thursday morning. Our trip will take us through glaciated valleys, alongside alpine lakes, and under the watchful eye of towering, rugged peaks. Along the way, we will take time to swim, relax and enjoy the not-to-be-missed scenery. Hiking through fields of wildflowers and aspen groves, we will pass beautiful Barney Lake and climb up to our camp near Robinson Lake. Friday we will hike to Crown Lake, Snow Lake and possibly climb Mule Pass. Saturday we will pack up and hike back to the main trail; stashing our packs for a day hike over to Kerrick Meadow. Returning to our packs, we will pack down to camp past Barney Lake (about 4 miles) for an easy backpack out on Sunday morning. We can stop at the campground for showers and a snack before heading home. Much of our hiking will be at or near 10,000 feet. Participants should be comfortable hiking at elevation with a backpack.

Trip 4
Backpack Trip
Name of Trip: Tahoe Rim Trail
Leader: Kris Watkin, Assistant Leader: Margaret Elizondo
Trip Rating: 
Event capacity: 7
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 39, Number of Day Hike Miles: 0

We will meet at the Mount Rose Campground overlooking Lake Tahoe on Wednesday night before heading to our trailhead Thursday morning on the Tahoe Rim Trail. The Tahoe Rim Trail is a popular long-distance hiking trail that forms a loop around the Lake Tahoe Basin in the Sierra Nevada and Carson ranges in California and Nevada. Fabulous scenery and breathtaking views will delight backpackers on this outing.

Trip 5
Hoover Wilderness Bus Trip - Staff and Leaders
This trip signup is for LEADERS ONLY.
Event capacity = 12

Cost: TBD
Registration for these outings is expected to open June 1, 2021
Pre-trip Meeting:

For more information: Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the trip coordinator.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet