Upcoming overnight trips

    • Thu, May 17, 2018
    • Sun, May 20, 2018
    • Watchman Campground, Zion National Park
    • 0

    Great Outdoors Los Angeles invites you to join us in our tour of one of the world’s most scenic and unique environments. We have received a lot of advanced interest in this adventure. PLEASE be sure to register early to ensure you don’t miss out on this 4 day weekend. Space is limited.


    Rising in Utah's high plateau country, Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. Within its 229 square miles are high plateaus, a maze of narrow, deep, sandstone canyons, and the Virgin River, carving its way to the desert below through a gorge so deep and narrow that sunlight rarely penetrates to the bottom. Zion also has 2,000-foot Navajo Sandstone cliffs, pine and juniper clad slopes, and seeps, springs, and waterfalls supporting lush and colorful hanging gardens. Consider bringing your bike to explore this beautiful landscape by using the extensive bike lanes along the Zion Scenic Drive within the park.

    This 4 day adventure will be filled with wonderful sights, including the Emerald Pools, Virgin River Narrows, and the breathtaking hike to the world famous Angel’s Landing, offering stunning panoramic views of the park. An optional day trip is to head over to Bryce Canyon, located about 2 hours away, to view its own unique landscape, including the spectacular geological formations known as hoodoos (rock spires). There is an additional $30 per vehicle fee to enter Bryce Canyon, or a multi-agency park pass will work.

    Our campground is located on the Virgin River, a short walk from our campsites.

    You may arrive anytime after Thursday, May 17th, at 1:00PM. We have reserved 10 tent only sites. There is a $30 entrance fee per vehicle collected by Zion National Park upon entering the park. Your multi-agency park pass will also gain you entry into the park.

    Pets: Dogs are allowed at the campground as long as on a leash. They are only allowed on a single trail within the park. We recommend leaving the doggos at home. 

    During our stay, the park is accessible only by using the free shuttle service. There is limited space available on the shuttle for bikes. More information is found at https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/shuttle-system.htm

    The campground is equipped with drinking water and flush toilets. Showers are available a very short walk away, 24 hours a day for $5 at the Zion Outfitters. Supplies, groceries, etc. are available nearby in the town of Springdale.


    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 can be unpredictable, so bring warm and cool weather clothing that can be layered. Average highs are 83F and lows are 52F, with a great chance of dry weather. Also, be sure to bring river sandals/water shoes if you plan on doing the Narrows Hike.

    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.

    To help break up the drive, and so that you can arrive in Zion early on Thursday, you may want to consider staying in Las Vegas (your trip leaders are) on Wednesday night when mid-week rates are usually very affordable. From Las Vegas, it is another 166 miles (3 hours) to Zion. (I recently booked at the Four Queens on Fremont St. The hotel doesn't charge a resort fee, and I got it for about $50 on Wednesday night. I also booked a night on Sunday at South Point for about $89. There is a convention in town that week, so the prices jumped considerably. This hotel and Arizona Charlies on Boulder Highway were the least expensive.)  

    Directions: From Las Vegas: Travel north on I-15 to Exit 16, State Route 9. Follow State Route 9 east for 32 miles to the south entrance of Zion National Park. Turn right after entrance station; the campground ranger station is at the end of the road.

    Thursday: Arrive after 1pm

    6pm—Burgers and Brews, provided by Great Outdoors

    Campfire activities, board games, etc.

    Friday: Itinerary is freeform. Some options include:

    Carpool to Bryce Canyon for day trip. Pack a lunch. There is a $30 entry per vehicle, which should be shared amongst your carpool buddies.

    Hike the Virgin River Narrows. Note: Hike is possible only if river levels permit. Water may be cold, so you might consider renting neoprene socks from an outfitter or bringing your own.

    Hike to Angel’s Landing. This is a strenuous hike with an elevation gain of 1400’. You may also choose to do this hike, but not make the steep climb to the summit. Read additional information at http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/angelslanding.cfm

    Explore the park on your own

    6:30pm—Pot Luck! Bring your favorite dish to share.

    Campfire activities, board games, etc.

    Saturday: Breakfast—Provided by Great Outdoors. Enjoy scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and fresh fruit.

    Freeform again. Let's do something we didn't get to yesterday!

    Sunday: Explore on your own and drive safely going home.


    • Tue, July 24, 2018
    • 9:00 AM
    • Fri, July 27, 2018

     For more information and to register, visit:  https://greatoutdoorspalmsprings.wildapricot.org/event-2796360


    The Cottonwood Lakes basin offers fabulous scenery and relatively easy access for hikers and anglers, and is one of the most popular destinations in the Eastern Sierras.  Our high altitude loop trip will take us to most of the lakes in the area with dramatic views of Cirque Peak and Mount Langley.  Given the popularity of the area, we’ve chosen a mid-week trip to ensure permit availability and access to the best camping spots.

    • Rating: Moderate on-trail backpacking, high elevation. 
    • Total Distance: About 13 miles over four days
    • Elevation range: between 10,000 and 11,100 feet

    First Day: We meet at 9:00am at the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead close to the Cottonwood Lakes campground (10,070 feet).  The first half of this 5 mile hike is a gentle ascent, often in shade, following Cottonwood creek.  The second half is marked by switchbacks that take us up into the basin.  We arrive at South Fork Lakes and set up our base camp (11,000 ft.)

    Day two:  We’ll take a leisure morning at camp and pack our lunch for a day hike to explore the area: Cirque Lake, Long Lake, High Lake and the approach to New Army Pass. We’ll gain about 500 feet throughout the day, hiking about 3.5 miles depending on our route.  Some may prefer a quieter, more meditative day in the camp

    Day three:  We’ll pack up and begin our four mile leisure tour of the Cottonwood chain of lakes, hiking in a clockwise direction, stopping frequently to enjoy the lakes and meadows with the magnificent Mount Langley in direct focus most of the day.  With minimal elevation gain we end up in secluded Muir Lake (11,100 feet).   

    Day four:  We’ll break camp and begin our 5.7 miles descent back down to the cars, dropping about 1,000 feet. 

    Arrive the day before:  All participants are strongly advised to travel the day before (Monday, July 23rd) and camp overnight at one of the two walk-in campsites in the area. This gives you the peace of mind of (i) performing your final gear check and (ii) ensuring that you begin acclimatizing to the high altitude a day before you hike. 

    Hiking capabilities/qualifications:  You must be in good physical condition, be able to hike five miles at high altitude (over 10,000 feet throughout the trip), and carry a backpack that weighs 35 pounds on-trail hiking gaining 1,100 feet.

    What to bring:  You’ll need your ten essentials and all required backpacking gear (food, stove, tent, sleeping bag, appropriate clothing, bear-proof food container, hiking poles, etc.).

    How to register:   After you complete the preregistration here, you will be contacted by the leader via phone to discuss your backpacking experience, equipment, and overall physical condition to participate in this high altitude, remote backcountry adventure.  This screening process is necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of the group and make the trip enjoyable to all.

    Leader: Mike Seay, email is m_seay@hotmail.com.  This trip is limited to a total of eight people.  

    Fees / Other:

    • (1)  Wilderness Permit and Fees: $10 per participant.  This covers the Wilderness Permit and other associated costs.  Payment will be collected at the trailhead
    • (2)  Food and Equipment: All participants will be responsible for their own food, tent, stove, bear canister, etc.  Participants are encouraged, however, to share stoves and cooking equipment to reduce weight of their packs.  No fires are allowed in the backcountry. 
    • (3)  Carpooling and arrival: Participants should arrive the day before and camp overnight at or near the trailhead to acclimate to the high altitude.  The leader will circulate a list of participants several weeks before the trip to facilitate carpooling and provides details on where to camp.
    • Thu, July 26, 2018
    • Sun, July 29, 2018
    • Lone Pine Ca

    For more information and to register, visit https://greatoutdoorspalmsprings.wildapricot.org/event-2693102

    • Fri, August 03, 2018
    • 3:00 PM
    • Sun, August 05, 2018
    • 2:00 PM


    Mount Pinos - McGill Campground 
    August 3 - 5, 2018
    SAVE THE DATE

    • Tue, August 21, 2018
    • 9:30 AM
    • Fri, August 24, 2018
    • Bishop Pass

    For more information and to register, visit:  https://greatoutdoorspalmsprings.wildapricot.org/event-2796348


    The Bishop Pass area is one of the most popular destinations in the Eastern Sierras, offering the visitor an amazing succession of beautiful lakes and spectacular views of the Inconsolable Range, Hurd Peak and Mount Agassiz. Our loop trip takes us into the Chocolate Lakes and the South Forth Bishop Creek basins.   Competition can be fierce for overnight permits in this area so we’ve chosen a mid-week trip later in the season to ensure access to the best camping spots.

    • Rating: Moderate on-trail backpacking.  Short hiking distances but with steep switchbacks at high elevation. 
    • Total Distance: About 10 miles over four days
    • Elevation range: between 9,700 feet and 11,200 feet

    First Day: We meet at 9:30am at the Bishop Pass trailhead next to South Lake (9,700 feet).  Day one follows the Bishop Pass trail until we reach the fork for Bull Lake, taking the side trail into the Chocolate Lakes valley. Total elevation gain 1,400 feet in just three miles to our camp at the second Chocolate Lake.  

    Day two:  Our second day takes us up the saddle and down past Ruwau Lake to Long Lake where we’ll search for the optimal spot and set up our two night basecamp.  We gain and lose about 300 feet during our 2 mile hike to Long Lake.  Arriving camp relatively early in the day, and unencumbered by the weight of our packs, we’ll organize an afternoon cross-country hike to explore lovely Margaret Lake.

    Day three:  We’ll pack our lunch for a full day of exploring the chain of lakes leading up to Bishop Pass: Saddlerock Lake, Ledge Lake, Bishop Lake and the Timberline Tarns. Some may prefer a quieter, more meditative day in the camp in Long Lake.

    Day four:  We’ll get a leisurely start to our day and hike the four miles back down to the cars, dropping 1,000 feet. 

    Arrive the day before:  All participants are strongly advised to travel the day before (Monday, Aug 20th) and camp overnight at the La Hupp or Willows campground.  This gives you the peace of mind of (i) performing your final gear check and (ii) ensuring that you begin acclimatizing to the high altitude a day before you hike

    Hiking capabilities/qualifications:  You must be in good physical condition, be able to hike four miles at high altitude (over 9,700 feet throughout the trip), and carry a backpack that weighs 35 pounds on-trail hiking gaining 1,400 feet

    How to register:   After you complete the preregistration here, you will be contacted by the leader via phone to discuss your backpacking experience, equipment, and overall physical condition to participate in this high altitude, remote backcountry adventure.  This screening process is necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of the group and make the trip enjoyable to all. 

    Leader: Mike Seay, email

    Fees / Other:

    •  Wilderness Permit and Fees: $10 per participant. This covers the Wilderness Permit and other associated costs. Payment will be collected at the trailhead

    • Food and Equipment: All participants will be responsible for their own food, tent, stove, bear canister, etc. Participants are encouraged, however, to share stoves and cooking equipment to reduce weight of their packs. No fires are allowed in the backcountry.

    •  Carpooling and arrival: Participants should arrive the day before and camp overnight at or near the trailhead to acclimate to the high altitude. The leader will circulate a list of participants several weeks before the trip to facilitate carpooling and provides details on where to camp.

    What to bring:  You’ll need your ten essentials and all required backpacking gear (food, stove, tent, sleeping bag, appropriate clothing, bear-proof food container, hiking poles, etc.).

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