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San Juan Islands National Monument, WA – Volunteer Vacation 2024

June 9 @ 5:00 pm - June 15 @ 10:00 am

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Join one of the most popular recurring Volunteer Vacations to help this friendly island community maintain local trails! Enjoy stunning ocean vistas, where there is a chance to see a pod of orca whales, humpbacks, or a plethora of other marine life and sea birds.

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.

Volunteers will join in on basic trail maintenance focused on social trail mitigation. This work will include trail brushing, cutting back overhanging or encroaching vegetation, leveling potholed sections, installing signs or barriers across social trails, and tool maintenance. Volunteers will need to drive or carpool to the project site. Volunteers will walk from the parking area to the trail(s) where work will be done. The hike will be under 2 miles on flat or mostly flat terrain.

During this trip, San Juan Islands National Monument’s average high temperature is 65°, and average low temperature is 49°.

There is no experience needed to join a Volunteer Vacation! Your expert hosts will provide detailed instruction, tool demonstrations, and project oversight throughout the week. All you need is a willing attitude and to be in good physical condition to participate in moderate physical activity for approximately 6-8 hours a day with plenty of breaks, at your own pace. Find out more about what it’s like to join a Volunteer Vacation and other frequently asked questions here.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, Semiahmoo, S’Klallam, Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group, Lhaq’temish (Lummi), Samish, and dxʷlilap (Tulalip) peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, their deep and sacred connection to these lands, and those who continue to steward these lands today. We offer this land acknowledgement as the first of many steps to stand as an ally and amplify Indigenous voices. We invite the American Hiking Society community to join us through continued efforts to support Indigenous communities and learn more about the history of the lands on which we live, work and recreate.

Click here for a PDF of trip details.


Bureau of Land Management


Car Camping Tent Sites


Volunteers will walk from the parking area to the trail(s) where work will be done. The hike will be under 2 miles on flat or mostly flat terrain.

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


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 stay at campsites at a nearby state or county park, with drinking water, pit toilets, level campsites, grills, and picnic shelters. Coin-op showers are available in Lopez Village. Cell service is good for most carriers. Volunteers need to bring their own camping gear, sleeping bags or linens, towels, and personal toiletries.


Bellingham International Airport in Bellingham, Washington or Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington are the closest major airports. Volunteers will need to take a ferry from the Anacortes Ferry Terminal in Anacortes, WA to Lopez Island. The Seattle airport is about 2 hours from the Anacortes ferry terminal, so shuttles or rental cars are required. Volunteers are responsible for making ferry reservations, which are required for all passenger vehicles. Walk-on passengers do not need ferry reservations. Airport pick up and drop off is not available for volunteers, however carpooling and rideshare can be arranged upon confirmation of the trip.


San Juan Islands National Monument
650 Mullis St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States + Google Map