Backpacking Trips

    • Sun, August 18, 2024
    • 3:00 PM
    • Sun, August 25, 2024
    • Bishop Park Group Campsite - Inyo National Forest
    • 24

    SDGO – Eastern Sierras Campout and Hikes 

    and 5 Lakes Backpacking Retreat (Intermediate) 

    August 18-21 Campout, August 21-25 Backpack 

    Total Distance: 15miles  Elevation Gain: 2,800ft Route Type: Out and Back 

    If you’ve longed for space and time to soak in the unfathomable beauty of a place and love to wander and explore and bask in the majesty of wilderness without having to pack up and move camp and hike every day, this trip is for you! 

    Note: Serious considerations and Requirements Before Registration:  

    • The basecamp reservations allow for 8 cars or SUVs (no RVs) with up to 25 people tent camping at the beautiful group campsite. 

    • Each participant must carpool with at least one other participant and coordinate travel plans and driving expenses. Participants with roomier vehicles should please consider adding an additional person.

    • Can share a tent or bring separate tents. 

    • The backpack portion of the trip is limited to 6 backpackers. Those who are not going on the backpack must check out by noon on Wednesday.  

    • Commit to the full trip – no early departures except in emergency. 

    • Must have at least basic backpacking experience. 

    • Must have some equipment (some items may be loaned by SDGO).  

    • Your pack should not exceed 35 lbs. & will be weighed at start. 

    • Must pack a bear canister that contains all food and toiletries. 

    • Must be in good physical condition able to carry a 35 lbs. uphill at a moderate pace for 4 miles at elevations from 9,000-11,000 feet. 

    • The Intermediate rating of the backpack is based on distance traveled from vehicles, terrain, elevation, elevation gain, and expected weather. 

    • Will rotate carrying group equipment such as the first aid kit. 

    • After registration, please expect an email from the trip leader, Steve Fitzgerald ( to discuss this trip and make sure it is right for you. 

    3-Night Group Campout with Day Hike and Boating 

    We will enjoy the first three nights at Bishop Park Group campsite, which is “one of the most popular facilities in the Bishop Creek area.” Bishop Park, in the Inyo National Forest, extends along the North Fork of Bishop Creek at 8,300 ft. elevation. It is shaded by aspens, cottonwoods, and Jeffrey and lodgepole pines. Its level, dirt-surfaced, tent-only campsites border Bishop creek. Two bear-proof food storage lockers are provided, as are flush toilets and drinking water. No electric hookups are available, and RVs are not allowed.  

    Tent sites back onto the creek, allowing anglers to fish from the comfort of their campsite. The stocked stream contains rainbow, brown, brook and Alpers trout. Similar fishing opportunities can be found just upstream in Intake Lake II. 

    • Wednesday, August 21 - Car campers break camp and head home by noon. Six backpackers continuing will park and hike from Sabrina Lake trailhead. 

    4-Night Backpacking Retreat 

    Every aspect of this trip route is stunning!! It is intentionally designed with two rest days to chill and soak in the majesty of the high sierras in between, while visiting and exploring at least 6 different lakes. 

    • Wednesday, August 21 - Backpack group breaks camp, drives to Sabrina Lake trailhead and parks, then hikes to the far end of Blue Lake and set up camp for 2 nights. 

    • Thursday, August 22, chill day at Blue Lake, optional low key short hike(s) to explore Donkey Lake, Emerald Lake,and/or others. 

    • Friday, August 23, break camp and hike to Hungry Packer Lake and set up camp.

    • Saturday, August 24, hike to and explore nearby Midnight and Moonlight Lakes

    • Sunday, August 25, break camp, hike back down to Sabrina Lake parking lot, drive home 

    Weather: Expect warm days and chilly (low-mid 40s) evenings and mornings. Dressing in layers is the best way to manage the possible range of temperatures. Precipitation is always a possibility, so rain gear is mandatory. Last year mosquitos at Treasure Lake (not basecamp) nearly ruined our trip – bring adequate protection. 

    Bring: 10 Essentialsfor the campout and hike. Steve will send registered backpackers a list of required and recommended gear for the 4-night backpack. 

    Cost: $30 for Camper Only, $40 for Camper/Backpacker. When capacity is reached, a waiting list will be in effect. Cancel by August 4 to receive a refund. 

    Other considerations: As with any backcountry experience, this one is "Leave no Trace" - our trash comes out with us, including toilet paper, and excrement is buried and covered far away from water sources. Active bear area - mandatory use of either bear cannisters or hanging food sacks. 

    Directions:370 miles, 6+ hours from San Diego. Take 15 to 215 to 395 N to Bishop. In Bishop, turn left on S Lake Rd (CA 168) and follow it 15 miles to Bishop Park group site in Inyo National Forest, and turn LEFT into the entrance. 

    Trip Leader: Please contact Steve Fitzgerald at 323-252-1066 or at 

    • Sun, September 08, 2024
    • 2:00 PM
    • Fri, September 13, 2024
    • 3:00 PM
    • Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MN), Entry Point #55 Saganaga Lake
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Boundary Waters Canoe Area:

    The Crown Jewel of Minnesota

    Sunday Sept 8 - Friday Sept 13, 2024

    Trip Description: Join us for this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the crown jewel of Minnesota nature, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Located in northern Minnesota on the Canadian border, this area is famous for its pristine lakes, singing loons and great fishing. This trip will be a backpacking canoe trip, meaning every participant will work in community with others on the trip to share responsibilities like cooking, building fires, switching off paddling, and securing food supplies overnight. Trips to the BWCA are considered a right of passage in Minnesota culture, and I am excited to share this experience with you! 

    Note: Flights to/from MSP Airport are not included. Our backpacking trip will start at the entry point the night before Sept 8th, including staying in the bunkhouse, and departing on Sept 9th until exiting the BWCA on Sept 13th. Plan an extra day on both ends for air travel to/from MSP Airport.

    Route Overview: Starting on Saganaga Lake we will travel north and after two days or so of paddling, around the time you start to miss portaging we will turn around to return to Saganaga Lake. Red line indicates 30-mile route. We will have one base camp day at the halfway points of the trip, averaging 7-8mi/day traveling to and from. 

    Distance: ~30miles

    Route Type: Loop


    Sunday, Sept 8th

    Arrive to MSP, drive to Seagull Outfitters (5hrs). Overnight stay in the bunkhouse included with registration costs. Equipment check.

    Monday, Sept 9th

    Depart from entry location, Point #55 Saganaga Lake. Paddle for day, no portages.

    Tuesday, Sept 10th

    Continue along route through 6 portages until stay at Amoeber Lake to find camp.

    Wednesday, Sept 11th

    Day trip to islands and lakes. Enjoy camp or fishing.

    Thursday, Sept 12th

    Canoe/portage to campsite #3, including 10 portages.

    Friday, Sept 20th

    Depart for Exit #55 Saganaga Lake, no portaging. 5-hour drive back to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

    The below map depicts our route and campsites available for use (colored dots). We will camp at the nearest available campsite in relation to our resting locations (numbered below).