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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 schedule for 2021 trips is as follows:

 Trip Name  Dates  Transportation  Status
 Tonto Wilderness  April  7 - 11, 2021  No  Canceled
 Grand Canyon National Park  May 5 - 9, 2021  No  Canceled
 Southern Sierra   June 9 - 13, 2021  No  Canceled
 Hoover Wilderness  July 14 - 18, 2021  No  Canceled
 Yosemite National Park  August 18 - 22, 2021  No  Canceled
 Santa Cruz, Channel Islands  September 16 - 21, 2021  Bus  Active
 Zion National Park  October 1 - 5, 2021  Bus  Active

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.

Channel Islands - Santa Cruz

September 16-19, 2021 

Our trip will be to Santa Cruz Island, the largest of all the Channel Islands. We plan to leave San Diego by bus on Thursday evening, Sept. 16, and will be staying at a Motel 6 for one night in Ventura. Our ferry leaves from the anchorage in Ventura at 8am Sept. 17, and leaves the island for our return trip on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 4:30pm. The crossing to and from Ventura usually takes about 1- 1 ½ hours during which we might have the pleasure of being accompanied by dolphins and other sea life.

Santa Cruz Island is known for its secluded coves and beaches as well as for its sea caves and hiking trails. In addition to hiking, depending on the temperature, people also may choose to swim, snorkel, or scuba (at your own risk). We will be staying at a group campground which is about a mile or less from the Anchorage. There is water available at the campsite as well as picnic tables and outhouses. There are no concessions on the island, so you would need to bring everything with you that you might need for the weekend.

One of the attractions of this island is the wildlife, especially the island foxes. However, It is very important that you not feed the wildlife and take proper precautions so that they don’t steal your food. Storage boxes are provided, but you might want to bring other hard sided containers in the event that the boxes are getting full.

There are hikes of varying difficulty on the island, and we will provide leaders to guide these hikes for willing participants. If you are interested in Kayaking, this would be for an additional charge. Guided kayak tours are provided by the Channel Islands Adventure Company, and their website is We might be able to have a group tour if people are interested. Reservations must be made in advance since there are no actual rentals on the island.

This is a unique opportunity to explore an area which is different from what we are used to seeing. If interested in joining us, please watch the website for sign up information. Sign ups usually begin about 6-8 weeks prior to the trip. We will also have a pre-trip meeting prior to the actual trip where further information will be provided.

For questions, contact the Coordinator, Alice Fichandler, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Visit our Trip Rating System to determine which Trip is right for you.

Space: Limited to 45 participants (including leaders and assistants)
Cost: $300
Registration Opens: August 4, 2021 6 am
Pre-Trip Meeting : September 9 6:30 pm (Zoom)


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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet