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

Hawaii Big Island Map

Hiked this trail today with my son and friends. I consider myself an experienced hiker but today was something different. Bring three times the water you would expect. Make sure everyone in your group has plenty. The descent was good. Watch your step in areas as the rocks can slide. It took 1:15 to get down stopping frequently to wait for the group.

The snorkeling is a must but be careful with water entry and exit. Two of our party, myself include, came in contact with a Sea Urchin. I recommend entering the water at the rope ladder near the monument.

The ascent was hot! I consumed more water then I ever had before. It took 3:30 minutes to complete the ascend as the slower person was not an experienced hiker.

Enjoyed every minute of it! You decend down some steep steps, and wow! It feels like you’re in another world. Go as far as you feel comfortable into the caves, it’s worth it!

I saw some people attempting to do the caves with flip flops-not a great idea. Even in my hikers I had to be sure of every step. Bring a flashlight & headlamp combo if you can. (More light and better if you want to try to take photos)

Also, in case anyone was unaware the caves is actually a lava tube from an eruption in the 1880’s from Mauna Loa.

3 days ago

Worth the 3 miles there and back. Went at 8am and had the beach to ourselves. Left at like 11 and there were wayyy too many people on the beach, walking down, hitching rides and parking. Go early if you want an experience and not a fight for some sand!

nature trips
5 days ago

The trail to the top of the waterfall is hidden, look to your right!

I was lucky to see the monument on the anniversary that the islands were found, so it was extra special for me and my boyfriend. The way down was difficult at times because the terrain can be tricky. The way back up was a breeze for me, but can see that the incline can be difficult for others. Shade is minimal so pack enough water and sunblock. We didn’t stay to go snorkeling, but it seemed everyone who was there was enjoying it. Definitely worth spending two hours of your vacation doing this.

Short but fun trail. Small swimming hole up top. Cool spot.

The view of the crater after the recent activity is what makes this trail fantastic. Nicely shaded area to walk in on the return.

7 days ago

We hiked this only because it was open. Not many trails are open after the recent eruption. The view of the crater is spectacular.

CLOSED FOR GOOD- This crater was absorbed by the recent eruption. The ranger I spoke with last weekend indicated it is not coming back for public use. Thurston lava tubes, across the street from this trail head, is also closed.

I had hoped to bring my family on this hike, as it was incredible. It will be interesting to see what Pele has created for future exploration.

9 days ago

Stellar hike and views! Very muddy at times—microspikes recommended but not necessary. There are some little hills down in the valley to walk around on. One could camp down there if one wished.

Great hike. Ends at one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever visit.

14 days ago

Fun and muddy hike down. Great lookouts along the way. It’s fun to walk around and explore once you reach the bottom. The trees, ocean, little trails around the area can keep you occupied for awhile! Lots of great photos opps here. There was a rope swing on the top of the hill -Doooo ittttttt. I wouldn’t swim there but only because we saw about a 1,000 Portuguese man of war creatures along the beach. Bring a rain coat and wear your tennis shoes.

Steep very steep. Hike up isn’t to bad especially compared to ( captain cook ) but if your not in very good shape you could try to hitch a ride back up from a local. Valley views are pretty cool but not necessarily my favorite place we visited on the island.


Fast hike down ( 45 min ) and well worth the snorkeling. This was our families favorite snorkel spot on our trip! THE WAY BACK UP WAS VERY HOT and STRENUOUS, the incline is no joke! Bring a few waters, full sun almost all the way ☀️. WEAR TENNIS SHOES.. don’t be an idiot. We are in shape and the incline was difficult. I would rate this trail differently just so people know what they’re getting into... Leave early so you can spend most of your day there. Plan on at least an hour getting back up or longer if your older or out of shape.

Super cool to see the sulpher mists and yellow-coloured rocks.

not a hike but a lovely, picturesque walk

16 days ago

Trail is strenuous with little shade for the second half (going down). Definitely recommend snorkeling gear or swim suits to enjoy the water at the end of the trail. Highly recommend for a lower altitude but challenging hike on the Big Island. There were a couple families who appeared to have been there for a large part of the day..

If you are interested in the Captain Cook Memorial, you must turn left at trail marker 8. There aren’t any signs to turn here, so it wasn’t initially obvious to us.

on Pololu Trail

17 days ago

Great little hike with fabulous views on the trail down. Be sure to take a ride on the rope swing !

17 days ago

Fabulous short hike. Definitely wear footwear with decent traction As going down can be a slippery affair with lots of rocks and mud. Take your time hiking down taking in the spectacular views and you will be rewarded with a fun walk on a black sand beach.

The hike is nice with beautiful ocean views. About 5.5 km each way for you Canadians. Some say it is all about the destination but hike is good. Wear runners and expect to sweat on the return trip. The snorkling is very nice but lots of tour boats. Get there early or plan to be there around 1130 to 1 when they are head out to pick up the afternoon swimmers. I do recommend this hike as the snorkling is a nice reward.

Great beach trail with plenty of areas to explore. Get there early to avoid all the shuttles that start taking over the road in the afternoon. Recommend sturdy shoes due to gravel and rocks. Definitely worth the view!

18 days ago

Short beach stroll, morning surfers, and quite a few "beach sleepers."

Missed a step on this one

Really disappointed with the inability to enjoy this historic location. Due to the partial govt shutdown the entire park was closed and a sign along the gate stated no kayaking or snorkeling. Lots of folks were just parking along the road and the walking past the gate.

19 days ago

It was a very rainy day today, and the caves were an excellent way to spend some time. The path to the caves is easy, though the stairs are steep.

I did the right cave first, since a woman was unhelpfully scowling at her companions at the easiest means of entry to the left cavern, and seemingly unwilling to let me pass. The abundant water saturating this part of the island beads on the ceiling, occasionally splashing down on you. If you shine your light up, they glow like the glass beads in a stop sign.

Along the way you pass by many years of graffiti carved into the lava. The path is a bit torturous, at least for me, but I did have a pre-sprained ankle.

When I exited I went to the left cave, where the woman was still scowling at her now invisible companions, and I hopped down in front of her and made my way in. It really was nice to travel through a lava tube.

The most beautiful and biggest waterfall I have ever seen in my entire life! (so far)
A very short walk, but very crowded. However, everyone was nice enough to let everyone have a turn to get a good enough shot at the falls!

off road driving
20 days ago

ALERT: This hike, 4WD, or local shuttle trek is loaded with people in an unfamiliar environment.

Given the magnitude of hikers, the varying levels of 4WDing, and the uniqueness of the local shuttle this adventure is hectic.

Attempted the 3.5 mile trail via a 4WD Jeep and made it almost 2 miles before the insaneness of situationally unaware hikers and the crazed Jeep trails became too much.

Choose wisely a time that may not have so many tourists and enjoy the full adventure.

Good hike with an even better destination. We do quite a bit of hiking, it took us 45 minutes down and 60 minutes up. Steady climb but nothing too steep. Wear proper walking/hiking shoes. Snorkelling was great, definitely recommend water shoes or flippers getting into the water as well.

Access road, Chain of Craters Rd, was closed due to the Dec 18 partial govt shutdown.

Closed due to 2018 volcanic activity.

Access road, Crater Rim Dr. as well as Chain of Craters Rd, was closed due to the Dec 18 partial govt shutdown.

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