What we're about

We organize 3 to 5-day long weekend trips to the US National Parks countrywide, in a comfortable mode with economy hotels' accommodations and getting around in a locally rented van with no more than 6 people in a group.

Also U.S. National Parks Quest (NPQ) organizes some repeating events at certain locations. Such is an easy hike/walk at Alviso Marina county park every second Saturday (with some exceptions) starting at 8am. And a moderate hike at Huddart County Park every second Sunday (with some exceptions) starting at 9:30am.

There two ongoing hiking plus networking events are usually cross-posted with tech pros' Meetup groups: Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association (SIPA), California Software Professional Association (CSPA), Global Online Tech & Startup Networking & Training Meetup and others. We want to network and build a community of good people!
So, these two ongoing events will be complemented by after-hike networking time at the picnic tables or group gathering areas. Participants are asked to voluntary chip in for beverages /snacks.

Other NPQ's California favorites are: Almaden Quicksilver County Park, Alum Rock Park, Santa Teresa County Park, Joseph Grant County Park, Hellyer County Park. We will organize moderate-level hikes in these parks on some Sundays as a replacement for Huddart County Park (if we want a change 🙂)

NPQ also organizes:

  • Backpacking trips to beautiful locations in California. Our picks are Desolation Wilderness, and Emigrant Wilderness.
  • Tent-camping plus hiking events in California's state parks, county parks and beaches. Lana and/or Mike will plan and organize these California events in weekend or weekdays.
  • Yosemite National Park four-seasons tent-camping and hiking events: April – for water galore, September – for foliage, December – for solitary, February – for The Firefall. Our awesome leader for all Yosemite events, Skip, is a true appreciator of the park and its life-long supporter through Yosemite Conservancy, the park's philanthropic partner. In 2021 the next Yosemite campout is tentatively planned for the second week of December.

If you go with NPQ on a multi-day weekend trip to a National Park then your leader might be Lana and you will be asked to electronically sign an acknowledgement of risk document (in addition to Release of Liability that is applicable to ALL our trips, hikes, walks, any kind of events: https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/pages/32038355/Release_of_Liability/) and an agreement. By signing the acknowledgement of risk document, you release from liability related to the trip your group leader and your group members. Every group member signs the same acknowledgement of risk document. From NPQ's side these documents are signed by WorldsApart Company and all shared costs for the event are payable to it.

If you go with NPQ on camping plus hiking event in a California state or county park/beach then your leader might be Mike and you consent to Release of Liability (that is also applicable to ALL our trips, hikes, walks, any kind of events: https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/pages/32038355/Release_of_Liability/) The shared costs are payable in advance by a method specified in the event's description.

If you go with NPQ on a campout in Yosemite National Park then your leader might be Skip and you consent to Release of Liability (that is also applicable to ALL our trips, hikes, walks, any kind of events: https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/pages/32038355/Release_of_Liability/) The shared costs are payable in advance by a method specified in the event's description, or directly by cash at the event's location.

These National Parks (and respective photo-albums - click on each pic to enlarge) are:

In 2022 we extended this list of visited National Parks by exploring:

And we plan to add to the list: Hawaii Volcanoes, Haleakalā in Hawaii with, possibly, the National Park of American Samoa, and Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks in Minnesota.

Then we want to go and explore again in depth the amazing parks of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, Alaska, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Texas and Mid-Atlantic.

In space-limited events (like small group multi-day trips) the preference is given to members who previously attended other NPQ's events and met their fellow group members in-person. Our sister group National Parks Quest Buddies (NPQ Buddies) is created for the "old members".

We follow COVID safety protocols, keep social distance, wear masks while in transport or camp, at least around the dining table and campfire (near others). While hiking, we wear masks when passing others, either direction or near others.

Please sign up to WAIT-LIST when the event if full - chances are you eventually get to the main list: some people in the main list happen to change their mind as the dates coming up. Or they do not respond the organizers' messages about the event. In this case they got moved out and people from the waitlist go to the main list. Also, as soon the pandemic situation permits, we can extend groups to 10 people with two group organizers supporting an event. So it's worth signing up to get into the waitlist too ))

Happy trails! 🏔 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️

Upcoming events (4+)

Lunch-break hike at Rancho San Antonio County park, 4.5mi/2 h moderate hike

This mid-day hike in a park located nearby many Silicon Valley's offices can be a use of lunch time or an activity to switch to for those who work from home and, of course, meeting your group members in person.

This hike will be organized regularly. People with limited time do not need to finish the whole trail, but can hike with the group up to the vista point (about 1.2 mi) and return on their own - the trail is well designated.

The loop trail is steep enough to provide a good workout and has scenic view from the top to reward our efforts.
Full length: 4.5mi
Elevation gain: 616 ft,
Equal portions of shade and sun.

Here is weather forecast to check on: https://bit.ly/37aFFSm

Please, bring:
* sturdy shoes for an unpaved trail,
* layered cloths (for season),
* hat,
* water,
* sunglasses,
* sunscreen.

The Park's brochure: https://www.openspace.org/preserves/rancho-san-antonio#know-before-you-go

Dogs are not allowed. Parking fee is not collected currently.

We can complement this hike with networking time AFTER the hike, 2:00pm-2:30pm-ish, so that group members could connect more directly. This can be happening at either a nearby coffee shop:
Peet's Coffee , 6min drive
Starbucks , 7 min drive
or a restaurant:
The City Fish , 9 min drive.
Depending on the group's mood, we can go on networking or not (it's up to everyone to decide to go on or not, no obligations/expectations.)

ATTN. There has been an issue with finding the right place where the group meets! Please read carefully:

1. We meet at the bathroom on the PARKING LOT closest to Low Meadow Trailhead, that has a sign "LOT 5", the end of Rancho San Antonio Service Rd. Do not go to what people consider a "trailhead" for Low/High Meadow trail (that is an intersection of trails at the Barn, after passing the Farm's homestead) - instead just meet the group on the parking lot 5, at the bathroom.

2. There is more than one parking lot with a bathroom. We meet at the bathroom on the parking lot closest to High Meadow Trailhead. You can check on the red arrows on this map:
https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/photos/31208600/503975829/#[masked]

3. If parking lots 5, 6 are busy, it's ok to park on any of the other Park's parking lots and walk to the bathroom closest to High Meadow Trailhead (marked with red arrows on the map above.) Just allow some time for walking. Or post a comment on the event's page letting know when you arrive. It's ok connectivity around the Park's parking lots (but not along the trail.)

4. Normally one can find a spot in LOT 5 or 6 without an issue on weekdays. Though on weekend mornings it's likely to be hard to get a sport without standing in a wait-line, up for 15-30 min - so in summer time the event will be suggested on weekdays.

This event is cross-posted with tech pro's Meetup groups: Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association (SIPA), Bay Area Business & Tech Professionals Networking Meetup and others.

Meet each other at Rancho San Antonio!

Shut Up & Train: exercising together in YMCA gym, EVENINGs

Needs a location

This ongoing series of events is about gathering in a gym and taking a class/working out together to share mutual motivation and support, and just for a company.

The host is not affiliated with YMCA in any way but being just a regular member of this gym network. You need an active YMCA membership to attend this event.

The membership at YMCA gives access to all gyms in the network, in all locations. The host of this event picked the specific gym, South Valley YMCA, because of 1) type of classes available at certain time, and more than one class is available at a time (so people can choose) 2) most classes are given outdoor, 3) swimming pool is outdoor.

If a participant thinks that other YMCA location (within the Bay Area) is more interesting to attend, then the event can take place there, providing the majority of attendees agrees. Schedules for all Silicon Valley locations can be found here:
https://www.ymcasv.org/group-exercise-0

Currently, in South Valley YMCA, 6-8pm Mondays and Wednesdays the available classes are:

  • 6:00-7:00pm BodyPump, Outdoor,
  • 6:00-7:30pm Karate class, Indoor
  • 7:05-8:00pm BodyCombat, Outdoor.

Both BodyPump and BodyCombat are high-intensity classes, but ok for any ages and level of fitness, attended by males & females. Karate class is ok for all ages, male & female, all levels (primarily, beginners are taught at the first half of the class, the advanced – at the other half.)

  • BodyPump: “fast paced workout that uses step platform and barbell to help tone and sculpt the body.”
  • BodyCombat: “martial arts insipid workout with punch, kick and strike non-contact movements to help boost metabolism and energy.”
  • Karate: “gain insight and learn techniques of this traditional Japanese martial art, including discipline, self-confidence, memory, strength and more.”

More descriptions of these and other classes are in the album: https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/photos/31492037/506269188/
(hit image to enlarge, savable.)

The Outdoor swimming pool is open until 8pm.

We meet by 5:50pm in the lobby and at 5:55pm we proceed to the exercise room(s)

Please bring:

  • Water (purified water is available to refill)
  • For BodyPump and BodyCombat: light snickers, yoga-mat for the relaxation part, or take available one. For Karate: Any loose clothes is ok to begin with, but if you want to continue, the teacher recommends getting a uniform (can be found in Amazon.) Barefoot only.
  • Towel/cloth (YMCA do not provide towels any longer.)

If you do not have a YMCA membership but consider getting one – you can use a fee 7-day pass for new members that gives access to all YMCA locations alike the membership. Ask an associate at the counter for the pass (at any location) or call and request it to be sent to you by email.

Questions – in the comments only, please. But again, the host of this event is NOT affiliated with YMCA in any way but being just a regular member of this gym network. Specific questions about YMCA can be answered by its associates only.

See each other on a workout! 🤸‍♀️ 💪 🤾‍♀️

Shut Up & Train: exercising together in YMCA gym, MORNINGs

Needs a location

This ongoing series of events is about gathering in a gym and taking a class/working out together to share mutual motivation and support, and just for a company.

The host is not affiliated with YMCA in any way but being just a regular member of this gym network. You need an active YMCA membership to attend this event.

The membership at YMCA gives access to all gyms in the network, in all locations. The host of this event picked the specific gym, South Valley YMCA, because of 1) type of classes available at certain time, and more than one class is available at a time (so people can choose) 2) most classes are given outdoor, 3) swimming pool is outdoor.

If a participant thinks that other YMCA location (within the Bay Area) is more interesting to attend, then the event can take place there, providing the majority of attendees agrees. Schedules for all Silicon Valley locations can be found here:
https://www.ymcasv.org/group-exercise-0

Currently, in South Valley YMCA, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11am the available classes are:

  • 9:15-10:15am BodyCombat, Outdoor,
  • 10:00-10:45am Dance Fitness, Indoor,
  • 10:15-11:00am POUND, Outdoor.

BodyCombat is a high-intensity class, but ok for any ages and level of fitness. In POUND class you will use drumsticks (provided), class is for all fitness levels. Both are attended by males and females.

  • BodyCombat: “martial arts insipid workout with punch, kick and strike non-contact movements to help boost metabolism and energy.”
  • Dance Fitness: “dance-inspired choreography that encourages to move freely while burning calories and increasing muscle endurance, flexibility, and coordination.”
  • POUND: “cardio jam session inspired by drumming, a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and Pilates-inspired movements.”

More descriptions of these and other classes are in the album: https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/photos/31492037/506269188/
(hit image to enlarge, savable.)

The Outdoor swimming pool is open from 6am.

We meet by 9:05am in the lobby and at 9:10am we proceed to the exercise room.

Please bring:

  • Water (purified water is available to refill)
  • For all, BodyCombat, Dance Fitness and POUND: light snickers, yoga-mat for the relaxation part, or take available one,
  • Towel/cloth (YMCA do not provide towels any longer.)

If you do not have a YMCA membership but consider getting one – you can use a fee 7-day pass for new members that gives access to all YMCA locations alike the membership. Ask an associate at the counter for the pass (at any location) or call and request it to be sent to you by email.

Questions – in the comments only, please. But again, the host of this event is NOT affiliated with YMCA in any way but being just a regular member of this gym network. Specific questions about YMCA can be answered by its associates only.

See each other on a workout! 🤸‍♀️ 💪 🤾‍♀️

Alviso Marina County Park, ~4.5mi, 1.5-hour, easy hike

Needs a location

We invite all National Parks explorers that live in the Bay Area to join our early morning hikes that will be organized regularly. These easy hikes can be a way to train yourself for longer hiking trips to National Parks, and to meet your group members in person.

We will take Alviso Slough Trail and make sure we are done by 9:30-9:45 am as the latest. This is a flat, fast-paced hike and it can serve as a warm-up for your other activities later on this day. But if everybody in the group wants to do a longer hike, there are choices of trails at Alviso to extend our activities )) This Alviso hike will be hosted by either Lana, or Mike.

Please, bring:
* layered cloths/windbreaker,
* shoes appropriate for a rough trail,
* water,
* hat,
* sunglasses
* sunscreen.

The weather forecast in the area:
http://bit.ly/3qhmXih

Please be aware that in the case of precipitation in the area the day before the hike - the trail can get muddy here and there. So, put on appropriate shoes, do not wear nice textile shoes..

No parking fee is charged currently at Alviso.

The Park is 100% open space and a good setting for cognitive respite by relaxing and restoring the mind ))

We plan to complement these hikes with networking time AFTER a hike, 9:30am-10:30am so that group members could connect more directly.
This can be happening either at the picnic tables in the park, or at a eating place nearby. Here are some options:
El Taco de Oro , opens 9am
Vahl's Restaurant , opens 11am
Rosita's De Basilio Deli & Market , opens 11am.

We found out that El Taco de Oro is a suitable place for after hike networking 👍‍ ($3.25/taco, friendly staff and plenty of space.) Here is a photo of the menu: https://www.meetup.com/u-s-national-parks-quest-group/photos/32530046/#[masked] (click to enlarge.)

Depending on the group's mood, we can go on networking or not (it's up to everyone to decide to go on or not, no obligations/expectations.)

This event is cross-posted with tech pro's Meetup groups: Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association (SIPA), California Software Professional Association (CSPA), Global Online Tech & Startup Networking & Training Meetup and others.

Let's see each other at Alviso!

Photos (7,890)