What we're about

We offer several outdoor-focused programs including beginning backpacking (spring and fall) supported by a modern backpacking gear lending library and wilderness navigation (held multiple times a year). We also take backpacking trips, day hikes, service days, and other activities.

As part of the "Local Outdoors" program of the National Sierra Club we deliver outings for the KC Area community, and Sierra Club also offers an extensive array of other big league outdoor activities for which our local outings and programs can help prepare you.

Whether you’re looking for a way to connect to nature, an opportunity to meet people, or get some exercise, Sierra Club local outdoors and national outings has something for you. Join us on an outing! Within a given year, many of our outdoor activities occur before late spring, in the fall, and even in the winter - tapering off during the summer as leaders take personal trips, enjoy getting on the water, etc.

Our outings are planned and led by the Kanza, Thomas Hart Benton and Wakarusa groups of the Sierra Club for conservation-minded people - and those groups have advocacy activities in which you can participate.

While you do not have to be a Sierra Club member to join this meetup group or participate in the outings, we very much welcome you to join for as little as $15 as it supports the overall Sierra Club, including the Local Outdoors program. Outings are not limited to the Kansas City area — the Ozarks is a common destination, for example.

Our outings leaders are Sierra Club volunteers, and the range of outings is as diverse as their interests. Day hikes, bicycling, backpacking, and camping are common activities; but you might also find us picking up trash, watching birds, clearing brush along a hiking trail, crawling in a cave, or eradicating invasive vegetation. You can feel confident knowing that our leaders must be certified for outings leadership - including the appropriate first aid training to the level of the outing they are leading - and complete structured pre-trip planning.

Because of the certification requirement, only our leaders can create outings. But please feel free to suggest nature- or conservation-oriented outings and maybe one of our leaders will make it happen.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, our outings are limited in size and we do not permit people to "just show up". You must RSVP here and follow instructions. A lot of effort goes into the announcements so that expectations are clear. Outing leaders have the final word before and during the outing they are leading and may set minimum 1) fitness, 2) experience and/or 3) equipment requirements for their trip.

Children are welcome on many day hikes when accompanied by an adult. Read the outing description for its position on this and to learn about it.

Per Sierra Club policy, pets (dogs most often) are permitted only if the outing description explicitly says they are.  Service animals are not pets and are an exception to this rule.

Firearms are not allowed on outings.

We solicit contributions/donations at many outings, which are used to fund the operations of the local group (outings leader training, funding the gear library for the backpacking courses, etc) and are not tax-deductible.

Carpooling is encouraged among trip participants. The Sierra Club does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants.

During the sign-up/in process all participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard participant agreement, which will be linked in individual Outings announcements if you would like to review it before signing.

Participants must complete a medical form for backcountry trips, overnight trips, as well as day trips > 1 hour from a emergency medical facility; this form is for leader review and will be kept confidential. Our practice to safeguard participant privacy is to 1) consider the responses on the form up front, 2) to have it in the field for the specific trip in the event of need, and 3) return or delete it after the outing. Where we can, we're looking to ingest these from folks at the trailhead. But we don't want to do that for backpacking trips, where there is a slim possibility there could be a concern w/ something. For backpacking trips, everyone is better served by handling this up front.

Those who are sick, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have recently (14 days) been around someone symptomatic or confirmed sick should not attend an outing. Masks are required for indoor close quarters if social distancing is not possible and for unvaccinated minors, irrespective of local rules and/or vaccination status.

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If a member receives an unwelcome message on Meetup from a member of this group, please see this from Meetup which shows you how you can take individual action. And don't hesitate to reach out to us. This group focuses on the events we post in support of Sierra Club and those who want to participate in them.
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Upcoming events (4+)

Eddy - Ballentine Trail Restoration

Eddy-Ballentine Trail

Join Sierra Club as we work together to restore the diversity, health and resiliency of the Blue River Glades Natural Area. This remnant of ecologically significant public land is managed in conjunction with Jackson County Parks & Recreation & KC Wildlands. From 1:00 to 3:00 volunteers will work to remove invasive shrub honeysuckle from the Eddy-Ballentine Trail loop which winds through upland forest to the Blue River Glade Natural Area. From 3:00-3:30, we will do an optional hike to see the glade.

Located just south of Swope Park, this rare limestone glade community is one of the northernmost occurrences of such a community in Missouri and the best example existing locally. Gnarled chinquapin oaks nearly 300 years old sit atop slab-like outcroppings of Bethany Falls limestone. A prairie-like flora of grasses and wildflowers provides rich color and texture through most of the year. This community is managed through periodic prescribed burning.

The glade is threatened by several exotic plant species, especially shrub honeysuckle. Please come and help so native flowers and grasses flourish again in these stunning wild areas. Trail maintenance this time of year is an advantage because there are fewer ticks but if it is too cold we will reschedule. No prior experience necessary!

What to Bring:
A water bottle full of water
Bug spray and sunscreen
Work gloves, and a hand saw or loppers if you have them
Long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes (no sandals) are required
Layers of clothing and a hat depending on the weather.
Optional - A mask for your own and other’s protections.

Regarding COVID-19, a mix of vaccinated & unvaccinated people might be on this Outing, & we ask each person to be responsible + not participate if you’ve recently had any symptoms or exposure to an infected individual, or have COVID-19.

At sign-in, all participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard participant agreement you can read here, if you would like to read it b4 you choose to participate, www.tinyurl.com/sonsite

Check out this short video of a workday by Nyvia DelaCruz, Jackson County Communications DPT who also took the above photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CXb8e8PpD4z/

About the Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Why America must protect 30x30 (w/ Sen. Tom Udall, Dr. Enric Sala) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4VmOchhp8o

Backpacking Trip | Hemmed in Hollow - Sneeds Creek | Late Fall | 11 miles

Description

For advancing beginners & up, not new backpackers, minors or for those w/ any Qs about their capabilities or gear suitability – for the safety & enjoyment of all, it is only for those who are injury free & trail conditioned. No dogs. If you've not backpacked where you've had to walk steadily down/uphill for 1400' w/ confidence you're good to do it again, be sure you're in top shape. Please DON'T overestimate your capabilities, several people had to be rescued from this trail (for example). A vid.

$15 donation

Please read this for expectations

A similar outline on Alltrails.

About the weather, be prepared for 0°C (or colder) @ night & follow the forecast. Bring waterproofs & seasonal layering.

12/9/22: Meet @ Steel Creek Campground in Ponca, AR, at 3PM to set up. No reservations or fees to camp (no water either).

12/10/22: On trail by 10:00 AM, starting @ the Compton Trailhead. Be on time - we can't wait for late arrivals. See Vic Flowers cabin, descend Hemmed in Hollow Trail to see it (& hope it is flowing), & go camp - we might go up Sneeds a bit. The 50-year old Buffalo River is the 1st Nat'l River (more on that out there)! At least a -1400' steep rugged descent.

12/11/22: Hike up Sneeds Creek Trail w/ its 6 stream x'ings & see 2 cabins. Expect your feet to get wet, although w/o recent rain, water crossings (WCs) could be low. Today's WCs & uphill slog make this challenging. Using quick-drying footwear & wool socks is a way to approach this w/o footwear changes. It will be easier to cross rocky bottoms w/ trekking poles or hiking staff for added balance/stability. @ least a +1400' steep rugged ascent.

Make sure your profile identifies you, e.g. picture of your face + your name.

Though because this is wilderness we might not expect hunters, do still wear blaze orange or other very bright outerwear, e.g. a backpack rain cover & hat.

Wildlife is unpredictable. Don't pet the snakes, disturb those glittering reflections from under the leaves on the ground @ night - they're just from spiders' eyes looking @ you, socialize w/ Bigfoot or feed the bears.

Yes, there are Black Bears (BB); they are preparing to den or hibernate then, packing in the food (hyperphagia or post). All food & anything w/ a scent (aromatic things like toiletries, trash, etc.) must be placed safely away from camp.

How Do I Get to Go

Join the waitlist & immediately email "[masked]" w/ your name & the words "almost winter" in the subject line. Read everything. Be prepared for pre-winter. There can be a Google survey to help assure ppl. are set to undertake this. ≈12 people total.

Here come the required statements:

We will use LNT practices

During the sign-in process, participants are required to sign the standard participant agreement.

Bring a personal 1st aid kit.

Complete & return a medical form to "[masked]" before the outing, as part of the screening process.

Regarding COVID-19, a mix of vaccinated & unvaccinated people might be on this Outing, & we ask each person to be responsible + not participate if you’ve recently had any symptoms or exposure to an infected individual, or have COVID-19. & in general, if you're sick please do not attend.

The Outing officially begins & ends @ the dates & the location designated by Sierra Club. The Outing does not include carpooling — which is at your own discretion — transportation or transit to & from the Outing; each participant is personally responsible for all risks associated with this travel. The times shown on Meetup do NOT account for travel to & from the Outing.

8
Women's Winter Backpacking Overnight

Woodridge Primitive Park

A pre-holiday getaway to enjoy some outdoor camaraderie and practice cold-weather backpacking skills. This will be an easy-paced, low-mileage backpacking overnight. Beginners are welcome, but you must be familiar with backpacking gear and what is essential to stay safe and comfortable in cooler temps.

On Saturday afternoon we will meet at the Woodridge Park trail head, located near the west end of Clinton Lake, and hike about three-fourths of the 4.5 mile loop to set up our camp. Bring what you like for dinner, snacks and breakfast, and water / water filter & treatment methods for drinking and cooking. On Sunday we will hike out about 1.5 miles. My dogs will be accompanying me, and other well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome as well.

In the event of bad weather, unsafe driving conditions or extremely low temperatures, we will postpone this outing. Watch this event page for weather updates.

A $15 donation to the Sierra Club will gratefully be accepted, which helps with leadership training and development for our all-volunteer team, and to pay for Meetup. Cash or Venmo at the start of the event is optimal.

• We will use LNT practices.

• During the sign-in process, participants are required to sign the standard participant agreement.

• Bring a personal 1st aid kit.

• Complete & bring with you a medical form to the start of the outing (required; these will be held confidential and shredded at the conclusion).

Regarding COVID-19, a mix of vaccinated & unvaccinated people might be on this Outing, & we ask each person to be responsible + not participate if you’ve recently had any symptoms or exposure to an infected individual, or have COVID-19. And in general, if you're sick please do not attend.
The Outing officially begins & ends @ the dates & the location designated by Sierra Club. The Outing does not include carpooling — which is at your own discretion — transportation or transit to & from the Outing; each participant is personally responsible for all risks associated with this travel. The times shown on Meetup do NOT account for travel to & from the Outing.

Day Hike | Weston Bluffs Trail & Weston Bend State Park | 9 miles

Weston Bend State Park

Cold or cool, light rain or shine, let’s take 3.5 hours to complete a steady to brisk nine-mile conditioning hike with daypacks from and back to Weston, MO, along the easy Weston Bluffs trail to hilly Weston Bend State Park, lollipop loop hike the park, and return. Sign up if cold and/or light rain does not deter you. Significant snow and ice is not welcome - we're outdoorsy, but not down with that for this day hike.

Approx. 20 adults and no dogs.

Park somewhere in Weston, MO, perhaps at O’Malley’s parking lot, and meet at[masked], [masked] where the outing begins and ends.

As a conditioning hike, the pace will be walking aimed at making good time on trail. We will only take a few short stops. Make sure this is for you.

Linear Distance:.................... ~ 9 miles
Type:...................................... Loop
Elevation Gain:...................... We'll leave it @ "hilly"
Estimated Speed:.................. ~ 2.6 mph
Terrain:.................................. Mix of sidewalks, dirt (can be muddy), gravel, paved roads, rocks, roots. The park is forested w/ modest up and downslopes, and some short steeper sections.
Recommended Equipment:...Be prepared for any weather by including waterproofs and layering for the season / conditions. Bring food, water, and anything else you might need. Hiking poles or a hiking staff help on the hills.
Hike START TIME:................ 9:00 AM
Hike Breaks: Few, short
Hike COMPLETION TIME:....12:30 PM, preferably sooner

Weston

Weston Bend State Park

Trail Map

Afterwards, there is an unofficial option for late lunch and refreshment at O'Malley's.

AND, Weston is a good place to pick up holiday presents.

Here come the required statements:

We will use LNT practices

During the sign-in process, all participants are required to sign the standard participant agreement.

Bring a personal 1st aid kit.

Regarding COVID-19, a mix of vaccinated & unvaccinated people might be on this Outing, & we ask each person to be responsible + not participate if you’ve recently had any symptoms or exposure to an infected individual, or have COVID-19. And in general, if you're sick please do not attend.

The Outing officially begins & ends @ the location designated by Sierra Club, i.e. the trailhead. The Outing does not include carpooling, transportation or transit to & from the Outing; each participant is personally responsible for all risks associated with this travel. The times shown on Meetup do NOT account for travel to & from the Outing.

Please be sure either your pic clearly shows your face, or that I know you.

Past events (475)

Film Discussion: Fantastic Fungi

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Photos (9,007)