The Coachella Valley Hiking Club was founded in 1992 by Philip Ferranti. Our goal is to offer a wide range of guided day hikes to a variety of beautiful locations in the low desert and in the surrounding mountains. We have a membership of several hundred hikers that includes both year-round residents and seasonal snowbirds. Our hike leaders are friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced.
We offer hikes year round for hikers of all abilities, from 2-3 hour easy interpretive rambles to 6-8 hour fast-paced strenuous workouts. During the cooler months of October to May, we trek at all elevations from below sea level to almost 12,000 feet on our nearby peaks. During the hot months of June to September, hikes are fewer in number and focus on cooler, higher altitude venues.
|Great Outdoors was started in 1977 by Greg and Paul. Among many discussions, they wondered if it would be possible to offer an alternative place where Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender people could meet and socialize outside of the bars. Paul, a catholic priest, suggested that it would be interesting to introduce the gay world to the phenomena of camping, hiking, getting dirty. Paul took Greg for a drive up the Big Sur coast. Greg fell in love with Big Sur and Great Outdoors was born.
First they came up with a marketing slogan: “OUT OF THE BARS AND UNDER THE STARS.” Then they added basic values: Great Outdoors would offer outdoor activities with a range of ability requirements, from day trips to weekend camping. They would make them affordable so that everyone could participate. They kept annual dues low and made trips reasonably priced. To encourage non-member participation in trips while encouraging them to join, they added low additional fees. They tried to offer opportunities for including people restricted by age or disability.
In 1981, organizational By-Laws were adopted allowing a new group of people to assume the leadership of Great Outdoors. Greg and Paul could step back. There have been chapters as far away as San Francisco and Phoenix. Today five chapters continue the work started over thirty years ago by two men trying to make a difference in their community. Greg and Paul still have great affection for Great Outdoors and are happy that it continues to promote the fundamental values which they instilled into it. Here’s too many more years of outdoor fun.
California Great Outdoors, Inc., is a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation organized under California’s Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law. We incorporated in 1981 and we are a not-for-profit IRS 501(c)7 tax exempt organization. Generally, our membership dues are not tax deductible on personal returns. Members who run a business should check with their tax adviser to determine if our dues can be classified as a business expense. We are an all volunteer club and we have five Chapters serving regions throughout Southern California. Club membership entitles privileges to all events, activities and discounts sponsored by any of the Great Outdoors Chapters.