About the Program

Boys Outdoor Leadership Development
Girls Outdoor Leadership Development

Every child deserves an outdoor experience and no child is turned away for financial reasons!
Find out if you qualify for financial assistance here

Are you ready to explore, make new friends and be inspired by the beauty of nature? Leave what you know behind and be a part of something extraordinary in the wilderness. On a YMCA BOLD and GOLD backpacking adventure, you will:

  • Do the impossible! You’ll understand the value of challenge and the meaning of hard work while experiencing amazing sunsets, beautiful mountaintops and starry skies.
  • Experience the challenge and the wonder of being up close and personal with California’s amazing wild places. During your expedition you’ll live outdoors, sleep outside every night, help cook your own meals and carry all you need.
  • Develop trust in one another and believe in yourself. You’ll laugh deeply, make lifelong friends and discover your true potential.
  • Connect with students from all different backgrounds. We embrace diversity and the uniqueness of every participant, including ethnicity, race, socio-economic level, culture and gender expression. You’ll be inspired to be yourself and learn how to be a bridge-builder in today’s multicultural world.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, IS MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF OUR MEMBERS AND DONORS.
Click here to pledge your support to this life-changing program!

 

BOLD, GOLD, or All Gender?

Gender equality is an important component of the BOLD & GOLD program. Single gender boys (BOLD) or girls (GOLD) trips allow participants to be themselves while stepping out of their comfort zone.  You’ll have fun exploring the wonder of the wilderness while making new friends, and developing leadership skills that empower you on trail and at home. On All Gender expeditions, instructors help you work together with your team in a way that empowers and allows equal space for everyone.

 

All You Need: A Desire to Go

Our trips are designed for beginners who are ready to embrace getting dirty and the adventure of living in the woods. No experience backpacking is necessary.

Gear: We provide all group gear and will send you a packing list prior to the trip. Missing something on the list? Let us know. We can probably loan it to you at no additional cost.

Staff: Our leaders are skilled at building strong groups, have extensive experience working with youth as well as adults, and are passionate about inspiring people of all ages to discover the best in themselves. All BOLD & GOLD instructors are experienced outdoor professionals, possess certifications in Wilderness Medicine, and have undergone background checks and abuse prevention training.

Getting There: Once at camp, we transport BOLD & GOLD students to the trip destination on a 20-passenger bus driven by a staff member with a commercial driver's license and extensive training. Starting locations and transportation options to and from Camp Jones Gulch vary by trip. For most trips, campers can register for chartered bus transportation from various YMCAs throughout the Bay Area. See each trip's description for more details.

2019 BOLD & GOLD Trips

Registration for Summer 2019 will be open January 1st.

 

Trip Name Dates Age Range
Intro to Backpacking              June 16 - 20                   

Entering Grades 7-9

Desolation Wilderness  June 23 - July 2

Entering Grades 9-12 (Max Age 17)*

Yosemite Backpacking

July 7 - 16

Entering Grades 8-12 (Max Age 17)*

Point Reyes July 21 - 26

Entering Grades 7-12

Yosemite Backpacking
 for Young Adults
   

July 28 - August 2

Ages 18-24

Big Basin Skyline to Sea  August 4 - 9 

Entering Grades 7-11

*18 or Over and interested in BOLD & GOLD? Check out our backpacking trips for young adults and families!

 

Intro to Backpacking (All Gender)

Come experience the beauty of Camp’s back yard on this 5-day co-ed trip throughout Camp Jones Gulch and the surrounding area. Campers will backpack from Camp to the Sierra Club’s Hiker’s Hut and trail camps in Pescadero Creek County Park. Participants will learn backcountry cooking, navigation, and leadership while exploring redwood forests, beautiful vistas, and refreshing creeks.

Getting There: Pick-up and Drop-off are at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch. If you prefer, you may register for chartered bus transportation in one or both directions from various Bay Area Ys.

Dates: June 16 - 20
Grades: Entering 7th - 9th
Fee: 5 Days, 4 Nights: $730

 

 

 

Desolation Wilderness of Lake Tahoe

We’ll begin our trip on the stunning shores of Lake Tahoe before hiking up into the majestic mountains of the Desolation Wilderness. Participants can look forward to cooling off mid-day at one of the many lakes, camping in beautiful sites, and experiencing the adventure and tranquility of true wilderness. This trip includes visits to Emerald Bay, Eagle Falls, and Upper Velma Lake.

Getting There: Check-in is at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch. If you prefer, you may register for chartered bus transportation to get to camp from various Bay Area Ys. At the end of the trip, we will do drop-offs at the EM Downer Y in Richmond and the Stonestown Y in San Francisco. 

Dates: June 23 - July 2
Grades: Entering 9th-12th
Fee: 10 Days, 9 Nights: $1330

 

 

Yosemite Backpacking

Explore the majestic backcountry of Yosemite and take in the incredible ecosystems tucked away from the crowds!  Each day, we’ll hike 5-8 miles in one of the country’s oldest and most breathtaking national parks. Each night, we’ll set up camp in barely touched, truly natural areas. Campers will learn high sierra backpacking skills while connecting with the natural world around them. We’ll close out the trip with some sightseeing in Yosemite Valley, including Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan!

Getting There: Check-in is at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch. If you prefer, you may register for chartered bus transportation to get to camp from various Bay Area Ys. At the end of the trip, we will do drop-offs at the EM Downer Y in Richmond and the Stonestown Y in San Francisco. 

Dates: July 7 - 16
Grades: Entering 8th-12th
Fee: 10 Days, 9 Nights: $1330

 

 

 

Point Reyes Backpacking

This is the perfect trip for campers new to backpacking, who want to give it a shot in one of the most beautiful parks in the Bay Area. After spending an overnight at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch, we’ll travel to beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore to spend four nights in the wilderness, hiking approximately 5-6 miles per day. Each night, we will set up camp at a backcountry campsite either in the forest or along the coast and develop outdoor leadership skills.

Getting There: For the spring trip, check-in is at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch and check-out is at the Stonestown Y. For the summer trip, check-in is at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch and check-out is at the Point Bonita YMCA. There is no chartered bus transportation available that week.

Dates: July 21 - 26
Grades: Entering 7th - 12th (Age 17 Max)
Full Price: 6 Days, 5 Nights; $880

 

 

 

All Gender Yosemite Backpacking for Young Adults

This all new program offers young adults the opportunity to try backpacking with a group of their peers. We’ll meet at Camp Jones Gulch on Sunday evening and depart for Yosemite on Monday. Spend four days and three nights backpacking away from the crowds in the beautiful backcountry of Yosemite National Park.

No backpacking experience required, but you must be physically able to carry a 40-50lb backpack for 5 miles per day over challenging terrain.

Dates: July 28 - August 2, 2018
Fee: $880
Ages: 18-24

 

 

 

Big Basin, Skyline-To-Sea Backpacking

This adventure is a chance for teens to have an unforgettable experience, challenge themselves, and develop as leaders from caring, supportive staff! Campers will spend one night at Camp Jones Gulch before embarking on a 5-day backpacking trip starting at our camp and traveling through beautiful old growth redwoods. Our journey will culminate with the feeling of Pacific waves splashing over our toes and the satisfaction of having arrived using nothing but our own two feet.

Getting There: Pick-up and Drop-off are at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch. If you prefer, you may register for chartered bus transportation in one or both directions from various Bay Area Ys.

Dates: August 4 - 9
Grades: Entering 7th - 11th
Fee: 6 Days, 5 Nights: $880

 

Financial Assistance

Please use the form below to determine what level of financial assistance you are eligible for.