The North County WBC consists of four fun-filled weekend outings (one car camp and three backpacks) plus an “evaluation hike” to assess your readiness for Snow Camp, all of which are required to complete the course.

The main course outings occur every other weekend. You’ll leave your house early on Saturday, and be back by mid to late afternoon on Sunday (in desperate need of a bath). In every case, hikes with a range of difficulties will be offered so you can find something that matches your physical condition. Usually, you’ll have several choices at each difficulty level so you can pick the outing that has features which sound the most interesting to you. Descriptions will be passed out in class the week before you select your outing.

The four outings require that participants be in good physical condition and have the ability to hike carrying approximately 40 pounds of weight. It is up to the discretion of the trip leader as to whether a participant’s physical condition is sufficient for the trip.

The 2024 course has reached capacity.

2024 Schedule

  • Evaluation Day Hike

    The idea is to give you an idea of where your fitness level fits in relative to the rest of the class so that you can pick hikes of the right intensity level for you. You’ll need to meet a minimum time to be able to go on the Snow Camp. But please do the evaluation hike even if you do not plan on going to Snow Camp. It helps you (and the leaders) make sure you are a good match for the other outings you go on.

  • Desert Car Camp

    No backpacking, just day hikes. This means you can bring the big cooler, the hibachi and steaks, the 15 pound Coleman cabin tent – what ever you can fit in your car (that doesn’t violate the “no sound generating devices” rule). During the day hikes you get a chance to practice you map and compass navigation skills. This is also a good opportunity to have the leaders look over your equipment, if you have any question about how it will work for backpacking.

    Desert Car Camp is designed to introduce you to living outside and sleeping in a tent. This will be your chance to try out some new equipment near the safety of your car. You will get your first map and compass training, and visit some beautiful places in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

  • Desert Backpack

    More desert beauty, only this time you’ll be carrying everything on your back, including your water – 12 to 16 pounds of it. So think twice about that change of underwear and that novel you’re reading. Most of these trips take place in our own Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. You’ll see more stars than you ever knew existed.

  • Mountain Backpack

    Again you’ll toting everything on your back (or hips to be technical), only this time you won’t have to carry all your water. We’ll be traveling through the high desert or the Laguna mountains where water is usually available, so you’ll get to see some different methods of water treatment. Dress warm – last year it snowed on Mountain Backpack (no extra charge).

  • Snow Camp

    You get up really early for this one, drive to Palm Springs, then take a tram car almost 6000 feet up to the base of San Jacinto. From there we’ll all hike in a couple miles, make camp, and try to survive the night (heh, heh, just kidding, no really). You’ll need 4 coffee can lids to make snow stakes to keep your tent earth-bound, so start collecting them now! This trip can be variable. You could be hiking in your shorts, or be moving through a snow storm. At this point, you’ll be ready for anything.

  • Reunion Weekend

    The optional, and great fun, WBC Reunion weekend is all about celebrating another successful course all while enjoying fresh mountain air, day hikes, food, and good company. The reunion is held at the Harwood Lodge on Mt. Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains, about 2 hours north of Escondido.

    During the day, leaders will organize hikes to explore the local area and at night everyone enjoys slides and videos from the class trips. We all pitch in for potluck dinner Saturday night and enjoy a cooked-to-order omelette breakfast on Sunday morning.

    Students who successfully completed the course will be presented with their certificate and patch. If any student is unable to attend the Reunion, their WBC graduation certificate will be mailed to them after the Reunion.

Sierra Club

San Diego Chapter

The Sierra Club San Diego offers a number of day hikes, car camps and backpacks led by trained Chapter Outings Leaders. Our mission is to lead fun, safe hikes and is open to both members and non-members. Our hikes and backpacks are free of charge unless otherwise stated. Bus trips and some car camps do have a shared cost fee.

Visit the San Diego Chapter Outings Calendar webpage for more details.