- Volunteer in Haleakala National Park
- Share the company of a local Hawaiian family
- Watch whales on a tour and relax on the beach
Lodging near a beautiful sandy beach
Most meals (except 3 dinners)
All on-trip transportation including airport transfers
Please Note: We are mindful of the current situation on Maui and this brochure has been changed. We are in touch with our community partners, accommodation providers, and local sources. We encourage you to register for this trip with a spirit of aloha and some flexibility. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on Maui as they recover and rebuild
Please Note: We are mindful of the current situation on Maui and this brochure has been changed. We are in touch with our community partners, accommodation providers, and local sources. We encourage you to register for this trip with a spirit of aloha and some flexibility. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on Maui as they recover and rebuild.
Celebrate the new year with our 16th year of service on West Maui. During our five days of service, we will be working in both the Honokowai Valley and Haleakala National Park. Our work in both will include weeding and clearing invasive species. At our other sites, which are yet to be determined, we may be picking up trash or doing other projects.
Admission to Haleakala National Park is included in this trip along with a unique opportunity to engage in a service project within the park. Haleakala (meaning “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian) is a dormant shield volcano with one of the world’s largest volcanic craters. Its rim reaches an elevation of 10,023 feet. Along with the beauty of the crater, many unique flora and fauna can be found there. Hawaii’s state bird, the nene (Hawaiian goose) are often spotted. At the summit we will enjoy a protected collection of shimmering silverswords, yuccalike plants that take as long as 50 years to flower once and then die. A short hike through the national park’s Hosmer Grove may result in the sighting of the threatened, endemic i’iwi. This striking red honeycreeper bird seeks flower nectar from the grove’s trees.
The Honokowai Valley is now protected through the Maui Cultural Land Trust, which works to safeguard historic and archaeological sites on the island. The particular area where we will work was once considered the "taro basket" of the Kaanapali region. This is a historical site that bears witness to the scientific, engineering, and cultural competence of the original Hawaiian community.
This valley is increasingly becoming an educational site, where visitors can learn about ancient Hawaiians' sustainable systems for food, clothing, and shelter. While currently not open to the public, the hope is that this educational site will open in the near future. Puanani Lindsey will be our 'sponsor' when we are working in the valley. On Saturday, we will be joined in the Honokowai Valley by “valley regulars”; mainly local Sierra Club members who contribute their work and aloha each Saturday. What a wonderful opportunity to meet and "talk story" with Maui residents as we work side-by-side.
On our one non-service day, we will go out on a boat to observe the migrating humpback whales. These magnificent creatures come to the Islands between November and April to breed, give birth, and rest before returning to Alaskan waters to feed during the summer months. Seeing them and hearing their song is an awesome experience! After the work portion of one of our days, we may have time to swim and snorkel in the clear waters surrounding the island.
You may want to consider coming early or staying after this service trip to enjoy beautiful Maui and the many outdoor activities available. We can tell you about special places and hikes to enjoy.
"Our first Sierra Club volunteer service trip to Maui was just what we were hoping for: meaningful service projects with great local organizations, very comfortable accommodations, well-organized group schedule, excellent food focusing on local & organic produce, exceptional group leader, excellent transportation, and spectacular experiences whale watching, snorkeling, and viewing Maui wildlife. Trip of a lifetime for us! Many thanks!” – 2019 trip participant
You will be picked up at Maui's Kahului airport around noon on the first day of the trip and immediately be driven to our accommodation for the seven nights of this outing. Our comfortable lodging in Kiehei includes lanais, pools, in room refrigerators, and is located directly across the street from a golden sand beach On the last morning of the trip, you will be transported back to the Kahului airport. Please do not schedule your flight earlier than noon. Additional information on this will be available from the leader after registration.
"The chance to go up in the valley with the folks from Maui Cultural Lands was a really special experience that I will treasure!" – 2019 trip participant
In the winter months, travel from the mainland can be uncertain, due to weather. You might want to consider arriving a day or two early in order to guarantee your arrival by the trip's starting time. The leader will be glad to share hotel information with you, as well as suggest areas to visit on your own (not included in our trip). Please do not make travel arrangements until the leader has confirmed you as a trip member
In the winter months, travel from the mainland can be uncertain, due to weather. You might want to consider arriving a day or two early in order to guarantee your arrival by the trip's starting time. The leader will be glad to share hotel information with you, as well as suggest areas to visit on your own (not included in our trip). Please do not make travel arrangements until the leader has confirmed you as a trip member.
"I really enjoyed the work that we did and the people that we met in the community as well as the other members on the trip. There were a lot of different people on the trip from different places. It was fun to get to know them and work by their sides. I am looking forward to another Sierra Club trip and I hope it will be as much fun as this one was. I can’t wait for my next Sierra club outing!" – 2019 trip participant
Accommodations and Food
Each hotel room in Kihei will have have two full-size beds per room for participants to share based on double occupancy. The leaders room will be designated as the daily eating/meeting location. There is 1 washer and dryer available in the leaders room for use.
If you have any dietary restrictions, please discuss them with the leaders before signing up for this trip.
With the exception of three dinners, all meals between dinner on the first day and breakfast on the last day are included in the trip price. The first meal served will be dinner on day one; the last meal will be breakfast on day nine. Our hotel is within walking distance to a variety of locally owned and award winning food trucks and small restaurants. Participants will have three evening meals on their own. There are lighted picnic tables at the food truck court or take a short stroll over to Lipoa Street Beach and watch the sunset while you eat.
This trip requires physical labor, involving weed cutting and digging on our work days in the Honokowai Valley and at 10,000 foot altitude at Haleakala . There will be bending, stretching, and pulling involved -- all at your own pace. You should be able to hike up and down a moderate-to-steep incline, as the entrance into the valley is a switchback trail with an uneven surface. Working to pick up trash and clean debris also involves hauling, pulling, and packaging discarded materials.
Equipment and Clothing
Long-sleeved shirts, boots, sturdy work gloves, sunscreen, a day pack, water bottles, and a sun hat are necessary. Mosquito repellent is a must! A more complete equipment list will be sent to participants.
Beckwith, Martha, Hawaiian Mythology.
- Culiney, John, Islands in a Far Sea.
- Daws, Gavin, Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands.
- Kaufman, Gregory Dean, and Paul Henry Forestall, Hawaii's Humpback Whales.
- Pukui, M.K. and Curtis, C., Tales of the Menehuene.
- Sohmer, S.H. and R. Gustafsen, Plants and Flowers of Hawaii.
The Sierra Club sponsors outings so members may experience new places, people, and activities. Specifically, we aim to heighten awareness of the global environment and encourage participants to take action to protect our shrinking world and its inhabitants -- human and otherwise. On this trip, we will learn about contentious water and land development, which affects all island residents and visitors.
"The Sierra Club volunteer staff were excellent. That's not an easy job all the time and they did a really good job of it." – 2019 trip participant
Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and when applicable will operate under permits obtained from U.S. federal land agencies.