Hiking The Mauna Loa Trail

The 3rd most popular hiking trail in Hawaii.

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Southwest of Hilo in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, the Mauna Loa Trail, a 36 mile route up 6,600 feet to the 13,677 summit from rainforest to snowcap. This is typically a 3 day hike with a moderate grade and ocean vistas. The route runs through volcanic landscape with jagged lava fields and big lava tubes. There are two types of lava along the way: Pahoehoe lava with a firm and solid footing, and A a lava which has variable and unpredictable footing.

The trail begins at the end of Mauna Loa Road (about 7.5 miles up from Saddle Road), and there is a mid-camp at Red Hill Cabin (Puu Ulaula Rest House) at 10,035 (first-come, first-serve).

Be prepared for rain, snow, severe cold, wind and intense sun.

Overall, Mauna Loa Trail is the 3rd most popular hiking trail of all 45 hikes in Hawaii. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Mauna Loa Trail including HiIlawe Falls, Kulani Forest Trail System, Napau Crater Trail, Ala Kahakai Trail, Muliwai Trail / Waimanu Valley and Pololu Valley TrailKilauea Crater Park.

Mauna Loa Trail on Big Island (HI/US)

Mauna Loa Trail on Big Island (HI/US)

Mauna Loa Trail Hiking Map



Local Contact(s):  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (808) 985-6000; Hawaii Trail & Access System (808) 974-4217; Big Island Weather (808) 961-5582; Hawaiian Walkways Tours (808) 775-0372; Hawaii Forest & Trail Guides (808) 331-8505.

Recommended Book:  "Hiking The Hawaiian Islands" from Suzanne Swedo

Best Season:  Jul. - Sep.

Average Difficulty:  Hardcore

Base Camp:  Namkani Paio Campgroun at MP31 (808) 967-7321; Kulanaokuaiki Campsite; Volcano Teapot Cottage (808) 967-7112; Guest House At Volcano (808) 967-7775

Luxury Loding:  Kona Village Resort (808) 325-5555; Volcano House Lodge (800) 937-7786

Breakfast Restaurant:  Kens House of Pancakes, Hilo

Reference Source:  click here http://www.nps.gov/havo/

GPS:  19.484, -155.609

Date Published:  1/6/2016

Date Updated:  7/26/2016

ID:  12202

Mauna Loa Trail Hiking Map


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For hiking the Mauna Loa Trail in Hawaii, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.