The Tourist Club invites nature enthusiasts and outdoor activists to join our club on Mt. Tamalpais and become members of the worldwide, inclusive Naturefriends community. You don't have to be Austrian or German; we welcome people of all ages and backgrounds who enjoy the outdoors and camaraderie with fellow lovers of nature. Our members frequently comment that they value the range of ages, backgrounds, professions, and cultures of the members in our club.
Yes, some of our members enjoy speaking German—and if you join you'll probably learn a toast or a song in German, but you'll also hear French, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Turkish, Japanese, and other languages in addition to English spoken on occasion around the club.
We have an affordable initiation fee and annual dues. While all members apply separately, we encourage families to join, and offer a junior membership for ages 14 to 17. We hope to know you for life, which is a good reason to spend time with each other before joining our club, and why the process of becoming a member can take longer than other clubs. We have families that have been members for five generations.
Berg frei, “Free the mountain,” is our club slogan
The membership process starts by participating in our work days alongside current members and prospective members like you where we will get to know each other. After you complete all the membership requirements, and are approved by votes of both our executive board and the general membership, we expect to see you regularly at our work days and supporting the club at our activities, events, and meetings. Active participation by members is how we strengthen and maintain our facilities and our community.
As a member you will receive our monthly Nature Friends Bulletin, which lists news and activities at all our California locations. You'll have access to the member area of the club website, where you can read about our club hikes and activities that include camping, backpacking, climbing, bicycling, surfing, boating, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, brewing, cooking, dancing, singing, and playing music. We offer workshops and seminars related to these activities that are organized by the club and its members.
If you would like to learn about the requirements for becoming a member, come in working clothes and shoes and join us for a regular work day on the second Sunday of every month at 10am. Please RSVP ahead of time using this form. Our members will be happy to answer your questions.
Benefits of Membership
- Unparalleled outdoor experiences
- Gemütlichkeit (A state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer)
- Social events
- The wide range of cultures, backgrounds, professions, and ages of members
- Use of the facilities in the Bay Area, Southern California, and the Sierra Nevada
- Membership in the worldwide Naturefriends organization (over half a million members and more than 1,200 properties)
- And many more!
Nature Friends Building Heidelmann Lodge in 1947Heidelmann Lodge web page.