Trip Number: 14056A
Staff: Jennifer Taddei
- Visit beautiful beaches and active volcanoes
- Learn about Hawai’i’s extraordinary plants and animals
- Visit cultural and historic sites
- Ground transportation and lodging
- All meals, except one
- Kayak rental
"Life in Hawaii is a song. And each island is a stanza." (Stoddard,
1897) Come with us as we spend a week listening to the wind rustling the palms,
the waves crashing on the beaches, and the colorful birds singing in the upland
forests. The Big Island of Hawai’i is a tropical paradise of unique plants
and animals as well as active volcanoes. From our rustic but comfortable lodgings
we will explore the lava tubes and craters of Volcanoes National Park, then
we’ll move to the dryland forests and beaches of the famed Kona Coast.
Our trip will include visiting ancient Hawaiian cultural sites and learning
about the developmental pressures and species extinction that threaten this
Photo: Jennifer Taddei
We begin our trip with three nights in the cool upland rainforest just outside
the town of Hilo, Hawai’i. Our lodgings will be comfortable, shared spaces
in a rustic home hostel just outside the national park boundary. From this convenient
locale, we will hike in Kilauea Caldera, visit the active cinder cone called
Pu’u O’o, and walk in an underground lava tube. A visit to the national
park would not be complete without a drive to the seashore to view the volcanic
activity that closed the Chain of Craters Road and covered the Kalapana community
with lava flows.
At mid-week we travel to the dry side of the island for more hiking, along
with swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. There will be plenty to see and do
on the Kona Coast, and our modest hotel lodging near Captain Cook will provide
us with a base for our water sports and day hikes.
Please note that this trip begins in Hilo and ends in Kona. All
ground transportation will be provided during the trip. Transportation will
be in vans driven by trip leaders. Air travel to and from Hawaii will be your
responsibility. We will greet all trip participants in the baggage claim area
at the airport in Hilo, Hawaii on Monday, December 30, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. Those
unable to arrive at that time should notify the leader of their arrival times
to coordinate group transportation to the lodging. Due to the distance from
the airport to the lodging, individual transportation cannot be accommodated
for individual arrivals. On Saturday, January 4, 2014, the last day of the trip,
we will fly out of the Kona Airport. Please do not book your return flight for
any earlier than 11:00 a.m.
Accommodations and Food
Photo: Jennifer Taddei
The casual, comfortable lodgings will include private bedrooms and shared baths.
Our first location will include a large kitchen and small living room. The second
half of the trip will be in a modest, locally owned hotel. Our volunteer staff
has a well-tested menu to share with you, and shops for delicious fresh fruits
and vegetables whenever possible. All trip participants will help with kitchen
chores -- preparing, cooking, and cleaning -- which we will rotate daily. On
our last evening on the island, we will plan to eat out at a local restaurant.
The hiking and activities planned make this trip suitable for all abilities,
except those with difficulty walking moderate distances (4-8 miles with some
Equipment and Clothing
Daytime temperatures are typically in the 70s and 80s during December. Due
to the high elevation of the Volcanoes National Park, temperatures there will
be cool in the evening and early mornings. Even though we will probably encounter
some rain, sunscreen is still recommended at all times, since the sun’s
rays penetrate more directly in this tropical location, and more intensely at
higher elevations. Make sure you bring lots of strong, waterproof sun block,
a hat and sunglasses, and a light, long-sleeved shirt to cover up with when
hiking or kayaking. We want you to return home with lots of pictures and memories,
not a painful sunburn. You will also want to bring flip flops or thongs, reef
shoes, hiking or trail shoes, a bathing suit, a day pack for lunch and water
bottles, a mask/snorkel/fins if you already have them (rentals are readily available),
mosquito repellent for some hikes, shorts and other cool cotton clothing, and
a light windbreaker jacket for hiking in the mountains. A more detailed equipment
list will be sent to you once you sign up for the trip. Please limit your luggage
to one duffel bag that's no bigger than 16" x 36" per person.
- Carlquist, S., Hawai’i: A Natural History, 1980.
- Daws, Gavin, Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands, 1968.
- Daws, Gavin, Honolulu Stories: Voices of the Town through the Years,
- McMahon, Richard, Adventuring in Hawaii.
- Zurick, David, Hawai’I Naturally, 1990.
Photo: Jennifer Taddei
The Sierra Club sponsors outings so trip participants can experience new places,
people, and activities. A primary objective is to heighten participants’
awareness of our fragile global environment and encourage them to take steps
to protect our planet. According to the Hawaiian Biological Survey, the Hawaiian
Islands are “The Endangered Species Capital of the World. With hundreds
of plants and animals listed as endangered or threatened, there are more endangered
species per square mile on these islands than any other place on the planet.”
(1995 Bishop Museum)
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Jennifer Taddei, a former resident of Hawai'i, now makes her home in Santa Rosa, California. She enjoys hiking, swimming and soccer and has been an active leader for the Sierra Club Outing programs for over 20 years.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips