Trip Number: 12206A
Adult Price: $695
Child Price: $595
Adult Deposit: $100
Child Deposit: $100
Staff: Claudia Hilligoss
Minimum Age: 5
- Share your love of the outdoors with your family
- Participate in service projects under the guidance of reservation staff
and park rangers
- Enjoy fun activities during free time, such as swimming, kayaking, making
crafts, and playing games
- Lodging at Camp We Ch Me Lodge
- All meals, except one dinner out
Photo: Sally Hanrahan
Share your community spirit and your love of the great outdoors with your family
this summer. This service-oriented vacation involves work projects in cooperation
with the Paiute Native Americans at Pyramid Lake in Nevada and Galena Creek
Park. Each day will offer a balance of activities -- either service or recreational
-- including swimming and kayaking in Lake Tahoe, hiking local trails, and exploring
the culture and history of Paiutes. At the end most afternoons, we will return
to the comfort of our rustic lodge for crafts, games, dinner and some evening
The fun begins at Camp We Ch Me Lodge. The lodge is located in the Galena Creek
Recreational Area. In a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Washoe County,
Nevada operates the park and lodge with a mission of encouraging understanding,
appreciation, and wise use of the natural, cultural, and historical resources
of the Galena Canyon area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway, which is about 15
miles southwest of the Reno International Airport. The Recreational Area includes
a visitor's center, a 1/2-mile nature trail, a weather station, exhibits, gift
shop, and bookstore.
The Reno/Tahoe area is a semi-arid to arid climate, and June is probably the
best month of the year to visit, depending on your preferences, with warm days,
cool nights, and small chance of rain.
Photo: Sally Hanrahan
There are two service aspects of our trip. The first will focus on the conservation
of Tufas at Lake Pyramid. Pyramid Lake is the site of the world's most spectacular
tufa deposits composed of calcium carbonate. The tufa rocks formed sometime
between 26,000 and 13,000 years ago when Pyramid Lake was part of Lake Lahontan,
which is now dry. Unfortunately, the tufas have been vandalized with graffiti.
Under the supervision of Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe's Reservation Staff, our
main work project will be to help remove some of the paint, thereby restoring
the rocks to their natural state. Our second work project will be with a ranger
at Galena Creek Park and will involve several tasks to improve the park, such
as removing weeds, brush, and fallen trees. Since this area is heavily used
by skiers, we will also expect to do an after-winter clean-up.
The trip will begin on day one with an informal gathering at 3 p.m. at Camp We Ch Me Lodge. If you arrive early, you can unpack, take a leisurely hike, or explore the area. By arriving early you will have additional time to acclimate to the altitude.
A typical day will begin with eating breakfast and making a sack lunch. We
will then travel up to an hour to the trailhead or work site. At the end of
each day's activity, we will return to the lodge and enjoy a social gathering
before dinner and optional after-dinner activities.
Photo: Claudia Hilligoss
Our second day will offer an easy hike near our lodge and fun activities. On
the third day we will work at Galena Creek Park. The fourth day will offer a
hike with spectacular views of California from atop Mt. Rose. The fifth day
will be spent at Pyramid Lake with the Paiutes, a dinner at the lake, and a
special program on Nevada's Wild Horses at the Bureau of Land Management's Palomino
Valley Ranch. The sixth day offers a Lake Tahoe kayak adventure, with a visit
to a nearby history museum followed by dinner out in Carson City, NV. The cost
of this dinner is not included in the trip price, so you will need to bring
extra cash. The trip ends after breakfast on the last day.
Every activity is optional. You are welcome to accompany us on the planned adventures each day or you may choose to sign out and take the day off to check out other nearby sites and attractions, or just spend the day relaxing at the lodge or admiring the spectacular Reno clouds. There are many free-time options.
All activities, service projects are subject to change depending on a variety
of factors including trail conditions, permits, weather, and availability of
park staff and speakers. Parents are responsible for supervising their children
at all times.
We will gather at Camp We Ch Me Lodge, which is located at 6,200 ft. elevation
at Galena Creek Regional Park in Nevada about 15 miles from the Reno International
Due to insurance regulations, all transportation to the lodge, trailheads, and the work site is the responsibility of each trip member. Leaders are unable to arrange carpools for participants. Those arriving by air or being dropped off at the lodge should plan to rent a car or make their own arrangements to carpool with other trip participants. If you wish to carpool, the leader will provide a participant roster before the trip.
Accommodations and Food
We will enjoy exclusive use of Camp We Ch Me Lodge. This is a facility operated
by Washoe County, Nevada, under a permit by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
It features 12 bunk rooms that are sparsely furnished. There are restrooms on
each floor that we will share. We will also have use of a large kitchen, a grand
room with a gas fireplace, an outdoor amphitheater, and a large grassy area
adjacent to the lodge.
All meals but one will be provided by the trip leaders. One evening will be spent in the Carson City where we will enjoy dinner out. The cost of this meal is not included in the trip price.
In keeping with the cooperative spirit of our Sierra Club national outings,
all participants pitch in by doing a simple chore. Chores include preparing
and service meals, setting tables, sweeping/mopping floors, bussing tables,
dishwashing, and taking out trash/recycling.
Prior to breakfast, participants will prepare their own bag lunches from plentiful and varied ingredients. A hearty breakfast and dinner will be provided by trip staff and served in the lodge's dining room. A vegetarian meal option is always available. Participants with other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated, provided that the trip leader is informed in advance.
Coffee, tea, and water are served with breakfast and dinner. Participants are invited to bring additional beverages of their choice.
Reservations for extended stays at Camp We Ch Me before or after this outing are not available.
Our hikes will be two to four miles round-trip, up and down over uneven ground with possible options for longer hikes. It's important that participants get in and stay in good physical condition. Remember, we'll be hiking and playing above 7,000 feet where the air is thinner, and that thin air will make our lungs work harder. Start some kind of aerobic conditioning program now -- you'll be happy you did.
Equipment and Clothing
Imagine you're going camping; you'll need just about the same gear at the
lodge except for commissary items. That includes sleeping bags, pillows, day
packs, water bottles, hiking boots or sturdy shoes for hiking, and waterproof
sandals or Crocs for the beach. The leader will send you a departure bulletin
with reminders about equipment and pre-outing preparation before the trip begins.
You should expect evening temperatures in the low-40s and days in the mid-80s,
as well as an occasional afternoon thundershower. The children may want to bring
along a favorite game, hobby supplies, a frisbee, a whiffle ball, and books
to read, but please, no electronic devices.
- Humboldt-Toiyabe and Tahoe National Forests
- Sorer, Tracy I., Sierra Nevada Natural History.
- Blackwell, Laird R., Wildflowers of the Tahoe Sierra.
- Powell, Margie, Donner Summit, A Brief History.
Photo: Hurston Roberts
Your leaders are volunteers. We have a long-term dedication to the Sierra Club, conservation, and enjoyment of the outdoors. Our wish is that the children on this outing will become strong believers in the need to protect our wild areas. Who knows -- maybe someday they'll become Sierra Club activists. We'll be practicing Leave No Trace wilderness principles throughout the trip in order to minimize our impact on the environment. Each day, the children will be introduced to a special conservation topic.
The Reno-Tahoe area is a readily accessible recreation mecca, appealing to retirees as well as to winter and summer recreational users. As more and more people come to the area, they contribute to a growing environmental problem. We'll discuss the ecological implications of the area's popularity.
While on the trip, please don't hesitate to ask your leaders about any conservation concerns that you may have. We look forward to having you share conservation challenges and successes from your home.
Since any traveling leaves a carbon footprint, check out the information that the Sierra Club offers about carbon offsets at: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Claudia Hilligoss has been a Sierra Club volunteer participating and leading a variety of trips in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and in the Midwest since joining the club in 1992. Some of her favorite activities are hiking, cross-country skiing, gardening, photography and art. She enjoys staying abreast of environmental issues and participating in events in support of the environmental community. In the past she served as a local group chair in Northern Kentucky, Fundraising Committee of the Cumberland Chapter, Clair Tappaan Lodge Committee. Currently she serves on the National Outings Committee. Her love of nature was sparked as a child exploring the prairie, streams, and lakes of the Midwest. After living and working in the Sierra Nevada mountains for many years, she recently returned to her native state of Indiana to be near family.
Hurston Roberts has been leading Sierra Club outings for over 8 years. He has completed Sierra Club Base Camp Leader training and has lead or assisted in leading six lodge outings in the Sierras. Hurston loves the outdoors, the Sierra, and gets great enjoyment out of sharing mountain splendor, the wilderness and outdoor experiences with the people who come on these trips. When not leading trips in the Sierras, Hurston leads trips to Hawaii and international trips to England, Scotland, New Zealand, Vietnam and Nepal. After living in Hawaii for 24 years and Northern Virginia for 7 years, Hurston recently relocated to Reno, Nevada to be closer to the Sierra.
Aurora Roberts is an avid hiker who enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors. As she became conscientious of the destruction of forests and pollution of the environment, she saw the need to preserve them, which naturally led her to join the Sierra Club. Aurora became an Outings leader after participating in National and International Outings. She leads international trips to many destinations including Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, England, Ireland, and Scotland as well as National Outings in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She spends a lot of her time reading, preparing gourmet meals, and writing. Her attention to detail, patience, and flexibility will ensure that you have a wonderful experience.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips