My husband and I have always spent Thanksgiving in the desert. It is my favorite time of year to visit places like Death Valley. Cold temperatures and lack of crowds makes it so enjoyable!

Back in 2005, a friend of ours knew we were heading to Death Valley and mentioned that some other friends of his would be out there too. He thought we’d get along since we liked to do the same things and suggested we meet up. This is how we found ourselves driving down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere on the day after Thanksgiving, looking for people we didn’t know so that we could crash their camp. It was weird.

2005 on top of Thimble Peak
2005 on top of Thimble Peak

We found the group, and that night ended up being the start of some great friendships and one of my favorite annual traditions. We climbed Thimble Peak the next day and already made plans for the next year.

As I was preparing for this year’s trip, I went back and looked at all of our past Thanksgivings with this group. Every year the crowd is a bit different, Thanksgiving orphans come and go, and it has never not been a great time.

This will be our 10th year together out there, so I wanted to write this note of thanks to everyone who has joined us and helped us build up some great memories and friendships. I LOVE YOU GUYS!


A history of our desert Friendsgiving

Corridor Canyon, 2006
Corridor Canyon, 2006

2005: Death Valley

2006: Death Valley (Lost Burro Gap area)

2007: Death Valley (east side)

2008: Death Valley (Southeast side)

Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner in an old miner's cabin
Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner in an old miner’s cabin

2009: Mojave

2010: Panamint Valley

2011: Death Valley (Southeast side)

Doing what we love the most: climbing mountains (Eagle Peak, 2012)
Doing what we love the most: climbing mountains (Eagle Peak, 2012)

2012: Death Valley (east side)

2013: Death Valley (east side)

2014: Return to Mojave!

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  1. 100Peaks

    That’s the best! What a great way to celebrate. The miner’s cabin looked like one to remember.

    We have started a trend to head somewhere tropical. Oahu last year, Maui this year.

    1. calipidder

      We’ve done a few of them at that cabin. It even has a table that we set! And a great firepit for warming the food, along with a wood burning stove. So much fun!

  2. Josh

    So fun! This is the first year my wife and I are going to be gone for thanksgiving. We are doing a road trip so this inspires me to want to continue the tradition!

  3. Jeff Hester

    An awesome tradition! We are heading out to Arizona for a similar “friendsgiving” and exploring Antelope Canyon.

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