What a rewarding hike! Takes at least half a day if you stop a lot to enjoy the views and take pics along the way...breathtaking! One of the least muddy of all the trails I've done lately but there are plenty of steps at the top! Totally worth every step!
They wouldn't let me in to hike, because I didn't have a Hawai'i ID. I gave them my University of Hawai'i Faculty/Staff ID, as well as my South Carolina Driver's License, but it wasn't good enough. I even had my 5yr old daughter with me. Lame.
4.3mi out-and-back (not 2.6mi as listed), and a little over 1500ft elevation gain. Very similar stats to neighboring trails Kuli'ou'ou and Wiliwilinui. Of the three, Hawaii Loa is the most challenging with the steeper ascent in the second half of the trail. Very fun and beautiful trail. 2:30-3hrs if you're not in a rush.