Trip Listings | Trip Ratings | Trip Policies | Leaders

 Backpacking under the Minarets at Lake Ediza, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California

Enjoy the wilderness with experienced leaders and make new friends. Everyone is welcome on our trips — you don't have to be a Sierra Club member.

Finding the right trip for you is easy:

  1. Check Trip Ratings to identify the rating best suited to your fitness and skills
  2. Search the Trip Listing page for scheduled trips
  3. Contact the leader named in the trip listing for more information and availability

Our Mission

To lead enjoyable overnight trips into the backcountry where participants can enjoy the solitude and beauty of nature and sharing the experience with others attracted to the camaraderie of a group wilderness experience. 

About the Backpacking Section

The Backpack Section is one of many of the diverse Activities Sections within the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. The section consists of a group of enthusiastic leaders well experienced in backcountry travel and who have been trained and are certified for basic first-aid. All leaders are volunteers that spend many spend hours planning and preparing their trips to provide an environment for trip participants.

Sierra Club trip to Yosemite. Photo by Thomas Meissner.

Trip Ratings

Miles/day Climb/day Travel
1 =  up to 6 A =  Up to 1,000 T = Trail
2 =  6-10 B = 1,000-2,000 1 = Limited/easy X-C
3 = 10-15 C = 2,000-3,000 2 = Moderate X-C
  D = Over 3,000 3 = Strenuous/difficult X-C
Thus a trip rated as 1B3 means that the most strenuous day will be up to six miles of hiking, 1,000 to 2,000 ft. of climb, and over strenuous/difficult cross country terrain.

Trip Policies

Trip Approval

Leader contact and approval is required before each trip to ensure that essential arrangements have been made and that trip members have qualifying experience and necessary equipment. No reservation is confirmed unless payment is made to the leader immediately upon approval, Unless specified otherwise by the leader, there are no refunds given for cancellation within seven (7) days prior to trip departure.

Trip Charges

There is a nominal fee for each trip to cover permits, campsites and other expenses incurred for the trip. The fee varies according to the length and type of trip. The fee can be reduced for anyone with a limited income, at the discretion of the leader.


Each leader sets and communicates the a cancellation policy for their trips


During the duration of a backpack pack trip, all participants are expected to:

  • Perform camp chores as deemed necessary by the trip leader.
  • Follow the leaders instructions
  • Request the leaders permission to leave camp for hikes or explorations

Types of Trips

Central Commissary: The leader provides breakfast and dinner as well as cooking equipment. Participants bring their own no cook lunches and eating utensils.

Hot Water: The leader provides stoves, fuel and pots of boiling water. Participants bring their own breakfast and dinner which require only hot water, and their own no cook lunches.

Individual Commissary: The leader organizes the trip, gets wilderness permits where required. Participants bring their own stoves, food, fuel, pots cooking utensils and meals for the entire trip.

Getting to the Trailhead

While ride pools are encouraged, the leaders can not arrange the rides. A roster is supplied for each trip and it is up to trip members to call each other for rides.  Passengers should share ride expenses @ 22¢/mile or more depending on the vehicle. All Sierra Club trips begin and end at the trailhead.

Waiver Requirement

All trip participants will be required to sign the Sierra Club's Release of Liability Waiver. Leaders will not allow participation in any trip by someone who has not signed the waiver.

Sierra Club trip to Yosemite. Photo by Thomas Meissner.