Explore Big Island TD - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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We had a 10 yr old and a 73 yr old with us. The forest was amazing. Granted it was my first hike! But we loved it. Easy, so we did it twice

Hike down took about 45 minutes. I grabbed one of the walking sticks at the top and that helped a fair bit. Snorkelling was incredible. Some of the best we’ve ever seen. There was no ladder that we found so dive booties really helped to get in and out of the water. We went around 2pm and left to come back at 4:30. No one there after 3:30. Coming back took me an hour with regular stops to catch my breath. My teenage boys were 15 mins ahead. Tough with the humidity but so worth it.

The hike is good but snorkeling was somewhat disappointing compared to the neighboring two step beach.

Easy trail. Gorgeous views!

Not to be missed on a trip to the park. A major stop for the tour busses so if you can go earlier. It isn’t lit before 10 am so bring a light, even the light on your phone will work. Follow the tube through to the other side and the trail will loop back.

Having seen this place on an organized tour, I was determined that one day I would come back and do this hike, Well today was that day. Fantastic little hike with amazing views of the crater below while walking through the rain forest, then down into the crater floor, to bed of lava that took years to cool. Just imagine the raw power of nature around you. The steam vents serve as a reminder that there is still hot molten magma flowing in the area. Great for a small couple hour morning hike.

beautiful hike. rainforest and young crater bed all in one...

Great hike - not too challenging, my boyfriend's parents (around 60, and one with a bionic hip) enjoyed doing this trail with yes and how sister. amazing mix of exposed volcanic rock and jungle. I wish it had been chat the whole day since we couldn't see all the way out from the lookout, but we did get a brief glimpse before we started and the view was amazing. easily done within a couple of hours (could probably compete in an hour if you're in good shape)

Went down this trail just for the snorkel trip. Nothing to really look at on the way down except about 3/4 of the way down. The trail starts to open up and you can see a pretty good view of the ocean. The shoes I wore were my tech-amphibian 3. Definitely bring water and sunscreen. Take your snorkel gear for sure! Lots of beautiful fish and the water it totally calm (5/5 starts for the snorkeling).

Very Nice and worth the effort. Bring a lot of water and do it as early as possible.

This was a wonderful hike. We went with our 7 and 10 year old children. They loved the time spent hiking and snorkeling. The water was clear and we saw many different types of fish.

hiking
14 days ago

From the south it is an easy walk across a mostly level foot trail, but with medium rocks. Hot if sun is out. From north it is a little more technical walk down sloped 4wd trail over medium to large rocks, although not hard. The red route on the site isn't showing going to Makalawena, follow the black dotted trail instead. I'd recommend at least tennis shoes for either way.

There are other hikes of note that aren't listed (at least that I can find) within this park.

Pu'u Ku'ili - very short hike up a cinder cone, immediately next to Kua Bay. Look for the 15mph sign on the drive in, the entrance to the trail is about 30 yards back from the sign across the road on the left. Hidden so if you don't know it's there you'll miss it. Really cool views form the top of this cone. I'd recommend tennis shoes, but I have done it a few times in slippers (Hawaiian for flip flops).

Makole'a Black Sand Beach - about a mile hike south from the Kekaha Kai State park pit toilets. Follow the coast until you start to see white coral chunks marking a rough trail over Pahoehoe lava flows. Cool little beach with sweet black sand. Saw one person during hike. I did hike in slippers.

Amazing! Take snorkel gear!

nature trips
21 days ago

Nice walk- short but cool if you’ve never been to a lava tube before. Great with kids!

Did this with our two young kids today. 4 miles total but a nice mix of rainforest vegetation and a dry lava crater. May be one of my favorite hikes of all times and certainly underrated!!

Easy hike that looks like an enchanted forest. The petroglyphs are beautiful but we only see them at the beginning and the end of the trail.

hiking
23 days ago

Fun cave. There are low spots in the right cave and we got a little tuned around. It splits a little ways in, if you go to the left there is a blue painted stop (So we stopped). If you go to the right, well that's where we got turned around, and we think we ended up on the entrance trail, not sure, but ended up at the split again. There are big orange arrows to show you the way out from there! We took our 2 year old and 5 year old. Both loved it!

Defiantly bring closed your shoes and lights if you are going deep in the cave.

A lovely little hike with interesting volcano Info and looks into the crater 50 years after the explosion. Loved the Ohia trees and birds.

28 days ago

Best view of the day!

Tack a visit through the lava tube onto the Kilauea Iki hike. If you have never seen a lava tube before, it is worth seeing it to get a glimpse of the sheer size and magnitude of what goes on underground in a volcano.

The starting point shown on this map is actually the Thurston Lava Tube 30 minute parking lot. You should park instead at the Kilauea Iki parking lot you will encounter before you get to that parking lot, and you can see it in the AllTrails map. We went counterclockwise instead, and it was a fine hike. Beautiful transition from rainforest to rugged rock and the smoother crater floor. Warm steam vents at the bottom were fascinating. Go through the Thurston Lava Tube at the end to appreciate the magnitude of what goes on underground in a volcano.

The trail is very easy, and it is a beautiful and significant National Park. Of great interest to us was snorkeling in Honauau Bay, located just north of the trail. One of the most beautiful places to snorkel on the island.

Hiked down to the monument with a small backpack and snorkled in the bay. Absolutely beautiful coral reef. Entered the water via a small ladder in front of the monument. The hardest part of the trip was finding parking at the top of the trail. Total time, including an hour of snorkeling, was 3 hours.

My wife and I hiked this today. Started somewhat early in the morning and took 45 min down with me carrying a 50 lb backpack with water and snorkling gear which I would rate as a easy hike down over lava rock both loose and hard and limited shade. Got to the bottom marker "8" and found a small beach with a few kayaks sitting around. Found out the way to the monument is to take a left at mile marker 8 which takes you to the captain cook monument. There is a ladder into the water close by which puts you in 5 ft deep water on top of the coral. by 10:00 I counted 13 charter tours and 1 sail boat in the bay with close to 100 people in the bay. The snorkling is great with coral reef surrounding the whole bay. The hike out on the other hand was a different story., mind you we were at a break neck speed. I found myself gasping for breath at times with my pack on and ended up drinking multiple litres of water and stopping multiple times. All in all it took 55 min to get up. Many people on the walk out didn't have water so make sure you bring some with your snorkling gear.

hiking
1 month ago

This was amazing.. if you go deep and explore the caves you get the full experience. Bring a headlamp and hiking boots..you will get wet

Neat hike through island rain forest and down into an inactive volcano's crater. According to the NPS, the volcano last erupted in 1959 sending lava 1900 feet into the air. Incredible to consider all the plant life that has grown in around the rim of the crater considering what must have been left after such a violent irruption. The rainforest along the rim was lush and green which was an amazing contrast to what you find in the crater once you descend in. It was like walking through an asphalt paved valley, complete with steam as if parts of the asphalt were freshly laid! Also amazing was the plant life that has begun to grow through the lava to begin reclaiming the crater floor. We hiked this on a day when the air quality was rated as unhealthy for sensitive groups, but felt no effects. Bring water, as it does get hot on the crater floor. The descent and ascent back out of the crater are a good workout. We also through on the Lava Tubes at the tail end of the hike before returning to the parking lot where we parked the rental car. Great hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Please don't "climb over the rocks" to get a better view. We have had rain here everyday for over a month. I work across the street- the river is fast and high.

Great fairly easy hike. Closer to 4 Miles making the whole loop. I advise taking the recommended path starting with the long side of the crater rim on top. Awesome flora and fauna along the way, and the descent into the crater is steeper that way than the ascent will be in the other end. Plus, you will end up close to the entrance of Thurston Lava Tube which is just under 0.5 mile lava tube you can walk through.

Quick and easy view. Not really a hike at all. Except to go up the stairs to see it from the top.

Nice and easy hike, beautiful scenery, beautiful contrast between the forest and the desertic look of the crater :)

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