The Sierra Club is one of the largest and most renowned environmental organizations in the United States. Founded in 1892, it is also one of the oldest. For more than a century, the club has dedicated itself to the preservation of natural areas and to the environment on the whole. Much of the success that the Sierra Club has had over the years in relation to environmental preservation is due to its ability to influence those in high places. Its famous co-founder, John Muir, was certainly adept at making powerful people see the importance of protecting the planet; and the John Muir Trail in California is named for this environmental pioneer. This is more than just a grassroots environmental organization, however. The Sierra Club also offers guided outings in its home country and abroad for adventure-minded travelers to indulge in.
Sierra Club Founder & History
In 1892, a University of California, Berkeley professor by the name of Henry Sanger teamed up with other professors from the San Francisco area and the renowned naturalist and conservationist, John Muir, to form the Sierra Club. Among other things, Muir had already led a campaign that helped inspire the creation of Yosemite National Park. In addition to being a co-founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir was also the club’s first president. He held this position until his death in 1914. Early on, the Sierra Club’s goals included establishing Glacier National Park and Mount Rainier National Park. Later on in 1916, the organization was credited with supporting the push to create the National Park Service. By the 1920s, the Sierra Club had established itself not only as a conservation-oriented organization, but also as a social and recreational society that its members could take advantage of. Special outings were arranged, and the club also went to task improving trails and building huts and lodges in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. By 1950, the Sierra Club really started to make a name for itself on the national level. Largely responsible for this awareness growth was the club’s fight against the establishment of the Echo Park Dam at Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument. Today, the Sierra Club remains a major national conservation organization, and it also continues to offer guided outings.
US Sierra Club Outings
Sierra Club outings are offered on both the national and international levels. Within the United States, people can take part in outings that focus on their local areas and include such activities as hiking, bird watching, bicycling, cross-country skiing and peak scrambling. In addition to getting in touch with the natural surroundings of their more immediate area, those who treat themselves to a local Sierra Club outing can learn about the conservation issues that relate to their home regions. Should a trip away from home be the aim instead, there are multi-day US Sierra Club outings that target a number of enticing places. Alaska and Hawaii are just two of the possible destinations, and there are options to focus on the Lower 48 or the American Caribbean as well. Various group categories exist to help people arrange Sierra Club outings in the US that better fit their needs, and among the numerous activities that are commonly enjoyed on the tours are kayaking, canoeing, rafting, biking, backpacking and hiking.
International Sierra Club Outings
US travelers who are looking to enjoy an adventure-oriented trip out of their home countries have plenty of international Sierra Club outings to select from. Some target neighboring Canada and can include such things as cross country skiing from hut to hut in Quebec or sailing off the coast of Vancouver Island. Other countries that can be the destination of choice for international Sierra Club outings include, but aren’t limited to, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Chile, India, New Zealand and Nepal. As is true of the multi-day outings in the United States, the international outings cover virtually everything, including activities, accommodations and meals. There may be the need to purchase airfare separately.
Some of the Sierra Club outings fall under the company’s category of Volunteer Vacations. As the name implies, these trips involve taking part in volunteer work. You can help build a trail in Denali National Park, for example, or assist with archaeological site restoration in New Mexico. This is just a sample of the opportunities. The Sierra Club runs approximately 90 different service trips every year, and they primarily focus on US destinations. Also worth highlighting within the realms of the Sierra Club’s volunteer scope are its Inner City Outings. These community outreach programs allow urban youths and adults alike to access natural destinations outside of the city. John Muir asserted that people who experience the wilderness firsthand are more likely to want to preserve it for future generations.