Outdoor Program

Aloha and welcome to the 2018/19 Outdoor Program.

The Outdoor Program's goals are to build community and connection to Hawai'i while teaching and fostering personal empowerment, risk management, resilience, and leadership skills.

As a reflection of these goals, we encourage students to be the main point of contact in joining and managing their participation on trips.

How to come on a trip:

  • Look at the calendar below with your family and decide which trips and programs appeal to you.
  • 2018 sign ups will happen the first week back each semester via a google form sent to students. To sign up for trips after the first week, email rjenkinson@hpa.edu.
  • Rosters will be finalized and students will be sent a gCal invitation if they are on the trips or emailed if they are on the waitlist. Rosters are built to give the most students access to trips.
  • Students will confirm their commitment to come on the trip by RSVP-ing to the gCal invitation.
  • Students are sent a prospectus and packing list.
  • If students drop off a trip less that one week prior, they receive 3 demerits. Please take your commitment seriously as there are eager students on the waitlist and we want to make sure as many students as can go.
  • A week prior to a trip, the group comes together at a mandatory pre-trip meeting to connect, set goals, get excited and do gear issue. The program can lend students most gear they don't have.
  • Outdoor trips are a digital break - Students don't have their phones or computers on the trip. They can bring a camera to take photos if they'd like as long as it's not part of their phone. We often share photos via google photos after trips

2018 / 2019 Outdoor Program Trips

All trips are subject to change

Kīholo Service Overnight:  Jan. 18th - Jan. 20th

We will have a beautiful weekend camping at Kīholo Bay and working with the Nature Conservancy and Mālama Aloha Kīholo to help restore ancient fish ponds on Saturday.  There will be lots of time to relax and enjoy the tide pools and beach. We will leave on Friday afternoon and return home Sunday before dinner. 

Honomalino Day Trip: February 3rd

We will enjoy the black sand beach as it is one of the most picturesque sites on the Big Island. Because it is only accessible by foot and located in a very remote area south of the fishing village of Miloli'i, it is often free of crowds and remains in a fairly natural state. Honomalino bay has nearly a half-mile of beach, which is actually a mixture of black and white sand known as a salt-and-pepper beach. High palm trees fill out the scene. 

Paaulio Rappelling: February 10th

In collaboration with Trail Rhythms, we will spend the day rappelling in the beautiful canyons of Hamakua where skills will be learned, fears will be conquered and amazing times will be had!   

Overnight Horsebacking: February 15th - 17th

Enjoy the wild country by horseback on one of the oldest and most well-known dirt roads on the Big Island, The Mana Road. We will leave on Friday afternoon and get to camp before sun down.  On the Saturday we usually will embark on  group ride and spent time with the horses and the surrounding countryside (exploring, hiking, relaxing)  On the Sunday we saddle up again and make the trek back to the Pu’u Kikoni corral where the horses get picked up by the trailers.   We will be back to campus for dinner.   

Káaha/Halape Volcano Backpacking Overnight:  April 4th - 7th

We will leave campus at 3pm on Friday and head to Volcano National Park where we will set up camp and have dinner under the stars.  We will set out early on Saturday morning for an epic backcountry hike along the Southern most part of the park.  We will set up camp on Saturday on the beach under the swaying branches of coconut trees.  We will have time to enjoy the beautiful beach and tide pools.  On Sunday, we will rise, eat breakfast and make our way back to the bus and be home before dinner.  

Anna Ranch Mountain Biking:  April 14th

Big Island bike tours will lead an epic day mountain bike trip through the scenic trails of over 100 acres of Anna Ranch land.  The ride will climb up 1,200 feet to a beautiful view of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. Breathe deep and enjoy a fantastic day out in the most beautiful country Hawaii has to offer. 

Keanakolu Overnight Mountain Biking: April 19th - 21st

Ladies and gentlemen start your engines for an epic weekend of mountain biking in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  If you like challenge, then this trip is for you.  We will leave campus on Friday and head to the Mana Road where we will set up camp at the Keanakolu cabins.  We will rise early on Saturday and spend the day exploring the beautiful area of Keanakolu.  On Sunday we will mountain bike back on the Mana Road until it turns to pavement and head to campus before dinner.  Things to consider are having cycling shorts and gloves.  Helmets and bikes will be provided.  

Waimanu Backpacking Overnight:  May 2nd - 5th

We'll leave at 3:15pm Friday, camp the night in Waipi'o Valley then start our 10 mile hike to Waimanu before dawn Saturday morning. We'll spend two nights in Waimanu; swimming in glorious waterfalls and and hike back to Waipíò Valley and be on campus before dinner on Sunday.


  • Place based student leadership curriculum
  • Students are the point person for pre-trip communications with their families
  • The Outdoor Program can lend students any gear they need
  • Students attend a pre-trip meeting before the trip to go over the itinerary, gear, and establish group goals.
  • Digital break - Students don't have their phones or computers on the trip.


Outdoor Program trips are open to all students. The Outdoor Program offers a variety of trips to cater to different student interests, abilities, and expertise. The Program provides gear as needed. Rosters are built around a balance of providing student leadership opportunities as well as making sure interested students are given the opportunity to get outside as much as possible.

Other 2018 Outdoor Program Opportunities:

Friday Pau Hana Hill Hikes

There's no better way to end a week than to head up into the hills, sink your legs into the tall grass, feel the wind on your face, and fill your eyes with the breathtaking beauty of Kohala.  Students and HPA employees are invited to join the HPA Outdoor Program Fridays after school to hike and enjoy the hills behind HPA with special permissions from HPA and Parker Ranch.  Sign ups open on Mondays before the hike via an email to students as we have limited space on our permits.  We meet at the softball field behind GPAC at 3:30pm.

The rules are: Respect the land, one another, and this opportunity. No phones. See you there.

Wilderness First Responder Training

HPA offers wilderness medicine training in partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). We offer Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, and Wilderness Advanced First Aid courses here at HPA throughout the year. Email outdoors@hpa.edu to get on the mailing list for upcoming trainings.

If you work or recreate in the outdoors or in other remote environments where access to medical care is delayed or communication is unreliable, this 9-10 day Wilderness First Responder course is for you. It is the industry standard for professional guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, outdoor recreationists, and international travelers.

Upon completion, you will be able to conduct a thorough physical exam, obtain a patient history, assess vital signs, provide emergency care in the wilderness, and make crucial evacuation decisions.

Learn more about this year's wilderness medical trainings