Upcoming overnight trips

    • 31 Mar 2017
    • 2:00 PM
    • 2 Apr 2017
    • 12:00 PM
    • Agua Caliente Regional Park


    Register on the San Diego Chapter's website at:


     With the fantastic location and amenities of Agua Caliente Regional Park, this is an event not to be missed! We’ll be hanging out in a fantastic hot spring oasis surrounded by the beautiful Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and in the early Spring, when we’ll likely see the desert in bloom!

    Three naturally fed pools provide different ways of enjoying the park's mineral water. There are two pools outdoors, and an indoor therapeutic pool with jacuzzi jets that is heated to 102 degrees.  Add to that plenty of showers and restrooms and we’ll hardly be roughing it.



    2:00 Arrive, check-in

    6:00 Welcome Meet & Greet (Bring appetizer to share.  BYOB.) 

    7:06 Sunset 

    7:30 Bonfire


    8:00 Coffee

    9:00 Caravan to Day Hike

    4:00 Return to camp

    5:00-7:30 Pool time, potluck prep

    7:06 Sunset

    7:30 Potluck

    8:30 Bonfire


    8:00 Coffee 

    10:00 Optional Day Hike

    12:00 Campground departure

    *Times are estimated and subject to change without notice.


    Average temperatures for Agua Caliente in early April are in the low 70s during the day and the upper 30s at night. So bring a warm sleeping bag and/or tent buddy. And check the weather forecast before packing.

    Park Details

    The Campsites

     We have reserved 5 campsites and one RV site for the weekend. Each campsite has a maximum capacity of 8 people. Note, however, that per park policy, those 8 people can be in either one big 8-person tent, or two 4-person tents. Bottom line is that the park will only allow 2 tents per site. So we encourage you to have a tent buddy, if not 2 or 3, or 7! The more people who stay in each tent, the more people who can go on the trip. When you register, please let us know how many will be in your tent and who they will be, so we can better determine the max number of people for the trip.  First come, first served.

    We have reserved tent sites 116-117,  120-122, as well as RV site 33.  (The RV site can include a tent in addition to an RV.)  You can see where these are in theAgua Caliente Park Brochure.


    Park policy is one free parking space per campsite.  Extra vehicles are $4.  Maximum of 2 vehicles per site. (RV with tow vehicle is one vehicle.)  Additional parking is available in the park.

    Other Park Rules and Regs

    10:00 pm-8:00 am are quiet hours, per park policy.  Park rules permit alcoholic beverages where the alcoholic content doesn’t exceed 20%. There is a small general store (very limited) near the entrance.  The fee for dogs is $1 per night per dog, (must have current license and vaccinations).  Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails at Agua Caliente Park.

    Getting to Agua Caliente Regional Park

    39555 Great Southern Overland State Route ‘AKA S2’, Julian CA 92036

    • From Ramona through Julian: East on State Highway 78 to Scissors Crossing then south 26 miles on Highway S2 to the park entrance. 
    • From Interstate 8: East on Interstate 8 and exit at Ocotillo, then 22 miles north on Highway S2 to the park entrance.

    Location Map

    GPS Coordinates: N32° 57.023' W116° 18.292'

    Elevation is 1300’ 111 miles from San Diego. Julian is 38 miles West, Borrego Springs 44 miles. Cell reception: 4 mi. N. Vallecito Co. Park. 

    Agua Caliente Packing List: 

    ▪ Phone/Camera, Charger▪ Toothbrush, toothpaste▪ Warm Sleeping Bag, Pillow

    ▪ Shirts▪ Sleeping Pad / Air Mattress▪ Prescriptions/Medications

    ▪ Shorts, pants▪ Sweater / Fleece pullover▪ Ear plugs

    ▪ Sunglasses▪ Tent▪ Headlamp for caves/Flashlight

    ▪ Socks, Underwear▪ Soap / Shampoo▪ Hat

    ▪ Rain Gear▪ Warm jacket▪ Camping Stool / Chair

    ▪ Hiking Shoes▪ Sun block, lip balm▪ Ten essentials

    ▪ Towel for showers ▪ Flip-flops for pools, showers▪ Cooking gear

    ▪ Drinking Water*▪ Any alcoholic beverages▪ Swim suit & towel

    ▪ Firewood**▪ A full tank of gas▪ Water bottle for hikes

    ▪ Food (Fri appetizer and dinner, Sat bkfst, Sat bag lunch, Sat potluck dish, Sun bkfst, Sun bag lunch, snacks)

    *Potable water is available in the park.

    **Firewood can be purchased at the campground to prevent introduction of destructive insects.

    We look forward to seeing you on the trip! 

    More information and online registration: Agua Caliente Campout 

    • 20 Apr 2017
    • 23 Apr 2017
    • Montana de Oro Campground, near Morro Bay
    • 2

    The beautiful central coast of California will be ours to enjoy this spring. Montana de Oro, or the “hills of gold” with it’s stunning vistas and rugged cliffs, endless shoreline and miles of sand dunes is where our secluded campsites will be located. Numerous hiking trails lead into the hills and along the bluffs providing amazing panoramas of the surrounding area. Other trails head over sand dunes and through Eucalyptus groves down to the shore to some great tide pools with an abundance of sea life.

    We’ll have improved vault toilets and running water. Sorry, no showers here, so bring your own solar shower (or share with a friend). Bring your 10 essentials as per the GO website, boots, warm and cold weather clothing. You should also consider bringing river sandals (for kayaking) or a bike for trail riding. There is a major shopping center nearby in Los Osos in case you forget anything.

    Located nearby is Moro Bay with its historic downtown.  Here you can view Moro Rock, a 23 million year old towering volcanic plug left over from a volcano that has completely eroded away. You may decide to rent a kayak (about $25/2 hours) and tour the bay with it’s sea lions and sea otters or simply view them from the  shore.  The Elfin Forest is also close by where you can see pygmy cost live oak with their bizarre stunted growth. 

    You are responsible for bringing all your own camping gear, stove, flashlight, lantern and food. We also ask that you bring 2 bundles of firewood to help keep the campfire blazing and a pot luck item to share on Saturday night. Weather on the coast can change suddenly so bring all weather clothing. Dry-fit or noncotton clothing is best if you plan on kayaking. 

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

    Directions: 101 fwy north from L.A. to exit #200 Los Osos/Baywood, turn left on Los Osos Valley Rd. Continue on to Pacheco Valley Rd and veer right. Follow signs to Montana de Oro



    · Arrive any time after 2 pm / prepare your own dinner.

    · Fireside Meet and Greet ( bring a snack to share).

    · Group campfire.


    · Prepare your own breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    · Hiking, biking, exploring, kayaking. 

    · Sunset watch ( bring your favorite beverage).

    · Group campfire, board games and good conversation.


    · Starting at 8:00 a.m. Great Outdoors LA will prepare breakfast for you. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit and coffee will be served.

    · Afterwards, hiking, biking, exploring, tidepools, kayaking, wineries and Moro Bay are all nearby for you to enjoy.

    · Pot Luck at 6:00 p.m. Bring your favorite dish to share and we’ll provide the desserts. Group campfire, board games or cards (UNO?) to follow.


    · Do some early exploring then pack up and head out by noon.

    Other attractions nearby:

    Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Colony. Watch hundreds of these amazing and sometimes funny creatures in their native habitat sprawled on the beach. Reaching lengths of 14-16 feet and weighing up to 4000 ponds they inhabit on of the largest colonies in the world.

    Hearst Castle, the magnificent home of William Randolph Hearst is open daily. A variety of tours can be taken but reservations are advised.

    Local wineries offer wine tasting and there are many nice restaurants on the waterfront in Moro Bay.

    The Elfin Forest and the old growth coastal oak preserve offer some amazing examples of California’s native flora.




    • 11 May 2017
    • 14 May 2017
    • Sage Hill Campground
    • 31

    Renew, Recover, Rejuvenate, those words come to mind when visiting Sage Hill Campground. Having been a very popular camping location for GO in past years, it has recently gone through some very difficult times. A major wild fire and a prolonged drought had left the area parched and, for lack of a better word, dying.  But not anymore!  Nature has a way of quickly breathing life back into places if there’s enough rain, and boy has there been a lot of rain!  The Santa Ynez River has roared back to life. Towering oak trees are once again thick and leafy canopies of green as well as the surrounding hills. With a healthy smattering of wild flowers and wildlife it’s your opportunity to come back with your friends of Great Outdoors and witness the healing powers of nature!

    There are many scenic hiking trails, swimming holes along the river, and down the road are some of the best wineries on the planet!  Hiking, Swimming and wine tasting are on the agenda.  

    Not to mention many great places to eat and drink, Danish pastries anyone?   There’s also the Chumash Casino located in the nearby town of Santa Ynez if anyone wants to try their luck there as well.

    Our itinerary is as follows:

    Thursday, May 11: Optional Arrival Day (after 2 pm.)  We are at Cactus group camp.  

    Friday, May 12: Breakfast on your own, day hike in local area.  Meet and greet tea at 4 PM, snacks and soft drinks provided by GO. BYOB. Dinner on your own (possible dinner at Cold Spring Tavern).

    Saturday, May 13: Cooked breakfast provided by GO (by the magic culinary talents of Steve and Wes).  Options for the day are day hikes, local wine tasting, swimming in the river. Traditional GO potluck at dinner (make your favorite dish to serve 6 people. 

    Sunday, May 14: Continental breakfast by Steve and Wes.  Checkout by 12 noon.

    *Final determination of the days itineraries and schedules will be worked out at the camp site.

    What to Bring: Bring your 10 essentials (listed on GO website at: https://greatoutdoorslosangeles.wildapricot.org/page-18105camping, cooking gear, 1-2 bundles of wood per person.  Be sure to bring your camp chair, tent, good hiking shoes and/or boots and sunscreen.

    Directions: From the South, take Highway 101N. Exit 101B for State St toward CA-154/Cachuma Lake. Follow CA-154/San Marcos Pass Rd. Turn right onto Paradise Rd. After 4.5mi, turn left into Sage Hill Campground. Cactus group site is down the hill and across the river to the right.

    Costs: Members;  $50 per person  Non-members: $75 per person, includes one year membership in GO, chapter of your choice. Full refund up to April 28. Half refund up to May 5. No refund after May 5.

    RV’s welcome (no hook-ups). Carpooling is encouraged, overflow parking is available.  

    Contact Trip Leader Brian Miller, muddbilt@comcast.net or 805-407-9001

    Full trip notes can be found at: http://greatoutdoors.org/sbvc/TripNotes/GOSageHillJamboree.pdf

    • 26 May 2017
    • 29 May 2017
    • Two Harbors Campground, Catalina Island
    • 0

    Sorry, but this event is now sold out. You can join the waitlist and we will send you an email when additional spaces become available.

    Join waitlist

    Great Outdoors Los Angeles Presents


    Catalina Island Campout

    Tent cabins, Hiking, Kayaking

    Memorial Day Weekend May 26-29, 2017


    Contact: Bryan Matsumoto at (626) 246-8634; e-mail bmotzbmotz@yahoo.com; or Albert Sotelo at (323) 456-5302, e-mail: albertsotelo@yahoo.com.


    Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at Catalina Island with the Great Outdoors. 


    Catalina is a perfect place to relax on the beach, enjoy the ocean, search for rocks and seashells, read a book… or join the group for a 11.2 round-trip, incredibly scenic Pacific-view hike to a secluded beach on the western side of the island.


    Just a short distance off the California mainland lies the beautiful island of Santa Catalina. Great Outdoors will once again be heading off to this little bit of paradise for 4 days of hiking, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. We will be staying in tent cabins that come complete with cots and sleeping pads, a gas stove and lantern. Our cabins are located high on the bluff overlooking the quaint town of Two Harbors. Unlike the more bustling port of Avalon, Two Harbors has a much more laid back feel to it and is located at the narrowest part of the island. You can easily walk from the calm harbor to the western shore where you will experience the full force of the Pacific ocean crashing against the island.

    Being that our cabins are located at the highest elevation in the campground, we will have an unobstructed view of the island and the magnificent Pacific ocean from our very own porch. Showers and bathrooms are nearby and we’ll have a BBQ pit, fire ring and water at the site. The town of Two Harbors has a general store, restaurant, snack bar and saloon.


    This wonderful adventure filled extended weekend does have limited space available. Our 3 cabins can house a total of 18 individuals so don’t hesitate to register as soon as possible.  In order to allow everyone to enjoy this beautiful island as they wish, this will be a freeform camping experience. Enjoy it as a group on simply wander to and fro at your leisure.


    Cabins will not be assigned but you may request that a particular person(s) be in the same cabin as you. This priority applies on a first come first served basis so please register early.

    With so many thing to do and see where will you begin? Hiking on Catalina is unique and exciting. Where else can you get a 360* degree view of the Pacific Ocean which include a view of the California Mainland? You can even see the lights of Los Angeles at night in the distance from our campsite. Numerous secluded beaches and miles of fantastic scenery await your arrival.

    Snorkeling, Kayaking and Bike riding


    Voted “World’s healthiest marine environment” by Scuba magazine, Two Harbors offers world class snorkeling with 40-100 ft. visibility underwater. Visit the kelp beds or simply stay close to shore and be amazed by what lies a few feet below the surface. Kayaks offer a great way to see the island from offshore. Whether you decide to just paddle around the harbor or head out to explore some of the more secluded parts of the island, kayaking affords you the opportunity to observe wildlife from above and below the water. If you prefer a little more fast paced adventure than biking, Catalina may be right for you. Miles of roads cross the island and allow you to see more of this fantastic landscape in less time than a leisurely hike. Bikes and Kayaks can be rented starting at $24.00 per hour and a snorkel and mask are $13.00 per day and available at the Two Harbors Dive Shop

    If you need to stock up on supplies, the Two Harbors general store has groceries, ice, camping equipment and a wide selection of wines and spirits. Remember to drink in moderation if you choose to partake of alcoholic beverages.

    Schedule Of Events

    Friday May 26

    - 11:30 am Check-in at the port at San Pedro

    - 12:30 pm Leave San Pedro on Catalina Express

    - Approx 1-1.5 hour boat trip Arrive in Two Harbors

    - 3:00 Plan weekend activities

    - 6:00 pm Meet and Greet with dinner provided by hosts, Bryan and Albert

    - 8:00 Group campfire activities

    Saturday May 27   

    - 9:00 am hike/explore

    - 12:00 pm Individual/Group activities   

    - 6:00 pm Pot-Luck (bring a dish to share). Keep in mind that there is only a 2 burner stove to be shared by each cabin. Consider an easy to prepare dish.

    - 8:00 pm Group Campfire activities   

    Sunday May 28

    - 9:00 am Hike to Little Harbor beach via TransCatalina Trail (after the hike, if you're a little tired, you may want to consider eating in town).

    - 5 pm Individual/Group activities

    - 9 pm Group campfire activities

    Monday May 29

    - Pack up and be ready to have belongings picked up and transported by 8:30am

    - 9:30am - be at the dock

    Travel home safely!


    What To Bring: Bring your ten essentials (listed on GO website at: https://greatoutdoorslosangeles.wildapricot.org/page-18105, Layered clothing (weather on the island can change quickly), personal care items, sleeping bag, boots, water sandals, sunscreen, day pack, food, ice chest, cooking gear, eating utensils (plate, bowl, fork/spoon), water bottle, potluck items, trail mix, snacks.

    Do NOT bring propane fueled lanterns or stoves. Each tent cabin come equipped with a lantern and a stove to be shared. 


    Hiking:  We will be hiking 11.4 (round-trip) to Little Harbor Beach, on the more secluded western side of the island.  This is an intermediate to strenuous hike, with ascents and descents. The elevation change is about 1000 feet. 

    If you choose to kayak or engage in other water related activities please be aware of your own capabilities.

    Extra Fees: Be Advised; there is a $12.00 per day parking fee at the Port of San Pedro

    Carpooling: Carpooling is strongly recommended. Please be sure to indicate on the registration form if you are interested in carpooling so we can coordinate carpools in order to share the parking fees at the port.

    Pet Policy: Pets are not allowed in the campground.


    Refund Policy: The round trip boat ride is $73.50. and is fully refundable up to 24 hrs. before departure. The remaining camping fees are refundable up to 10 days before departure.


    Directions: General driving directions: Take the 110 Freeway south to San Pedro. Take the Terminal Island, Exit 47 ramp. Stay in the right lane, exit Harbor Blvd. Follow signs to Catalina Terminal.


    Baggage Guidelines Per Person

    • Two Pieces of Baggage.
    • 50 lbs. Maximum Each Bag.
    • 23”x23”x37” Maximum Bag Dimension.
    • One Carry-On to be Stowed at the Seat
    • Plus, Campers are allowed a sleeping bag.
    Flammables or dangerous items are NOT allowed. Please make sure you have an ID tag on each item and do not leave luggage unattended in the terminal at any time. Unattended luggage is subject to search and seizure. If you are bringing an ice chest please duct tape it closed. We have found in the past that ice chest slightly larger that the specified allowable size have been accepted.

    In order to keep cost at a minimum we are not pre-reserving kayaks as a group at this time. You may however contact Two Harbors Dive and Recreation Center (310) 510-4272 if you want to reserve a specific time and date on your own. A group decision can be made if needed at camp. You can also bring your own bike with you on the boat for an extra fee if pre-arranged with the Catalina Express.


    You may also want to consider bringing a favorite board game, Uno or cards. In order to allow everyone to enjoy this beautiful island as they wish, this will be a freeform camping experience. Enjoy it as a group on simply wander to and fro at your leisure.

    Trail Profile:

    • 15 Jun 2017
    • 18 Jun 2017
    • Headquarters Campground, north of Kernville, CA

    Save the date. More information to follow soon. 

    • 14 Jul 2017
    • 16 Jul 2017
    • Green Valley Lake, CA in the San Bernardino National Forest
    • 40

    Save The Date - more information to follow

    Green Valley Lake - the highest community in the San Bernardino Mountains - at 7,200 feet. Supervised beach and swimming area are operated all summer and paddle boats and row boats are available for rent. Fishing is excellent in the well abundant, stocked, lake and hiking and mountain biking are also favorite recreational activities.


    The campground offers single-family sites for tent and RV camping. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided. NO OVERFLOW PARKING is available

    • Green Valley Lake has a small downtown area that hosts a market, two restaurants, a post office, a bait and tackle shop. Plus there are eleven outdoor concerts during the summer in the garden across from the lake. 

    • Bears frequent the area; use appropriate containers for food and garbage
    • Off-road vehicle use is prohibited within the campground
    • In accordance with standard industry practices, Mountain Top Recreation will be assessing a $5 additional vehicle fee per night on the second vehicle in each single family campsite, and on the third and fourth vehicles in any double family campsite, provided these vehicles are not joined to the first vehicle by a hitch and towed onto the site. In the case of motorcycles, the first two are considered to be one vehicle and the third and fourth are also considered to be one vehicle. No additional vehicle fees are collected for bicycles.

    ·         Getting There:

    • ·         GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
      34.24472, -117.06194
      34°14'41"N, 117°3'43"W

      From Running Springs, travel east on Highway 18 about 3 miles to Green Valley Lake Road. Turn left and continue about 6 miles to the campground.

    • 4 Aug 2017
    • 3:00 PM
    • 6 Aug 2017
    • 2:00 PM
    • McGill Campground

    Mount Pinos is a mountain located in the Los Padres National Forest on the boundary between Ventura and Kern counties in California. The summit, at 8,847 feet (2,697 m), is the highest point in Ventura County. The mountain is the highest point of the Transverse Ranges west of Tejon Pass.

    Campground Information

    We will be at the Group Site 1 at McGill Campground in the Los Padres National Forest.  This facility has vault toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables.  There is NO WATER at the campground so you will need to BRING all the water you will need.  Bears do frequent the area and all food must be kept in approved containers or locked inside your vehicle.



    Arrive any time after 3 PM and set up your tent.  Meet and greet snacks around 5-6 PM.  Dinner is on your own with campfire at sundown.


    There will be an organized hike on Saturday morning.  You will need hiking boots, a day- pack, water, the ten essentials, and a sack lunch.

    •        Traditional Tea at 4 PM.
    •       The Great Outdoors potluck dinner will be at 7 PM.       Dinner will be followed by a campfire activity.


    Breakfast on your own and relax until check out time at 2PM.

    How To Get There/Transportation

    Take I-5 North to Frazier Mountain Park Road exit.  Go west on Frazier Mountain Park Road for 7 miles and the name of the road changes to Cuddy Valley Road and continue about 5 more miles.  Stay left at the Y in the road and head towards Mt. Pinos, NOT towards Pine Mountain Club.  Continue about 5 miles to McGill Campground on the right.  We are at Group Site 2.

    Carpooling is highly recommended.   Please plan on making your own carpooling arrangements.  The trip leader will provide possible carpooling suggestions.


    This site is for tent camping.  All regular camping equipment is needed, including a tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, stove and fuel, cooking utensils, dishes and cutlery, folding chair, and a cooler with food.  The weather is variable, so be prepared for cool nights. 


    Payment in full confirms the reservation.  Cancellation for a full refund must be received by July 28.   After that refunds will be made only if a replacement camper can be confirmed

Past events

23 Mar 2017 Valle de Guadalupe - Ensenada, Mexico

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Great Outdoors is a 501(c)7 not for profit, all-volunteer LGBT organization dedicated to the enjoyment of outdoor recreation.

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