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Annual Holiday Party

December 13, 2014

Annual Holiday Party - Los Angeles
When: Saturday, December 13, 2014 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Private home.

Great Outdoors Los Angeles would like to invite you to our annual Winter Holiday Celebration. Come join us during this holiday season for an evening of merriment, dinner and entertainment and see long-time friends and make new ones.
Take a photo with “Hunky Santa” and/or sit on his lap and tell him your holiday wish.

Sing along with our pianist, be the diva you really are.

The party will be held at a private home decorated for the holidays. We will be providing some main dishes, mashed potatoes, soft drinks and water. We will have a raffle with great prizes such as Great Outdoors T-shirts and mugs. Please bring a side dish to share with the group. Or, if you have a dessert (homemade only) that you would like to enter in a competition, bring that instead. We will have a great prize for the winner, a one-year membership or coupon for a campout.

Our newest officers will be introduced and there will also be a show of appreciation for those who have contributed to the success of our organization.

We are asking $10 for members and $25 for nonmembers. However, for new members, that $25 will also include a one-year membership. So this would be a great time for you to become a member. http://greatoutdoorslaholidayparty2014.doattend.com/

Directions to this event will be provided upon receiving your registration. As stated above, along with some excellent food, Great Outdoors will only be providing soft drinks for this gathering. However, please feel free to bring along a bottle of your favorite wine or other holiday cheer. But please remember that moderation is always stressed at our Great Outdoors gatherings.

For more information, contact Menard at 323-804-4700 or email at dayactivities@greatoutdoorsla.org

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Holiday Walking Tour – LA Conservancy

December 21, 2014

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Holiday Walking Tour
Time: Tour starts promptly at 2:00 pm. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Tour length: 1 3/4 hours
Event Host: Paul Ripley

For those of you that missed our previous Biltmore tour, we are offering this special holiday treat! The Biltmore will be decorated in grand tradition with an enormous sparkling live fir tree. Come join us during this special time of year and get in the holiday spirit. We have reserved 13 tickets for this unique tour.

The Biltmore opened in 1923 as a 1,000-room hotel that was “first class in every respect.” This was the first hotel commission for the newly founded architecture firm of Schultze and Weaver, who later went on to design such grand hotels as the Park Lane and Waldorf Astoria in New York, and the Miami Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida. In addition to the lobby and grand hallway designed to resemble a Spanish palace, the hotel has several banquet rooms, each decorated in sumptuous Beaux-Arts splendor.

Over the years, the Biltmore played non-stop host to high society, international political figures, movie stars, and royalty (including Rudolph Valentino, the Prince of Wales, J. Paul Getty, Howard Hughes, Herbert Hoover, and Eleanor Roosevelt), and it was the 1960 Democratic Convention headquarters of John F. Kennedy.

After the tour, you can stay for high tea in the hotel's magnificent Rendezvous Court (additional cost), for tea reservations call the Millennium Biltmore at 213-612-1562.

Meeting location: Pershing Square, located at Olive Street and 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. Tour meets in the center of the park, near the mini-grove of orange trees.

Parking: $5 with validation from LA Conservancy in the underground Pershing Square Garage, located at Olive Street and 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Metro:  Red Line to Pershing Square Station. Follow the signs to Pershing Square exit, then cross the street to the park. For details, visit metro.net.

Cost:  $10 

Los Angeles Conservancy Millennium Biltmore Hotel Walking Tour info: 

RSVP REQUIRED with credit card payment on Great Outdoors Meetup only.  Please RSVP by December 10, 2014 so that we can provide a count to the LA Conservancy.

To book on Great Outdoors Meetup

Contact Paul Ripley at paul.ripley2@verizon.net if you have any questions

Death Valley Desert Caravan

February 5, 2015

Death Valley Desert Caravan
When: February 5th-8th, 2015
Where: Furnace Creek, Death Valley
Trip Leaders: Steve Sisneros (951) 318-0530 hiknsteve@ca.rr.com
                        Wes Stieringer (818) 497-8654 fwsj69@gmail.com

Have you ever wanted to “walk like an Egyptian” through golden sand dunes, search for hidden treasures like Indiana Jones, or lose yourself in the infinite depths of the nighttime desert sky?
Join us as we explore Death Valley: one of the world’s most scenic, yet foreboding landscapes. Walk amid sand dunes, water sculpted canyons and salt flats that remain from ancient seas. On our journey, you may even catch sight of a Ring-tailed Cat, Kit Fox and Desert Bighorn Sheep as we venture through the rugged canyons and other magnificent geological features. Wildflowers, trees and shrubs tortured by the wind will amaze you throughout this beautiful land. Spectacular photoops await, particularly in the magical, subtle light of dawn and dusk.

Our inspiration for this adventure will be reminiscent of the desert caravans traveling the ancient silk road crossing the deserts of the Far-East. Just as the travelers would have experienced other cultures on their route, we hope to inspire you with samplings of various exotic teas, coffee, and other foods from far off lands. This will be in addition to you bringing and preparing all your own meals.

We will be camping in group sites H & K at Furnace Creek, located an amazing 196 feet below sea level. Onsite amenities include flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, and potable water. Shower facilities are located about 1 mile away at the Furnace Creek Resort for $5, which includes pool use for the day. A general store, restaurant, gas station and visitor center are nearby for your convenience as well.

RV Sites are available, but you must book your own. Sites go fast, so be sure to book early.


There is a $20 entrance fee per vehicle collected by Death Valley National Park upon entering the park. Your multi-agency park pass will also gain you entry into the park.

Bring your ten essentials (listed on GO website at: www.greatoutdoorsla.org/essen.html), camping/cooking gear, 2 bundles of firewood, and food. Be sure to bring your camp chair, tent, solar shower, hiking boots, and sunscreen.

The weather in Death Valley in February can be unpredictable, so bring warm and cool weather clothing that can be layered.

Carpooling is recommended to help reduce gas consumption, parking costs and the entrance fee. Please make sure to complete the section on carpooling on the sign up form so we can coordinate.

Directions: (GPS coordinates 36.466197, -116.866545). Click here for Google Map directions.

Itinerary: Daily activities will be based on weather conditions and are not set in stone.

Thursday: Arrive after 2pm and get setup. Coffee, teas, cocoa and delicious treats served at 6 pm.

Friday: Explore the southern region with trips to Badwater Basin Salt Flat (282 ft. below sea level). The Natural Bridge, Golden Canyon, and the spectacular Artist Drive featuring the Artist Palette.

Saturday: Road trip through Titus Canyon, Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, and Mosaic Canyon. Bring a lunch.

Saturday evening: Traditional Potluck! Bring a dish to share with everyone. Great Outdoors will be providing some hearty silk road inspired soups for you to enjoy as well.

Sunday: Check out by noon.

Other interesting places to see;
Scotty’s Castle
Ubehebe Volcanic Crater
Dante’s View
The “Race track” famous for it’s mysterious moving rocks

Please click here for tripnote and registration form.

New to Camping?

If you have any general questions about car camping, camping gear & equipment, carpooling, camp meals, membership benefits, or procedures specific to Great Outdoors; if you'd like to meet some of the other campers at a pre-outing (warm-up) meeting ... please don't hesitate to contact the group via email at outings@greatoutdoorsla.org.

Great Outdoors Los Angeles now has a meetup site. A new way to find out what's going on with GOLA! Click the meetup logo below and sign up today!


Do you have a favorite day activity that you would like to lead or maybe suggestions for a fun outdoors activity or social event? Get involved and make some new buddies while being in the Great Outdoors.

Thank you for your
anticipated participation.

Contact us at:

Day Activities Coordinator:
Menard Jaramillo
(323) 804-4700


Great Outdoors is comprised of five Chapters located in the southern part of California. Each Chapter creates their own overnight trips for camping (cars, tents & RVs), backpacking, off roading, etc. During our annual conference (held in October each year), the five Chapters compile the calendar.

The calendar dates are for planning purposes only. Dates may change and trips may be canceled due to weather, problems getting campground reservations, schedule conflicts, etc.


Steve Sisneros

V.P. Outings
Menard Jaramillo

Wes Stieringer

Dennis Strayhan

Membership Chair
Matthew DuBois

Board Representative
Steve Sisneros

Upcoming Trips