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San Juan Islands National Monument, Washington – Volunteer Vacations 2022

June 12 - June 18

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Situated in the northern reaches of Washington State’s Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands are a uniquely beautiful archipelago of over 450 islands, rocks, and pinnacles. The new San Juan Islands National Monument encompasses approximately 1,000 acres of land spread across many of these rocks and islands and managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. Drawing visitors from around the world, this is a landscape of unmatched contrasts, where forests seem to spring from gray rock and distant, snow-capped peaks provide the backdrop for sandy beaches. The San Juan Islands National Monument is a trove of scientific and historic treasures, a refuge for an array of wildlife, and a classroom for generations of Americans.

On this trip, American Hiking Society volunteers will perform trail maintenance, noxious weeds eradication and recreation site maintenance. The crew will be transported to and from base camp to the work areas via carpools and or boat with minimal hiking involved. Dependent on the weather, projects may be performed on outer islands. Volunteers will be engaged with a handful of other agency representatives in the SJI and also working outside of BLM lands. It takes an island and we all share when we can!

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, and those who continue to steward these lands today. AHS invites all volunteers to join us in our commitment to support and amplify the work of Indigenous communities as they work to dismantle the systems of oppression that these communities continue to face today.

Organizer

Bureau of Land Management

Accommodations

Car Camping Tent Sites

Hiking/Access

Day hiking up to 1 mile each work day.

Project Rating

Moderate

Minimum Volunteer Age

16

Maximum Group Size

10

Area and Attractions

Nestled in the heart of the Salish Sea, the San Juan Islands are very old mountain tops shaped by glacial activity about 12,000 years ago, and are often considered the gem of Washington State. The San Juan Islands National Monument encompasses approximately 1000 acres across the Salish Sea and includes over 75 sites of headlands, rocks, and islands. The Pacific Ocean's maritime air moderates the climate year-round and the islands support one of the most varied wildlife populations and variety of habitats in the Northwest. Lopez Island is the most rural of the three major islands, covering 29.5 square miles. The landscape blends woods with rolling farmlands and open spaces with shimmering vistas. Numerous hiking trails are nearby with public access to beaches. Lopez Island is a desired destination for road biking for families mostly because it is the most flat island of the 4 ferry served islands. Lopez Island has some of the best sea kayaking and paddle boarding in all of the San Juan Islands.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will be staying at Odlin Park Group Campsite on the north end of Lopez Island. A large open air shelter will be available for cooking, but does not have electricity. Vault toilets and fresh water are available on-site. Showers are available at the end of the week. Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag and pad, cup/bowl/eating utensils, and personal gear.

Travel

Bellingham International Airport in Bellingham, WA is the closest airport. Volunteers will have to take a passenger ferry from Anacortes, Washington to Lopez Island. Flying into Seattle Tacoma International Airport is another option, and this airport offers daily shuttles to the ferry terminal for those who do not want to rent a vehicle or drive onto the ferry. Airport pickup is not provided for this trip. Volunteers are responsible for transportation to and from camp and the work site. Carpooling can be arranged once the project is confirmed.

Venue

San Juan Islands National Monument
37 Washburn Place, Lopez Island, WA 98261 United States + Google Map
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