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    • Fri, February 23, 2024
    • 8:00 AM
    • Sun, February 25, 2024
    • 12:00 PM
    • O'Neill Regional Park 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA


      Hike Leader - Morning 4 hrs
      Trip Leader - Afternoon 4 hrs

      Event Management WA evening 2 hr.

      You may attend one, two or all three of the training sessions.

      Option to camp for the weekend or just come in for the day.

      The training is open to all interested members, including novice hikers, but even those of us who have been hiking for many years come away with new skills or insights.

      Some more great things about the training:

      •  Registration is free.
      •  The information about emergency response could save your life.
      •  The discussion of leadership and people skills has applications beyond the hiking trail.
      •  The certification allows you to lead other day trips you may be interested in, such as bike rides or museum visits. (Anything that broadens our awareness of our environment is a valid outing.)
      The next scheduled training is the last weekend of February at O’Neill Regional Park in Orange County near Rancho Santa Margarita. Participants can enjoy hiking, dining, and camping together around the full day of training in the park’s administrative building conference room. The hike leader training is on a Saturday morning, and is followed by training on leading overnight trips and using our online event management system.

      Friday Feb 23

      2 pm Check-in campground: Group Sites Sycamore Flats A & B. Tell the attendant you are with Great Outdoors Group Camp to get car pass

      4 pm - Fun hike nearby. We will adjust the time if needed to accommodate those arriving on Friday and camping for the training. This is a welcome and training hike for attendees.  We will discuss and demonstrate the Ten Essentials and safety on the trail.  Sunset at 5:42 pm.

      6 pm -- Meet and Greet at campground; Bring something to share. Dinner on your own.

      Saturday Feb 24 - Training class at the Administrative Building Conference Room next to campground. 

      • 8 am - 12 pm  Hike Leader Training    -Conference Room
      • 1 pm - 5 pm Trip Leader Training
      • 5:30 pm  Potluck at campground
      • 6:30 pm - 8 pm Event Manager

      Sunday Feb 25

      8:30 am -10:30 - Training hike nearby where participants will be confronted with a variety of situations that one may encounter on the trail.


      Be a Hike Leader!  Not just someone who knows the way, but someone who applies safety, best practices, fun, and local knowledge to make a successful outing. In addition to the course outline we will discuss any issues with past hikes and plan for future hikes. We will review basic hike leader procedures and techniques and latest technology and information. Completing this course will provide participants with Day Hike Leader Certification. Also a good refresher for hike leaders.

      Hike Leader Syllabus

      Prerequisites: Great Outdoors member (click here to join). The course is for anyone interested in becoming a hike leader, learning more about leading effective hikes, or becoming a more confident and capable hiker.

      This Hike Leader Certification course is for hikers who are interested in learning new skills as well as experienced hike leaders who are looking to update or refresh their outdoor leadership skills. It is suitable for all ranges of hiker abilities, from novice up to very experienced hikers.

      Objectives: Introduce participants to the skills, knowledge and qualifications of a hike leader. Present skills for leading a safe, environmentally responsible and enjoyable hike.

      Content/Topics Covered:  Hike planning, description, screening participants, trail group management, emergency management, medical issues on the trail, map reading and navigation, outdoor techniques, environmental protection, and problem solving techniques and scenarios.

      Course Format: The training includes in-person instruction with group discussion and problem solving applications and trail-based scenarios.

      Pre-Course Assignment: Review training manuals and video:

      Link to Training Resources: Click Here

      Printed manuals available at the training location at no cost to participants. Option to have manual(s) mailed to you upon registration.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


      One of the premier features of Great Outdoors is overnight trips. As a leader you will propose, research and design overnight trips. You will manage and administer the trip using leadership and group management skills. Completing this course will provide participants with Trip Leadership Certification.

      Course Outline:

      • Create a new trip or update a former trip.

      • Planning, scouting, securing reservations.

      • Finances and budget.

      • Create a trip description and promotion.

      • Secure all logistics including any permits, and support staff as necessary.

      • Communicate with participants to provide information and answer questions.

      • Conducting your trip, safety issues, group management issues - preventing and solving.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Course Length/Hours: 4 hours.

      What to bring:  Lunch, water bottle, mug for hot drinks. If you are taking the Hike Leader course bring a day pack with your ten essentials. If you are tent camping, bring food, camp gear, warm clothing.

      Weather: Average: February 65° / 46° O'Neill Regional Park: current: click here

      Facilities:  We will be in the campground conference room with tables, chairs, projector, TV monitor and restrooms. Trailheads located onsite.

      Overnight accommodations:

      Camping at O'Neill Regional park group site Sycamore A & B 

      Motels located nearby: Rancho Santa Margarita

      More information:

      Course Preparation: You are encouraged to review the Outdoor Experience Training Manuals and material at the following link ahead of time. 

      Link to Training Resources: Click Here

      Suggested Additional Reading and Video:
      1. Wilderness Navigation: Finding Your Way Using Map, Compass, Altimeter, & GPS. Bob Burns, Mike Burns
      2. The National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness GuideMark Harvey
      3. How to Lead a Hike by the Sierra Club 15 min. video click here

      Print and complete the following review questions and bring them with you:

      HIKE LEADER REVIEW QUESTIONS with Page Ref 2022.08.05.pdf.

      TRIP LEADER REVIEW QUESTIONS with Page Ref 2022.08.05.pdf

      © 1981 - 2022 CALIFORNIA GREAT OUTDOORS, INC., a 501(c)7 not-for-profit, all-volunteer LGBTQA+ organization dedicated to the enjoyment of the outdoors. All rights reserved.  Privacy policy

      • Mon, February 26, 2024
      • 9:00 AM
      • Fri, March 01, 2024
      • 4:00 PM
      • South Kaibab Trailhead, Grand Canyon National Park
      • 0
      Join waitlist

      Grand Canyon National Park Backpacking Trip

      Monday Feb 26 to Friday Mar 1

      Cottonwood Camp | Hit the Trail

      Description: Join us for the adventure of a lifetime! With a week of adventure in Grand Canyon National Park, you are bound to have a story to tell for years to come. On this adventure we will be hiking from the South Rim to Cottonwood Campground and back . Please note that this 28 mile in-and-out trip is considered extremely strenuous and appropriate backpacking gear/experience is a must. 

      Note: Due to a trail closure announced on 1/30/24, we will not be able to hike to the North Rim as the trail is closed through February. If the trail opens early, we would plan on hiking it Wednesday 2/28, though it is scheduled to reopen on 3/1/24 currently.

      Weather: Since we will be traveling down to the canyon floor, early spring weather is to be expected. At the South Rim Visitor Center lows of the 20s can be experienced overnight, but down on the canyon floor we will likely have warmer weather to be expected. If able to go, at  the North Rim temperatures will be colder, so plan on warm layers for the day trip on Wednesday! See the temperatures below for what to expect below the Grand Canyon rim (i.e., visitor center): 

      Route: With the Bright Angel Trail being closed, we will hike the (shorter) South Kaibab Trail. From South Kaibab Trail we will camp at Bright Angel Campground, then Cottonwood Campground later in the week. From the South Rim to Bright Angel it is 7mi, and another 7mi to Cottonwood. Finally we will return to Bright Angel for a night (7mi) before hiking out on Friday March 1st (7mi). The South rim is ~5k feet elevation gain . 

      Base Camp Info:

      Gear: A robust backpacking gear set is required.  Water filtration system is required. Warm sleeping bags are a must in case of colder weather. See sample backpacking gear list here:

      Note: Microspikes and hiking poles are recommended as a precaution if a day to the North Rim becomes possible.

      Cost: $70 non-refundable. Note: Meals, transportation and lodging before/after the backpacking excursion will be booked by attendees. These costs are not reflected in this registration.

      Trip Leader: Tyler Roosden 651.497.1611


      Sunday Feb 25

      Stay overnight in local motel, check gear. Trip Leader will be staying overnight at the Yavapai Lodge in Grand Canyon Village. 

      Monday Feb 26

      Park and take shuttle to the trailhead. Estimated 4-5hours hike down 7mi to Bright Angel Campground via the South Kaibab Trail. We will basecamp from this campground for several days. Sunset is at 6:15pm.

      Shuttle Information:

      Tuesday Feb 27

      Basecamp at Bright Angel Campground. Day hike the canyon.

      Wednesday Feb 28

      Pack up camp and hike 7mi to Cottonwood Campground.

      If trail closure ends: Leave overnight gear at camp and continue hiking to North Rim. Hike is 7mi with 6k ft elevation gain. Hike back to Cottonwood Campground.

      Note: Water will not be running at this time of year at the campground or North Rim Visitor Center so all water will be pumped from a canyon stream.

      Thursday Feb 29

      Pack up camp and hike 7mi back to Bright Angel Campground. Relax and/or day trip for final evening at camp.

      Friday Mar 1

      Pack up and hike all gear/materials out of Grand Canyon. Return hike to South Kaibab Trail is 7mi with 5k ft elevation gain. Shuttle back to cars, get dinner and stay overnight at local hotel. Trip Leader will be staying overnight at the Yavapai Lodge in Grand Canyon Village. 


      Permit Information:

      The Trip Leader and/or participants can be cited for violating these regulations:

      • Permit Requirement: A Backcountry Permit is required for all overnight backcountry use and MUST be in your possession while in the Backcountry. The permit is valid only for the trip leader, campsites, dates, and number of people specified on the permit.   
      • Campgrounds: Quiet hours are 8pm-6am. No smoking within 100' of campgrounds or 25' of Ranger Stations or Water Utility Buildings.
      • Trash: Carry out your trash. Burning, burying, or leaving trash or toilet paper is prohibited. 
      • Affiliated Groups: Your permit is void if on any night another group affiliated to yours (i.e. same club, organization, group of friends, etc.) is using the same campground or use area. More than one group from the same organization or affiliation camping in the same designated campground or Use Area per night is prohibited.  
      • Commercial Use: Commercial Use Authorization is required for Commercial Use of the backcountry. 
      • Fires: Wood or charcoal fires of any type are prohibited. Sterno or fossil fuel backpack stoves are permitted.  
      • Water: Use of biodegradable or any other type of soap in creeks or camping within 200' of any water source (except at designated sites) is prohibited.  
      • Wildlife: Feeding, touching, teasing, or intentionally disturbing wildlife is prohibited.  
      • Rocks: Throwing or rolling rocks or other items down hillsides or mountainsides, into valleys or canyons, or inside caves is prohibited.  
      • Shortcutting: Leaving a trail or walkway to shortcut between portions of the same trail or walkway, or to shortcut to an adjacent trail is strictly prohibited.  
      • Preservation: Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing from its natural state any plants, rocks, animals, mineral, cultural or archeological resources, natural features, or signs is prohibited. Walking on, entering, traversing, or climbing on an archeological resource is prohibited.
      • Please see rest of the rules available here
      • Fri, March 08, 2024
      • 4:00 PM
      • Sun, March 10, 2024
      • 11:00 AM
      • Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Campground, 1942 Monument Road, San Diego, CA 92154

      • Thu, March 14, 2024
      • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
      • Roberto's Taco Shop, 1525 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

      The Great Outdoors San Diego (GOSD) Core Group meets every month to conduct GOSD business and share a meal together. Members and interested others are welcome to join. If you'll be joining us, please RSVP. If joining, please meet at Roberto's at 6:30pm sharp to order food and walk over to the meeting location by 7:00pm. Feel free to bring your own food or order upon arrival!