Sierra Club - Expeditions that protect the Enviroment

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Big Island Creature Comforts, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Dates: 09/25/2010 - 10/02/2010

See sights very few Big Island visitors ever get to experience on this hotel-based trip. Some hikes along the coast will follow ancient trails paved with stepping stones that were carried from the ocean by the old Hawaiians to ease their ti-leaf-sandaled feet over jagged lava flows. These hikes will sometimes include stops at white sand beaches where we can enjoy excellent swimming. We expect to see native plants and possibly green sea turtles. We'll also hike in rainforests and through lava craters and monitor "creeping developments" endangering the open land of this idyllic island.

Sign Up Now for Big Island Creature Comforts, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
  • Absorb and appreciate the beauty of Hawaii
  • Hike off-the-beaten path along the coast and in the rainforest
  • Enjoy comfortable family-owned accommodations
  • Swim and snorkel the beautiful Hawaiian Pacific
  • All on-island transportation, guides, and entries
  • Accommodations with roommate as well as all breakfasts and lunches, and the welcome dinner
Trip Number: 10033A
Price: $1,895
Deposit: $200
Capacity: 11
Staff: Jan Torrey


Day 1: We will pick you up from the Kona airport and take you to our first hotel, where we will stay for four nights. After settling into our rooms, we will meet for a welcome dinner, which is included in the trip price.

Day 2-4: The next three days will be spent hiking, swimming, and snorkeling in the Kona area. There will be an optional kayak trip offered on Day 3.

Day 5-7: We will drive the northern route to Hilo, stopping for short walks along the way in a native ohia forest and Akaka Falls State Park. We will stay in Hilo for three nights in a hotel with fully furnished kitchens, so we'll have a choice of eating at one of the area's restaurants or the hotel. Our breakfasts will include fresh Hawaiian fruits grown on the premises. One day will feature a hike in Volcanoes National Park in Volcano. Volcanoes National Park contains two of the world's most active volcanoes - Kilauea and Mauna Loa - and offers insight into how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.

Day 8: We will depart from the airport in Hilo on Saturday. There is an excellent Farmer's Market in Hilo on Saturday mornings, so you might want to visit it to provision yourself for the long flight home!

Getting There

Please note that this trip begins in Kona and ends in Hilo. Flights from the mainland are frequent. Please plan to arrive in Kona by mid-afternoon on Day 1 of the trip. The trip concludes after breakfast on the last day. Mid-morning flights to the mainland are usually available. If you are coming from the East Coast, you may want to consider breaking this flight into two segments, stopping on the West Coast on your way to Hawaii, or arriving in Kona a day or two before the trip begins. Flight delays can interrupt an on-time arrival in Kona.

Accommodations and Food

Participants will share comfortable but modest accommodations in two unique Big Island hotels, with two people per room. All rooms have private baths. Distant views of the Pacific and neighboring islands greet us in Kona. Our Hilo hotel borders a rainforest area, where birds of many varieties can be observed. Come prepared to enjoy great Island eats! Breakfasts and lunches (as well as our first dinner) are provided in the trip cost. For our dinners out, the leaders will suggest a wide variety of possible choices.

Trip Difficulty

This trip is appropriate for people who enjoy hiking on a regular basis. We will be walking over uneven surfaces, so boots with ankle support are required. Daily mileages will range from 4 to 8 miles, and our pace will be leisurely. It is important to remember that the tropics add a dimension of heat and humidity that is not often found in mainland hiking. It is important to carry adequate water each day. The importance of a regular exercise regime before considering this trip cannot be over-emphasized.

Equipment and Clothing

Hawaii is a casual destination. Expect to wear shorts and T-shirts most of the time. Some of the basic items are lug-soled boots (well broken-in), raingear, a daypack, two-liter water bottles, sun block, a hat, a long sleeved shirt, and a bathing suit. A more complete clothing and equipment list will be sent to approved trip participants.


Several issues concerning conservation and env ironmental policies and practices directly affect the preservation of the Islands, and we will discuss them during our outing. Water rights have long been a controversial subject. Large amounts of water have been diverted from taro production to the cultivation of sugar and pineapple. Water pollution and pesticide control continue to be problematic. Many island residents are concerned about the sustainability of increasing tourism. Coastal access, a traditional Hawaiian right, is being constantly challenged as development continues. We will each have an opportunity to share and compare environmental actions in our local communities with those observed in Hawaii. Come prepared to talk!

Sign Up Now for Big Island Creature Comforts, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii


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