Welcome To Great Outdoors, Los Angeles Chapter!
Home Membership Calendar Newsletter About Us Ongoing Activities Photos Corporate Home Facebook Facebook

Wattles Mansion Picnic & Runyon Canyon Hike

May 3, 2014

Picnic and Hike in Runyon Canyon
When: May 3, 2014 - Picnic 12:00PM - Hike at 2:00 PM4
Where: 1824 N. Curson Ave. Hollywood, CA 90046
Leaders: Russell Hammerl outings@greatoutdoorsla.org & Dennis Strayhan secretary@greatoutdoorsla.org Directions: Metro - Bus route 217, walk from subway station is ½ mile
Note: The easiest parking is just south of Hollywood Blvd., walk up Curson to the mansion.

What could be better for a Sunday afternoon than a picnic on the front lawn and a hike in the hills. Great Outdoors will provide sandwiches and chips for a simple picnic lunch in front of the famous Wattles Mansion followed by a hike in the celebrity filled Runyon Canyon.
In 1907 the architectural firm Hunt and Grey designed the Wattles Mansion in the Mission Revival style. Other developments by this firm are the Beverly Hills Hotel, Huntington Library, and Pasadena's Rose Bowl. There are still remnants of the Japanese Garden, Italian Rose Garden, Spanish Garden, Palm Court, and orchards. Now the lower portion of the estate is a community vegetable garden. The home is the last remaining example of a winter estate, which was once common in Hollywood for wealthy Eastern families prior to the development of the film industry.
In very close proximity to the Wattles Mansion is Runyon Canyon, which we will walk to after the picnic. The lower loop hike is approximately 2 miles with an elevation gain 500 feet. The trail passes the ruins of a pool house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and lived in for several years by Errol Flynn. We’ll have panoramic views of the L A basin and possibly a celebrity sightings. Dogs are very welcome on the trails and are allowed to go off leash in sections of the park. A note to subway riders: the Red Line goes directly beneath Runyon. The highest point in the park is 1,320 ft. and on clear days you can see Catalina Island.
An interesting note to subway riders: The Red Line goes directly beneath Runyon.


May 17, 2014

Time: Tour starts promptly at 11am. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Where: Union Station, Information Kiosk, 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tour Length: 2 1/2 hrs
Event Host: Matthew DuBois Ofwood@sbcglobal.net

Nobody walks in LA? Sooooooo not true! Join Out & About Tours for their first of three walking tours in the City of Angels. Downtown LA houses the most rich and vibrant LGBT history our city has to offer. From the gay friendly Native Americans who first settled the land centuries before Columbus arrived to LA's first gay porn theatre that opened in the 1800's to the grand hotels and bath houses that sated the secret desires of the Hollywood elite - this tour is unlike any other in Los Angeles. Enjoy a brisk two-and-a-half hour walk in sunny LA. Snacks and water included.

I did the tour already and found it fascinating, there is a huge amount of history in downtown. 2 hrs and I was not bored for a single minute. Did you know what building in downtown was built so that zeppelins could dock, a la Hindenberg? Or the first gay riot was not Stonewall in NY but in LA in the 50’s. (Matthew DuBois)

Meeting location: Union Station, Information Kiosk (inside front doors), 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Parking: There are parking lots in front of Union Station and behind Union Stations.

Metro: Gold Line and Red Line go to Union Station

Cost: $24.53 (this is ½ price of what they normally charge)

RSVP REQUIRED – Book directly with Out and About Tours by emailing Jim Anzide at jim@outandabout-tours.com; tell him Great Outdoors May 17th Tour; After you book directly with Out and About tours, send an email to Matthew DuBois at Ofwood@sbcglobal.net with your full and other guests name (if applicable). Please RSVP by May 15th 2014.

Santa Cruz Island Camping

May 23, 2014

Santa Cruz Island Camping
When: May 23 - May 26, 2014
Where: Santa Cruz Islands Scorpion Ranch Campground
Leader: Russell Hammerl outings@greatoutdoorsla.org

Join your friends of Great Outdoors as we camp, explore, hike and kayak around this beautiful place. Taking a one hour boat ride leaving civilization behind, we will arrive at an unspoiled Island paradise that is so close, yet seems so far from the hustle and bustle of our busy life we left behind back on the mainland

Directions: We will depart from Ventura Harbor on Island Packers Boat, at 12:00 noon Friday (or 9:00 am Saturday for our Saturday arrivals). PLEASE arrive at least ONE HOUR before boat departure!! As we ferry across the channel it’s not uncommon to see large schools of dolphins, maybe a whale or two swimming behind or the side of the boats wake! Set anchor at Scorpion Harbor, unload and then we are greeted by a National Parks ranger who will give us a short introduction about the Island and their policies. Then a short hike on level ground to our campsites about 3/4 miles up the road. No motor vehicles or carts are available so make sure you pack fairly light and it’s easy to carry! (I bring an Ice chest with wheels, making sure it’s weight is at or below 45 lbs.) There are no showers so bring your solar showers. There is potable water available and pit type toilets. We will be at the ‘Upper loop’ group campground which is a bit farther walk than the lower loop, but a lot more peaceful and less crowded!
You can visit Island Packers web site to familiarize yourself of their gear and cargo policy before packing at: http://www.islandpackers.com/Policies.html. If you have any other questions or concerns please call your trip leaders. We will have our traditional Saturday afternoon tea and potluck, so prepare your favorite dish to serve up to four people... Rumor has it Brian will serve his delectable Mai-tai drinks during tea to help us get into the island spirit! There will be kayaks available to sail in and Timothy, our veteran day hike leader extraordinaire, will be leading some very memorable day hikes as well! This is one ‘get-a-way from it all’ experience you won’t want to miss! If you’d like more information about the Island go to: http://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/santa-cruz-island.htm. The address to the Ventura harbor is: 1691 Spinnaker Drive #105B Ventura, Ca 93001. You can also call 805-642-1393 for directions to the harbor.

Click here for trip note and registration form.

Table Mountain Zip Lining & Camp

May 30, 2014

Table Mountain Zip Lining & Camp
When: May 30 - June 1, 2014
Where: Wrightwood, CA
Leader: Matthew DuBois Ofwood@sbcglobal.net

Imagine flying through the trees on your secure harness with a cute young guide to catch you at one end and another to help you start your flight. You are surrounded by pine trees with spectacular view of the Mojave Desert below. Then camp under the stars at Table Mountain in Wrightwood.

Campsites are for tent camping and parking is limited so carpooling is encouraged. If you want to bring an RV you have to book your own site.

For additional information, click here for trip note and registration form or contact Matthew DuBois at Ofwood@sbcglobal.net.

Little Jimmy Backpack

June 7, 2014

Little Jimmy Backpacking
When: Saturday June 7, 2014 - Sunday June 8, 2014
Where: Little Jimmy campground, San Gabriel Mountains.
Leader: Timothy at ts709@roadrunner.com

Located a short 3.5 mile hike from the trailhead at Islip Saddle, the Little Jimmy campground is one of the prettiest places to pitch a tent in the San Gabriel Mountains. This is a perfect “get out of Dodge” weekend for seasoned backpackers, but within the grasp of someone who has never before backpacked.
The campsite sits at about 7,000’ above sea level among towering pines with views toward the High Desert. The year-round Little Jimmy spring provides a source for water. Trails from our campsite climb to nearby peaks, including 8,350’ Mt. Islip., so we’ll have plenty of opportunities before our Sunday departure for a great day-hike.

For more information about this weekend backpack, contact Timothy at ts709@roadrunner.com

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Walking Tour – LA Conservancy

June 15, 2014

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Walking Tour – LA Conservancy
Sunday, June 15, 2014
  Tour starts promptly at 2:00 pm.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Tour length: 1 3/4 hours
High Tea (Optional): 4:00 pm
Event Host: Paul Ripley

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, 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, $5 for Conservancy Members

RSVP REQUIRED – Book directly with the LA Conservancy.  This will ensure that a docent will be available for our group.  Note:  Booking dates will be available about 30 days out from the event, so you can book starting May 15th.

Book directly with the LA Conservancy at https://www.laconservancy.org/node/966.

After you book directly with the Conservancy, please also send an email to Paul Ripley at paul.ripley2@verizon.net with your booking number, full name and other guests names (if applicable).   Please RSVP by June 10, 2014 so that we can provide a count to the LA Conservancy.

Sunset Ranch Evening Horseback Ride and Dinner

June 14, 2014

Sunset Ranch & Stables - Evening Horseback Ride and Dinner
When: Saturday June 14th, 3:30 PM.
Where: Sunset Ranch & Stables in Hollywood
Leader: Gary gspake@socal.rr.com

This will be a Dinner Ride. It take 5 Hours, total and covers about 5 miles Round Trip – up & over the hill and back down to the tie-up, near the Olympic Equestrian Center, Burbank, then up and over - back to the stables, again. We are planning for the 4:00 PM Ride: So be there at least 30 minutes early! The event segments are: a 2-Hour ride from Sunset Stables to the Tie-up near the Viva Fresh Restaurant; then approx. 1 Hour for Dinner; then the 2-Hour ride back to the Stables. It will be just past the Full Moon so it should be a quite bright night! If it is clear…we will see the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park Observatory and Panoramas of Downtown LA and Burbank… and much more…on this fantastic Ride!

Age restrictions: all riders must be at least 16 years old. Sorry - no pets or dogs allowed, for many reasons…

Cost is $100 per person or $80, if we can get 10 People to Pre-sign-up! ($5 Extra for Non-Members and Guests) If you make your reservation with the Stables, directly, the charge is $100. If I can get at least 10 people to sign up, in advance of the event, G.O. can get a discount of $20 per person. The Stables needs to bill one Credit Card to offer the Discount. So, get your friends to commit.... Fill out and send in your Registration Form and your Check made out to Great Outdoors and get ready for a great time! Like I say, if we can get 10 people…I will give each of you… your $20 back!
The more the merrier and save some cash! Send your reservations to your Outing Leader – Gary, at the address on the attached Registration Form. The registration cut-off is May 23rd: RSVP and pay for your ride with Great Outdoors and then contact your outing leader, Gary at GSpake@socal.rr.com or at 714 633-7483. Please, do not just show-up (unless you made a last-minute reservation, directly with the Sunset Stables/Ranch, as you may not be able to be accommodated!
Carpooling is recommended to help reduce driving costs and parking problems in this “tight” canyon area.

Directions:From the US-101 Freeway - North, in Hollywood, take exit 8C and ramp right,
following the signs for Beachwood Drive. You will cross Franklin Ave. and head straight North onto
North Beachwood Drive. Continue North on Beachwood, about 2 miles, to where the paved road ends.
You will be at 3400 North Beachwood Drive, Los Angeles, 90068. Continue straight go up the hill to the
parking lot (on your right) near end of the dirt road. If the lot is full, park legally and safely on the sides
of the road. Walk up the hill, to the Sunset Stables & Ranch, where you will meet your G.O. outing
leader – Gary and our Sunset Stable’s hosts; Check-in and meet your 4-legged “partner” for the evening.

WHAT TO BRING: Sturdy high-topped leather boots (Western styles fit the Stirrups best), but Hightopped
Trail Runners will do. No Open toe or sandals will be allowed. Long socks, and long pants
(preferably Western style jeans) and long sleeved shirts for protection against brush are a must. The well
maintained trails are dirt and/or gravel and can be muddy after rain. Also, bring at least 1 quart water,
sunscreen, a hat, windbreaker/sweater as it gets cool in the evening. Also, your Camera on a short neckstrap,
(binoculars, snacks ??...up to you!), and remember Money for your Dinner”. Do you know what
the ten essentials are? (See the List from G.O. website at: www.greatoutdoorsla.org/essen.html )

In case of drizzle or threatening rain the ride “may” be cancelled, but still show up! The Stables make
that decision. If it is raining, the ride will be cancelled… by the Stables and we will need to reschedule.

Last Minute Reservations? Go to: http://www.sunsetranchhollywood.com/ or Call: 323 469-5450
Tell them you are planning the 4:00 PM Dinner Ride with the Great Outdoors Club and ask if they
have any Space.

Click here for trip note and registration form.

Sequoia National Forest Campout

July 3, 2014

Quaking Aspen, Sequoia National Forest Campout
When: July 3rd-6th, 2014
Where: Quaking Aspen Campground
Trip Leaders: Steve Sisneros, hiknsteve@ca.rr.com, 951-318-0530 or
                        Wes Stieringer, fwsj69@yahoo.com, 818-497-8654

The cool breezes blowing through the trees of Sequoia National Forest will provide a great escape from the heat of summer over the long 4th of July holiday. We have reserved several beautiful campsites nestled among the towering aspens and pines along a scenic meandering creek and lush meadow. Our secluded campsite is located close to numerous hiking trails, Peppermint Falls, with its carved granite swimming pools, and several distinctive Giant Redwood groves, including the Belknap Complex and the famous Trail of 100 Giants. A visit to Dome Rock or the Needles Rock Formation & Lookout, a short drive away, will add to this memorable holiday event. So, grab your hiking boots, Scrabble or other favorite board game, or a good book and meet up with old friends, or make new ones, on this exciting outdoor adventure.

Weenies and Wine
Friday night, Great Outdoors will provide a variety of weenies, including polish sausage & hot links, and sides. You can dress up your weenie with chili or any of your traditional favorites. One of our members will be bringing his famous delicious sangria, and feel free to bring your own favorite weenie vintage to share with your fellow campmates.
On Saturday morning, you will be greeted with a hearty breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs with spinach, and fresh fruit alongside hot coffee or tea.

The cost of this 4 day weekend of adventure in one of our most spectacular mountain landscapes is just $30.00 for Great Outdoors members. Non-members will pay an additional $20.00, which will include a 1 year membership with Great Outdoors Los Angeles.

Ameneties: Improved vaulted toilets, fire ring, tables, potable water.

Firewood: You are not allowed to bring any outside firewood into the campground. You ARE allowed to gather firewood from the forest or purchase near the campground. For more information, please visit: http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/the-problem/state-state-information/california.html

Bring your ten essentials (listed on GO website at: www.greatoutdoorsla.org/essen.html), camping/cooking gear, 2 bundles of firewood (see above notice), food, warm/cool weather clothing, swimsuit. Be sure to bring your campchair, tent, solar shower, hiking boots, and sunscreen.

Carpooling is recommended to help reduce gas consumption and parking costs. There may be an additional cost associated with parking. Please make sure to complete the section on carpooling on the sign up form so we can coordinate.

     >GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude): 36.12083, -118.54722
     >From L.A., take I-5 North to CA-99 to Bakersfield.
     >Merge onto CA-65 N/All America City Hwy N/Porterville Hwy and continue 42 miles.
     >Take CA-190 E for 34 miles
     >Turn left to stay on CA-190 E for 6.6 miles and arrive at the Quaking Aspen Campground.

Click here for trip note 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.