Great Times, Great Friends, Great Outdoors

Anza-Borrego Dark Sky Campout

  • Thu, March 15, 2018
  • Sun, March 18, 2018
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP)
  • 14


  • Each RV passenger must sign up using category D below. Tow vehicles attached to the RV at the time of entrance will not be charged an extra vehicle fee.
  • Each RV passenger must sign up using category D below. Tow vehicles attached to the RV at the time of entrance will not be charged an extra vehicle fee.
  • Use this category if you are lodging in an RV. If you arrive in a car (vs. an RV), you will be required to pay the $10 per day extra vehicle fee at the Park entrance and the club will not reimburse you.
  • If don't plan on camping overnight with us, select this category for registration for the first day. $5 for any additional days will be collected at the event. A vehicle fee of $10 per day will be collected at the Park entry gate (not reimbursed by the club).
  • GOPS Trip Leaders get free registration at campout when they lead a trip.

Registration is closed

When the sun goes down, the desert wakes up - Enjoy the sound of coyotes and nighthawks in the solitude of the dark desert. And view the night sky as you may have never seen it before. During the day, enjoy hiking and exploring the desert or just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

Robert Victor, a noted astronomer and member of our chapter, will be talking to us about the sky on several occasions. During the evening sessions, Mercury and Venus will appear only 4 degrees apart in the low western twilight glow just before they drop below the mountains. Shortly before 8:20 p.m. the sunlight reflected off dust in the inner solar system should be plainly visible as a near vertical cone of light. A special treat will be a predawn presentation. The brightest part of the Milky Way will be visible and we will use our telescopes (some provided by Mr. Victor) and your binoculars for close-up views of Jupiter's cloud belts and bright moons, Saturn's rings and markings on Mars.

The Borrego Palm Canyon Campground is located within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and is located near Borrego Springs, CA at 700 feet elevation. We have 10 sites reserved. RVs and tents will share sites. Five of these will accommodate RVs up to 35 feet (no hookups) and/or tents. Two sites have a maximum length of 25 feet for tents and/or a small trailer, and three sites are for tents only. Carpooling encouraged. Our registration fee includes parking. If charged at the gate, the Trip Leader will reimburse you. Hike descriptions will be posted and updated at the campsite. An optional Thursday night dinner is available at a local restaurant.

Thursday - March 15

  • 2 pm Check in, set up camp
  • 4 pm - "Tea" meet and greet (BYOB and appetizer to share) 
  • 5:30 pm - Dinner on your own or optional dinner in town at a local restaurant
  • 7:00 pm - Group campfire

Friday - March 16

  • 9:30 am - Hike (check white board details) or visit old town site
  • 1:30 pm - Hike or visit historical sites
  • 7:00 pm - Group campfire activities and Dark Sky

Saturday March 17

  • 4:30 am - Predawn Dark Sky program
  • 1:30 pm - Hike or visit historical sites
  • 5:30 pm - Potluck - Make it something good.  Dish for 4 to 6 persons*
  • 7:00 pm - Group campfire activities and Dark Sky program

Sunday - March 18

  • 9:30 am - Hike Palm Canyon Nature Trail (3 mi.)
  • Noon - Check-out
Contact: Trip Leaders: Byron Postma & Ritch Barron: Email Contact

Amenities:  Facilities include fire rings, picnic tables, flush toilets and showers (bring towel/quarters). Cell phone coverage is spotty or nonexistent. Have a way to communicate if there is an emergency. There may be limited WiFi service - click here.

Night Lighting: Borrego Springs is the only certified Dark Sky Community in California. Be a good neighbor and keep you camp lights off or at a minimum. Leave the Disco balls at home this trip.

Amenities For RVs:  This is a dry camping event. There are no hookups at each camp site. Fresh water is available at the dump site to fill your RV tank before arriving at your site. There is a dump site located near the park entrance.  QUIET HOURS are from 10 pm to 6 am and generators may only be operated between 10 am and 8 pm.

What to Bring: Camping/cooking gear, food, warm/cool weather clothing, potluck item for Saturday night, one (1) bundle of firewood - no particle board, old furniture, plywood or construction materials. These cause the release of toxic gases when burned. Firewood is for sale at the campground. 

We recommend you read our suggested 10 essential items to bring - click here.  

Directions: Borrego Springs, CA 92004. Google Map directions to park entrance - click here.  Coordinates to our sites: Latitude: 33.268915, Longitude: -116.418256 (click here). From Palms Springs: I-10 East to 86S to Salton Seaway to Borrego Springs - go through town and follow signs to the park entrance.

Climate: Average temperatures for this time of year are 80 high and 55 low (rain is possible but not likely). 

Refunds Cancellation for a refund minus service fee of $5.00 must be received by March 8, 2018.

Payments:  Although a PayPal screen will appear requesting payment via PayPal, you can scroll down on that screen and pay with a credit card without needing a PayPal account.

Photos:  To see some photos from prior trips to ABDSP - click here.

Children: There may be children present.

Pets: Pets must not be left unattended. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and under immediate control of a person during the day. Dogs or cats must be in a tent or vehicle during nighttime hours. Dogs are not allowed cross-country or on hiking trails.  Please pick up after your pet and dispose of waster properly. Please be aware there are snakes and scorpions at this location.   

Health Problems/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency.  Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.

Note 1:  You must be a paid member of one of the Great Outdoor (GO) Chapters in order to register for this event. If not currently a member, you will have an opportunity to sign up for a $25 annual membership.  You can also join by clicking here.  Other GO Chapter members who are not registered on the GOPS website should contact our Webmaster (click here) who will verify your membership and then add you to our website so you can register for this event without paying for another membership.

Note 2:  You will be sent further instructions (via email) as to which campsite you are assigned to, payment of extra vehicle fees, any event schedule changes, etc.

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Great Outdoors is a not for profit, all-volunteer LGBT organization (IRS 501(c)7 non-profit) dedicated to the enjoyment of outdoor recreation 
Our mailing address is:  Great Outdoors PS, P.O. Box 361, Palm Springs, CA 92263-0361 
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eave us a voicemail - (760) 282-GOPS or email 
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