Natural Hawai'i

Hikes on The Big Island (Hiking Trails)

Hiking on the Big Island: Pololu Valley Awini Trail

The Big Island offers a variety of hiking choices for the beginner as well as the experienced hiker. You can hike up to the edge of mountains and volcanic craters, to beaches and cliffs that were formed from lava flows, to historical monuments, and even within sight of red hot lava flows.

Captain Cook Monument Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Ocean side of Napo’opo’o Rd., approx. 200 yards W. of Hwy. 11 intersection.
Type: strenuous 4 mile round trip
Highlights: descends 1,400 ft to Captain Cook Monument. Swimming and snorkeling.

Pololu Valley Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Hwy. 270, at mile marker 28, approx. 8 miles E. of Hawi.
Type: Strenuous, 4-mile trail.
Highlights: Pololu Valley, black sand beach.

 Waimanu Valley Trail:

Trailhead Directions: N. side of Waipio Valley, roughly 100 yards inland from Waipio Beach.
Type: Strenuous 9-mile switchback trail.
Highlights: 1,200 ft to top of ridge, then descend into Waimanu Valley.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

(Permits required for overnight hikes.
Permits: Kilauea Visitor Center. 7-day limit).

Mauna Iki (Footprints Trail):

Trailhead Directions: Hwy 11, 1/4 mile E. of mile marker 38.
Type: Moderate 2 mile round trip.
Highlights: Historic footprints in lava, from 1790. Trail merges with Kau Desert Trail for longer hikes.

Mauna Loa Trail (Red Hill Route):

Trailhead Directions: End of Mauna Loa Hwy. 11. Permit Required.
Type: Grueling, 39-mile round-trip trail to summit of Mauna Loa. Hikers may experience altitude sickness and hypothermia.
Highlights: Overnight 3 to 4 day hike, climb from 6,600 feet to 13,679 feet.

Mauna Loa Trail (Observatory Route):

Trailhead Directions: At Mauna Loa Observatory. Permit Required.
Type: Grueling, 12-mile round-trip trail to the summit of Mauna Loa. Hikers may experience altitude sickness and hypothermia.
Highlights: Overnight 1 to 2 day hike, climb from 6,600 feet to 13,679 feet.

Halemaumau Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Crater Rim Trail, 0.1 mile N. of Volcano House. 
Type: Moderate 3 miles.
Highlights: Kilauea Caldera and across hot arid caldera floor, to the Halemaumau Overlook. Good views  of Halemaumau Crater.

Sulfur Bank Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Kilauea Visitor Center.
Type: Easy half mile walk roundtrip.
Highlights: steaming sulphur banks.

Sandalwood Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Volcano House.
Type: Easy, 0.7-mile trail.
Highlights: Good views of Kilauea Caldera.

Devastation Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Crater Rim Road to Puu Puai Overlook.
Type: Moderate, 1 mile round trip.
Highlights: Ohia lehua forest. A 1959 eruption site. Passes by Pu’u Puai cinder cone. Great views of the Kilauea Iki Crater.

Thurston Lava Tube Trail:

Trailhead Directions: 1 1/2 miles E. of junction of Crater Rim Road and Chain of Craters Road.
Type: Easy 0.3-mile loop trail.
Highlights: Lush fern forest, 450-foot-long lava tube, which is nearly 20 feet high in places.

Kilauea Iki Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Thurston Lava Tube parking lot.
Type: Strenuous, 4-mile loop trail, excessive heat, lack of water.
Highlights: Kilauea Iki Crater, descending 400 feet to floor of crater.

Halape Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Kipuka Nene Campground, off Hilina Pali Rd., approx. 5 miles S.W. of Chain of Craters Rd.
Type: Strenous 14 miles round trip.
Highlights: Barren tracts, descending 3,000 ft to ocean & coral beach.

Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs Trail:

Trailhead Directions: Chain of Craters Rd. to the coast.
Type: Easy, 1 1/2 miles round trip.
Highlights:. large petroglyph field, with over 15,000 ancient petroglyphs etched into  lava.

Things To Do Hikes Big Island
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