Upcoming Socials

    • Fri, February 23, 2024
    • 8:00 AM
    • Sun, February 25, 2024
    • 12:00 PM
    • O'Neill Regional Park 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA


      Hike Leader - Morning 4 hrs
      Trip Leader - Afternoon 4 hrs

      Event Management WA evening 2 hr.

      You may attend one, two or all three of the training sessions.

      Option to camp for the weekend or just come in for the day.

      The training is open to all interested members, including novice hikers, but even those of us who have been hiking for many years come away with new skills or insights.

      Some more great things about the training:

      •  Registration is free.
      •  The information about emergency response could save your life.
      •  The discussion of leadership and people skills has applications beyond the hiking trail.
      •  The certification allows you to lead other day trips you may be interested in, such as bike rides or museum visits. (Anything that broadens our awareness of our environment is a valid outing.)
      The next scheduled training is the last weekend of February at O’Neill Regional Park in Orange County near Rancho Santa Margarita. Participants can enjoy hiking, dining, and camping together around the full day of training in the park’s administrative building conference room. The hike leader training is on a Saturday morning, and is followed by training on leading overnight trips and using our online event management system.

      Friday Feb 23

      2 pm Check-in campground: Group Sites Sycamore Flats A & B. Tell the attendant you are with Great Outdoors Group Camp to get car pass

      4 pm - Fun hike nearby. We will adjust the time if needed to accommodate those arriving on Friday and camping for the training. This is a welcome and training hike for attendees.  We will discuss and demonstrate the Ten Essentials and safety on the trail.  Sunset at 5:42 pm.

      6 pm -- Meet and Greet at campground; Bring something to share. Dinner on your own.

      Saturday Feb 24 - Training class at the Administrative Building Conference Room next to campground. 

      • 8 am - 12 pm  Hike Leader Training    -Conference Room
      • 1 pm - 5 pm Trip Leader Training
      • 5:30 pm  Potluck at campground
      • 6:30 pm - 8 pm Event Manager

      Sunday Feb 25

      8:30 am -10:30 - Training hike nearby where participants will be confronted with a variety of situations that one may encounter on the trail.


      Be a Hike Leader!  Not just someone who knows the way, but someone who applies safety, best practices, fun, and local knowledge to make a successful outing. In addition to the course outline we will discuss any issues with past hikes and plan for future hikes. We will review basic hike leader procedures and techniques and latest technology and information. Completing this course will provide participants with Day Hike Leader Certification. Also a good refresher for hike leaders.

      Hike Leader Syllabus

      Prerequisites: Great Outdoors member (click here to join). The course is for anyone interested in becoming a hike leader, learning more about leading effective hikes, or becoming a more confident and capable hiker.

      This Hike Leader Certification course is for hikers who are interested in learning new skills as well as experienced hike leaders who are looking to update or refresh their outdoor leadership skills. It is suitable for all ranges of hiker abilities, from novice up to very experienced hikers.

      Objectives: Introduce participants to the skills, knowledge and qualifications of a hike leader. Present skills for leading a safe, environmentally responsible and enjoyable hike.

      Content/Topics Covered:  Hike planning, description, screening participants, trail group management, emergency management, medical issues on the trail, map reading and navigation, outdoor techniques, environmental protection, and problem solving techniques and scenarios.

      Course Format: The training includes in-person instruction with group discussion and problem solving applications and trail-based scenarios.

      Pre-Course Assignment: Review training manuals and video:

      Link to Training Resources: Click Here

      Printed manuals available at the training location at no cost to participants. Option to have manual(s) mailed to you upon registration.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


      One of the premier features of Great Outdoors is overnight trips. As a leader you will propose, research and design overnight trips. You will manage and administer the trip using leadership and group management skills. Completing this course will provide participants with Trip Leadership Certification.

      Course Outline:

      • Create a new trip or update a former trip.

      • Planning, scouting, securing reservations.

      • Finances and budget.

      • Create a trip description and promotion.

      • Secure all logistics including any permits, and support staff as necessary.

      • Communicate with participants to provide information and answer questions.

      • Conducting your trip, safety issues, group management issues - preventing and solving.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Course Length/Hours: 4 hours.

      What to bring:  Lunch, water bottle, mug for hot drinks. If you are taking the Hike Leader course bring a day pack with your ten essentials. If you are tent camping, bring food, camp gear, warm clothing.

      Weather: Average: February 65° / 46° O'Neill Regional Park: current: click here

      Facilities:  We will be in the campground conference room with tables, chairs, projector, TV monitor and restrooms. Trailheads located onsite.

      Overnight accommodations:

      Camping at O'Neill Regional park group site Sycamore A & B 

      Motels located nearby: Rancho Santa Margarita

      More information:

      Course Preparation: You are encouraged to review the Outdoor Experience Training Manuals and material at the following link ahead of time. 

      Link to Training Resources: Click Here

      Suggested Additional Reading and Video:
      1. Wilderness Navigation: Finding Your Way Using Map, Compass, Altimeter, & GPS. Bob Burns, Mike Burns
      2. The National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness GuideMark Harvey
      3. How to Lead a Hike by the Sierra Club 15 min. video click here

      Print and complete the following review questions and bring them with you:

      HIKE LEADER REVIEW QUESTIONS with Page Ref 2022.08.05.pdf.

      TRIP LEADER REVIEW QUESTIONS with Page Ref 2022.08.05.pdf

      © 1981 - 2022 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved.  Privacy policy

      • Sat, February 24, 2024
      • 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
      • UCR Palm Desert 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr. Palm Desert

      This annual program is designed to cultivate knowledge about the native species in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas as well as inspire environmental activism and a love for nature. The event will consist of brief talks on relevant subjects, such as wildlife habitat; summer hikes; insects; snakes; and more. Great Outdoors Palm Springs will have a booth and will provide attendees with information about our organization and share what they can do to get involved.  This is a free event.

      Sign up for a time to volunteer at our booth or just RSVP to attend the event. 

      • Sun, February 25, 2024
      • 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
      • AMC Orange 30 @ 20 City Blvd West, Suite E, Orange CA

      Movie Time!

      Restored & Remastered for Dolby Cinema!

      Les Miserables movie poster - Regular Style 11 x 17 inches - Hugh Jackman - Picture 1 of 1

      Movie Musical! 

      AMC Orange 30

      (The Block of Orange)

      Sunday February 25 

      Matinee @  2:30 PM

       If interested you are responsible for your own purchases (tickets and snacks).

      Think With Me: Dazzling and Distracting Cinematography in LES MISERABLES | Reel Club


      Hugh Jackman and Academy Award® winners Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in this critically-acclaimed adaptation of the epic musical phenomenon. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells the story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe), after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

      The movie starts @ 3:00

      Trip Leader plans to be there @ 2:30 PM.

      Lance (trip leader) comment:  Les Miz has always been my favorite Broadway musical.  I have seen the musical play over ten times throughout the years.  The play always packs an emotional punch for me every time, and the movie did the same for me when I first saw it upon its initial release.  And those songs!!!

      Les Miserables,' 'Anna Karenina' top critic's list Cinema sensations


      Take advantage of technology and use your favorite map application if you are unfamiliar with the area.  Currently called The Outlets of Orange but was formerly called The Block of Orange, the AMC Theater is the centerpiece of this shopping area.   The Outlets of Orange.


      Free Parking as this is an open air shopping district.

      What to Bring:

      Happy Attitude and

      $ for Movie Ticket, Popcorn, Drink & Candy!

      Lance Whitmier will be the trip leader.

      He has purchased seat H13 in Auditorium 15 (Dolby Cinema).  So you may want to consider purchasing a ticket(s) in that vicinity.  If you wish to purchase an advance ticket without the convenience fee, contact the Trip Leader or become an AMC member.

      Lance can be reached at:  


      Contact him for questions or if you need additional information.

      • Wed, February 28, 2024
      • 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
      • Desert Hot Springs
      • 0
      Join waitlist

       Cabot's Pueblo Museum & Historic Rock House

      Learn about one of the original homesteaders and his adventurous, unique, charming lifestyle and his creative talents. Yerxa got off the train in 1913 and walked 7 miles across the desolate sand dunes to what later became known as "Miracle Hill". Join us as we travel back in time and reimagine being here in the early days. Then we will move on to 1946 and visit the Rock House, the only remaining structure that was built with local rocks. What secrets does this site have?

      This historic house was built (1913-1950) by Cabot Yerxa, an early pioneer of the Colorado Desert. The Pueblo Revival Style structure contains artworks, artifacts of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures, and memorabilia of early desert homesteader life. Contemporary and Native arts and crafts are featured in the museum gift shop. Also on the property is an eclectic collection of outdoor art, including the 43 ft tall wooden sculpture by Peter Toth, Waokiye (Way-OH-kee), carved in 1978. It's the only one in California of Toth's outsized sculptures across the U.S. and Canada. ~ Wikipedia and Cabot's Museum

      Cabot Museum guided tour fees non-refundable.

      67616 Desert View Ave, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

      $15 Admission, pay here when you register. No refunds, but it is transferable.

      $16 for guests and nonmembers, if space is available after February 14.

      Historic Rock House www.dhshistoricalsociety.org

      66050 Third Street, Desert Hot Springs, 

      The Desert Hot Springs Historical Society will host a private visit to the Rock House for GOPS registrants immediately after our visit to Cabot's Museum and before the optional lunch at Casa Blanca restaurant.

      This is a Riverside County Historic Landmark and the new home of the Desert Hot Springs Historical Society. Explore this enchanting home, built entirely of found rocks by builder Lee A. Watkins. Discover historic artifacts, photographs, and art exhibits from the DHS Historical Society Archives.

      Optional lunch after house tours at Casa Blanca restaurant (Mexican cuisine). No reservations, please break into small groups to secure a table. 66370 Pierson Blvd, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 www.casablancamenu.com

      Meet-up promptly at 8:30 AM at the Petsmart and Walmart parking adjacent to Ramon & Crossley Rd.

      Or meet up at Cabot's Museum 9:00 AM   Click Here

      Carpooling is encouraged and may be available if offered by a driver. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation or ride share. Contributions to driver cost welcome.

      Event conditions, health problems/allergies. Extended standing and indoor/outdoor walking expected, including steep staircases, narrow passageways. Discuss any medical concerns with the event leader that may affect your ability to complete this event.

      Contact Event Leader: Pat Miyamoto :Email: click here

      © 1981 - 2024 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved. Privacy policy

      • Fri, March 01, 2024
      • 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
      • Palm Springs, CA
      Join waitlist

      This ride has been upgraded from a 10 mile ride to 15 miles.

      This is the second in a series of First Friday bike rides.   This ride will encompass both the Deepwell and Tahquitz Creek loops.  

      This ride will push the boundaries of these two City Loops by riding to the Indian Canyon Entrance Booth through Andreas Hills before completing the other two loops - just to stretch our legs. This will incorporate a portion of the Citywide Loop which overlaps the Deepwell Loop and Tahquitz Creek Loop. 

      The total distance will be approximately 15 miles on neighborhood roads, bike lanes and some Sharrow marked streets.  

      All riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets. Inflate your tires to the recommended PSI. You may want to bring a tire pump, spare tube, bike tools, water, sunscreen and snacks.

      Meeting Location:  We will meet at the Demuth Park CV Link (see picture below) next to the dog park on Mesquite Avenue.  For directions near the meet location click here.

      What to Bring: water (2 to 3 liters recommended), snacks, sun protection, and layered clothing. Carry emergency contact information. 

      Contact hike leader:  Bill Bates click here

      Cancellation: If you cannot make an event for which you have registered, please cancel as others may be on the waitlist. You may cancel directly from your profile settings or notify the hike leader.

      Weather Policy: Inclement weather cancels.

      Unless otherwise noted, registration for this event is limited to Great Outdoors members. To sign up as a memberclick here 

      Health Problems/allergies  Discuss any medical concerns with the event  leader that may affect your ability to complete the ride. 


      © 1981 - 2024 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved. Privacy policy

      • Sat, March 02, 2024
      • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
      • Palm Desert Civic Center Park

      The annual Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival! Come celebrate spring in our desert! This FREE event celebrates wellness, recreation, safety and the outdoors. Featuring local artists and exhibitors, beer & wine garden with live music, food & beverages for purchase, raffles and much, much more! 

      Location: Palm Desert Civic Center Park 43900 San Pablo Ave, Palm Desert

      Sponsored by Friends of the Desert Mountains.
      Visit us at www.DesertMountains.org

      • Mon, March 04, 2024
      • 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
      • Escena Golf Club in Palm Springs

      The Prime Timers of the Desert has instituted a new program intended to improve outreach to other organizations in the area with similar memberships and goals.

      Great Outdoors Palm Springs members have been invited to attend the popular Monday Mixer on March 4, 2024. Great Outdoors members will have the $5 non-member fee waived for this event.  

      Important Note:  We will provide the Prime Timers organization with a registration list along with a copy of our membership roster to avoid any issues at check in.  As such, it is not necessary for you to present a membership card or name badge.

      Our Chapter will have an exhibit table at the event where we will be able to provide information about our activities which will hopefully result in some new memberships for us.

      For questions about the event, contact Outreach-PS@GreatOutdoors.org.

      • Tue, March 05, 2024
      • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
      • Cathedral City Library 33520 Date Palm Dr, Cathedral City
      • 38

      Hiking is one of the most rewarding  ways to experience the outdoors, but it can be intimidating to start, as there aren’t a lot of amenities once you get on the trail. If you’re feeling that tug to get outside and try hiking, but you’re feeling uneasy, join this short seminar to learn the basics and build your confidence. You’ll learn what to pack in your bag, how to dress, and how to begin interpreting maps and choosing trails. We’ll give you the tools you’ll need to prepare and stay safe while out on the trail.

      1:30 pm Meet at Cathedral City Library meeting room

      Meet some of our hike leaders and representatives from local organizations:

      Great Outdoors, The Sierra Club, Oswit Land Trust, Friends of Desert Mountains

      We’ll begin by going over what you’ll want to bring with you on a hike, the kinds of clothing you’ll want to wear and pack for different conditions and locations, and how to choose the right trails for your abilities.

      • How can I tell if a hike is for me?
      • What shape do I need to be in? 
      • What clothing and gear do I need?
      • What happens on the hike?
      • What should I do to have a safe and pleasurable hiking experience? 
      • Where are some good hikes?

      Contact :  Scott C. email click here

      Sierra Club 

      Oswit Land Trust 

      Friends of the Desert Mountains 

      Great Outdoors 

      © 1981 - 2023 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC.an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved. Privacy policy

      • Thu, March 07, 2024
      • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
      • Indian Canyons, South Palm Springs
      Join waitlist

      We will hike to a waterfall in the Indian Canyons, see an unusual variety of desert vegetation, including California fan palms, and uniquely colorful rocks and boulders. We will cross back and forth over a stream several times on large rocks.
      • Thursday, March 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
      • Meet Location: at Smoke Tree Shopping Center parking lot along Sunrise in front of 533 Viet Fusion and the Post Office Map click here
      • Trail Length: 4 miles
      • Hiking time: 3 hours
      • Total Elevation Gain: 500’
      • Difficulty Rating: Moderate + (see below)
      • Type: Trail, out and back

      Note: The Indian Canyons website has a map that shows most of this hike as easy. The gradual ascent is mostly easy but with several stream crossings. The stream crossings will require balance and agility; trekking poles may be helpful. If recent rain has the water running, wear shoes you do not mind getting wet. We rate it moderate-plus based on past GOPS experience with this hike. 

      Bring Ten Essentials (click here), water (2 liters recommended), lunch and snacks. Hat, sunscreen and layered clothing are recommended.

      Carry Emergency Contact Information (ICE).

      Sturdy hiking footwear with good tread and adequate drinking water are required.

      Contact: Howard G email click here  

      Cost: Each participant must pay the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation entry fee ($12 per person, $7 for seniors 62+, free to military with valid ID) at the Indian Canyons tollgate, just past the south end of South Palm Canyon Drive, or buy online in advance. Because cars may be lined up at the tollgate in season, carpooling is encouraged. You are responsible for arranging you own transportation or ride share. Drivers should proceed to the Andreas Canyon parking lot (a clearly marked right turn after the tollgate). After passing the porta potties, turn left and drive or walk across the bridge to the Murray Canyon Trailhead sign.

      Weather Policy: Inclement weather cancels 

      Cancel: If you cannot make a hike for which you have registered please cancel as others may be on the waitlist. You may cancel directly from your profile settings or notify the hike leader.

      You must be a Great Outdoors (GO) member in order to attend this event.

      Health Problems/allergies  Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader that may affect your ability to complete the hike. 

      © 1981 - 2024 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved.  Privacy policy

      • Fri, March 08, 2024
      • 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
      • Bogert Trail

      The hike begins at the parking lot in Andreas Hills of Palm Springs, South Palm Canyon, and continues up and down a dirt road for some distance. Then it comes to a trail which climbs up the mountainside via several switchbacks and intersects the Wild Horse Trial. The hike continues on the Wild Horse for some distance to enjoy the great views from the ridge and of the entire Coachella Valley. 

      • Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous. Will be generally challenging for an unconditioned person. The terrain will involve a steady and often steep incline.
      • Distance: 4 miles
      • Elevation Gain: 700 ft.
      • Out and back
      • Meet at 9:30 am at Bogert Trailhead, Map Click Here. Follow Bogert Trail - Andreas Hills Dr. to the top of the hill parking area.

      Hike Leader:  Doug Wylie (click to email).

      What to bringTen Essentials (click here), water (1 to 2 liters recommended), lunch/snacks, sun protection, layered clothing. Carry Emergency Contact Information (ICE). Sturdy hiking footwear with good tread and adequate drinking water are required.

      Hiking Requirements - You will need to be in good physical condition for this hike. Click here for more information.

      You must be a Great Outdoors (GO) member in order to attend this event.

      © 1981 - 2022 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved.  Privacy policy

      • Sat, March 09, 2024
      • 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
      • Cathedral City, CA (Address to be provided once you have REGISTERED)
      • 0
      Join waitlist

      Greg Adkisson and Phil York have invited us all to the Pool/Swim Time and  Game Night on Saturday the 9th of March 2024 at their beautiful home in Cathedral City.

      NOTE: This event will have a maximum capacity of 33 people

      NOTE: Registration for this event will close on March 5th!

      Note: You must be a Great Outdoors Member to attend this event. Guests without prior membership and registration will NOT be allowed in. You cannot join at the door.


      2:00 PM to 3:00 PM - POOL-SPA TIME

      3:00 PM to 3:15 PM - SOCIAL PERIOD

      3:15 PM to 4:00 PM – POTLUCK DINNER 

      4:00 PM to 6:00 PM – GAME TIME


      1) Pool Time - Towel, chair and swimwear. Nudity is not permitted.

      2) Potluck Item for at least 4-6 people. 

      3) Your own beverage(s) Great Outdoors provides water and ice.

      4) Table Games you want to play  (Great Outdoors provides many games)

      NOTE:  Bring potluck dishes/snacks/etc. "ready to serve" in a serving bowl or dish, including any needed serving utensils.

      PLEASE DO NOT ask our hosts to provide access to their ovens or bowls, spoons, etc.

      Two volunteers are needed to help set up before the party. Volunteers get a free ride on the food!

      Our chapter is always looking for Game Night Hosts!

      Please call Jóse Ghilarducci at 760-774-8716 or email GameNightCoordinator-PS@greatoutdoors.org if you are interested in hosting Game Night.

      To view photos from our past game nights - click here.

      To view our Game Night guidelines click here.

      Great Outdoor encourages members to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

      Health Problems/allergies Discuss any medical concerns with the event leader if you wish.

      Thank you for participating in the Great Outdoors club!

      • Sun, March 10, 2024
      • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
      • Cathedral City Hall Plaza


      Join us at our booth to provide information about our club and welcome potential new members.

      We will have handouts, including description of upcoming events, maps of our activities, and photos of our past events. We’ll also be collecting email addresses from interested persons, who in exchange will receive the newsletter for three months. 

      To volunteer, select REGISTER, and then choose the time slot(s) that you would like to be at the booth. You can also just register without volunteering. Bring friends and guests.

      Sunday, March 10th, 2024

      •   9:00 am - 11:00 am (includes setup)
      • 11:00 am -   1:00 pm
      •   1:00 pm -   3:00 pm (includes teardown)
      Contact Coordinator: Dencil white by email at Outreach-PS@GreatOutdoors.org 
      • Here’s your chance to help spread the word about Great Outdoors Palm Springs, meet new friends and have some fun!   Google Map link to location:  click here

      • Tue, March 12, 2024
      • 8:15 AM - 2:00 PM
      • Indian Canyons, Palm Springs, CA

      This 7.4 mile, shuttle hike offers a great aerobic workout while enjoying the beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains, Santa Rosa Mountains, and Coachella Valley.  A creek after the big uphill climb offers a refreshing break from the desert mountain trail conditions. The return trail follows high above the creek as it descends into Palm Canyon.

      Everyone will gather for this shuttle-supported hike at 8:15 AM at the Trading Post inside Indian Canyons.  Once gathered, several cars will be used to shuttle all hikers to the Murray Canyon parking lot where the hike will begin. 

      The Indian Canyons gate is located at the southern end of South Palm Canyon Drive.  Admission is $12 per adult with a discounted senior (62+) price of $7; U.S. Military (active, reserve or retired) is free.  

      Our hike begins on the well maintained Coffman Trail with fairly modest grades. The West Fork North Trail is not well maintained and in one small area may require some exploration to find the trail. We’ll climb over 1,800 feet in just over 3 miles.  After this climb, the trail gradually descends to a creek that may or may not allow a dry crossing.  From there we connect with the West Fork Trail for the mostly downhill hike back to Palm Canyon and the Trading Post. 

      • Trail Length: 7.4 miles
      • Elevation Gain/Loss:  1800 feet
      • Difficulty Rating:  Strenuous.  Good endurance is needed for the long, uphill climb on the West Fork North Trail segment; dexterity is  needed for the creek crossing.  If you cannot hike the South Lykken Trail end to end fairly easily, please do not sign up for this hike. Click here for more information.
      Meeting Time and Location:  8:15 AM at Indian Canyons Trading Post (east end of parking lot).  For directions click here.

      Bring:  Ten Essentials, water (2 to 3 liters recommended), lunch/ snacks, sun protection and layered clothing; hiking poles may be helpful. Carry emergency contact (ICE) information. Sturdy hiking footwear with good tread and long pants (due to spiked bushes trailside) are recommended.  Dry socks and towel are reasonable precautions for the water crossing.  Adequate drinking water IS required. 

      Hiking Requirements:  You will need to be in good physical condition for this hike. Click here for more information.

      Carpooling is encouraged and may be available if offered by driver. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation or ride share. 

      Hike leader:  Spencer; email click here

      Cancel: If you cannot make a hike for which you have registered please cancel as others may be on the waitlist.  You may cancel directly from your profile settings or notify the hike leader.

      Weather Policy: Inclement weather cancels.

      Unless otherwise noted, registration for this event is limited to Great Outdoors members. To sign up as a memberclick here 

      Health Problems/allergies  Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader that may affect your ability to complete this hike. 

      © 1981 - 2024 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved. Privacy policy

      • Thu, March 14, 2024
      • 1:00 PM
      • Sun, March 17, 2024
      • 12:00 PM
      • Mecca Beach, Salton Sea, CA

      Come and experience the Salton Sea for yourself, and discover why it is one of the most extraordinary and fascinating places in California. It is a unique place with many hidden treasures and secrets that are not well known. It has been forgotten as a busy tourist attraction of bygone years. Today, we have an amazing place to visit and explore. The sunsets and sunrises are stunning and peaceful. You should take the opportunity to experience it before its receding water levels cause it to change and vanish.

      One of the world's largest inland seas and lowest spots on earth at -227 below sea level, Salton Sea was re-created in 1905 when high spring flooding on the Colorado River crashed the canal gates leading into the developing Imperial Valley. For the next 18 months the entire volume of the Colorado River rushed downward into the Salton Trough. By the time engineers were finally able to stop the breaching water in 1907, the Salton Sea had been born at 45 miles long and 20 miles wide – equaling about 130 miles of shoreline. Salton Sea State Recreation Area covers 14 miles of the northeastern shore. Campers, birdwatchers, photographers and hikers can enjoy the site's many recreation opportunities. View the Salton Sea Recreation Area Brochure here.

      We will be camping at the Mecca Beach campground at the Salton Sea Recreation Area (SRA). The meet and greet, potluck and other activities will take place there. March is an ideal time to visit with mild temperatures.  Mecca Beach Campground is remote.  The markets and activities are a 20+ minute drive from the campground.  This campground is 50 yards from the water. In recent years, most life in the Salton Sea has perished, so there is no more massive fish die-offs, which means there is no longer that potent scent.  In fact there is typically no smell coming from the sea at all.  The sea itself is awe-inspiring.  You should not swim in the water at Salton Sea, nor should you allow your dogs to drink the water.  It is heavily polluted with fertilizer chemicals from farm run-off.  

      Activities include hiking a slot canyon in the Mecca Hills, a 4x4 excursion, an easy hike to the Visitor Center to view exhibits and a video on the Salton Sea, and a road trip to Niland area sites, including Salvation Mountain and East Jesus in Slab City, Obsidian Butte, the mud pot volcanoes, and the Salton Sea Reclamation Project. Check the whiteboard for updated activities info.

      NOTE:  This event is limited to GO members.  When you register, you'll need to have your credit card ready and pay your registration fee within 15 mins. If you are not a member yet, you can first join as a member online (click here) and then return here to register.

      Contact: Trip Leaders Robert Varga here and Dale Solomon here

      *TENTATIVE Schedule of Events

      Thursday, March 14

      • 2pm - Check-in with Dale Solomon or John Simonsen, Robert Varga will sashay into camp close to 4pm. 

      • 5pm - Meet and Greet - wear your name tag - bring an hor’devour to share if you want, @site 139. If the sky is clear, the sunset could be stunning!

      • 6pm - Dinner on your own, restaurants somewhat nearby

      • 7pm - Group campfire, @site 129, bring firewood

      Friday, March 15

      •  7am - Coffee and *continental breakfast, @site 139, volunteer coffee Tsar wanted

      •  9am - *Hike - Bat Cave Buttes  - Maybe Wildflowers! 3 mi, 300'. Hike leaders needed!

      •  Noon - *Caravan to Salvation Mountain and Mud Volcanos (location?) approx. 4 hours round trip.

      •  6pm - St. Patrick’s Day Potluck Celebration: bring a main dish, appetizer, salad, or side dish to share and wear green!  A special dessert will be supplied by our local proliferator of pastries, Martin Colucci!  @Site 139

      •  7pm - GOPS Raffle by Dale, tickets will be $5 each or 5 for $20.  You may only win once, so we can spread more joy to more members! @Site 139

      • 8:30pm - Group Campfire, @site 129, bring firewood

      Saturday, March 16

      • 7am - Coffee, @site 139, volunteer coffee Tsar wanted

      • 8am – *The sensationally stupefying PANCAKE Breakfast! Come and enjoy hotcakes and scrambled eggs, @site 139

      •  9am - *Hike Mecca Hills Pyramid -Nat Bridge Loop 5.9 mi. 585'. Hike leaders needed!

      •  1pm - *4x4 trip, route ideas welcome, 4x4 leader needed!

      •  6pm - Dinner on your own, or leftovers together, @Site 139

      •  7pm - Group campfire, @site 129, bring firewood

      Sunday March 17

      •  7am – Coffee and breakfast leftovers, @site 139, volunteer coffee Tsar wanted

      •  11am - Check-out 

      * Check campground whiteboard for activities updates 

      RefundsCancellation for a refund, minus a $10 service charge, must be received by February 28, 2023.

      Campsite Amenities:  The Mecca Beach campground has portable toilets and one free solar hot shower (Mecca Beach) or showers that take quarters (New Camp, 5 miles to the north, $1.00), picnic tables, fire rings, shared drinking water and paved parking stalls. There is a small store on Highway 111 and markets in Mecca.

      Amenities for Tent Campers: This is a good campground for tent campers. The campsites are huge, level ,and sandy with trees that provide some shade.  Sites are shared with another tent or an RV at the Mecca Beach campground. Parking is also shared between the two campers. If you want to share the space with another tent or a specific camper, send the Trip Leader an email and we will try and arrange it. 

      There are only four powered sites.  They have 20, 30 & 50 amp service. If you camp at a powered site you may be able to share power with an RV.  Bring a long outdoor extension cord, an outdoor splitter and a 30 amp RV male to 15/20 amp female adapter plug to give you flexibility in sharing power with an RV

      ClimateAverage for March: 83° / 49°    U.S.Climate DataMarch can be windy, rainy, and/or cold overnight.  Check the weather forecasts before the campout, so that you can be prepared for the weekend's weather conditions. 

      Amenities For RVs:  

      • RV Electric Sites – The RV powered sites have 20, 30 & 50 amp service, and water service. The RV sites will be shared with a tent or another RV. Bring a water hose splitter and a 50 to 30 amp adapter. The RV electric sites have a sewer connection. At the end of the campout, RV's should be able to dump at the dump station located at New Camp which is included in your registration fee. If you registered for a non-electric RV site, fresh water is available at the dump site to fill your RV tank before arriving at your site at the Mecca Beach campground.
      • RV Non-Electric Sites are dry camping sites – no hookups. QUIET HOURS are from 10 pm to 6 am and generators may only be operated between 10 am and 8 pm. See New Camp below for dump site information.
      • Maximum motor home length at Mecca Beach is 35 feet,
      • There are only four electric sites at Mecca Beach. If you require electric power and water there are electric sites at New Camp and Visitor Center sites located one mile north of Mecca Beach; if you choose to reserve your own site, you can register here as D1 'reserved your own site'.

      Directions:   The campground is located 30 miles south of Indio on Highway 111. Located on the north shore of the Salton Sea, it is about a three hour drive from the Los Angeles or San Diego areas. From Los Angeles, take Interstate 10 east to Indio, take 86S exit then turn left at Avenue 66, then right onto Highway 111. Go south about 12 miles to the Salton Sea SRA Headquarters entrance. From San Diego take Highway 78 east, then left (north) on Highway 86 . Turn right at Avenue 66 and then right onto Highway 111. Go south about 12 miles to the Salton Sea SRA Headquarters entrance. For a Google Map of our location - click here. 

      RV/Trailer Profile Information: We need information on your RV or pulled trailer in order to assign you a site you will fit into. Please enter or update your RV or Trailer information when you register.

      Photos: To see some photos from prior trip - click here

      PetsDogs are allowed. Must be kept on 6' leash.  Please pick up after your pet and dispose of waste properly. Please be aware there are snakes, scorpions and coyotes at this location.  

      Health Problems/allergies  Discuss any medical concerns with the event leader that may affect your ability to participate in this event. 

        • Thu, March 14, 2024
        • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
        • Roberto's Taco Shop, 1525 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

        The Great Outdoors San Diego (GOSD) Core Group meets every month to conduct GOSD business and share a meal together. Members and interested others are welcome to join. If you'll be joining us, please RSVP. If joining, please meet at Roberto's at 6:30pm sharp to order food and walk over to the meeting location by 7:00pm. Feel free to bring your own food or order upon arrival!