Mauna Kea-Humu'ula Trail is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hilo, Hawaii, Hawaii that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until December.

Length11.2 miElevation gain4,783 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingLakeViewsRockyNo shadeHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

SEASONAL CLOSURE: This area is subject to seasonal closure due to weather conditions. Hike the highest mountain in Hawaii (highest mountain in the world if measured from the sea floor), and enjoy views to Moana Loa and to the ocean as well as other islands. This is not a casual hike - come prepared with all the water, calories, and essential items a high-altitude experience demands. Park at the visitor center, self-register anytime, then join the trail a few hundred feet up the road on the left. Six miles of uphill trail with few switchbacks, consisting of loose cinder and rough lava ahead. You will likely be alone - plan for self-reliance. Just below 13,000 feet the trail joins a paved portion of the service road, which, mostly unlaced below, provides a longer but suitable route back.

There is a parking lot with restrooms at the Vistors Information Station. Overflow parking is the norm during the day, but hikers will find plenty of parking at 6AM when registering for trail use.

Take the Saddle Road from either the Kona Side or the Hilo Side to mile marker 28 (slightly closer to 29 than 27), then head up 6 miles to the Visitors Information Station (elevation 9200 feet).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (130)
Photos (217)
Activities (89)
Completed (283)
View user's profile page
Brian Rowe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 13, 2021
Hiking

Hard trail, start early! We climbed this (at least going up) on April 13, 2021. We started at 6:30 and started heading back down on the paved road around 12:15. Got a ride in a nice couple's truck bed about 4 miles from the trailhead. No microspikes were needed--we brought ours but didn't use any. I went through almost a gallon of water though. Trailhead was just above freezing when we started, and we were walking on small ice crystals for the first mile or so.

View Brian's activity
View user's profile page
Laura Peters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2021
HikingGreat!Rocky

This hike deserves all 5 stars. Very cool experience. We hiked this yesterday (March 20). We started at 6:20am, which was the perfect time since we faced freezing rain on the way down. We enjoyed the summit without clouds and a bright blue sky. I suggest starting early like we did. It took us 3.5 hours to summit and 2 hours to get back to our car at the visitor's center. 5.5 hours total. We only saw two other groups on the way down, which was a nice change to the overly-touristy hikes at Volcanoes NP. Very little snow to trek through - didn't need microspikes on March 20th. We are avid high-altitude hikers, so this wasn't the hardest hike for us. If you're used to high-altitude, this is completely doable and you should do it! You'll experience unrelenting uphills, but nothing TOO steep (in our opinion). If you aren't used to high altitude, we wouldn't necessarily recommend hiking this because overall, it is difficult and altitude sickness can be deadly. Bring at least 3 liters of water per person, a winter hat, and lots of snacks. You'll also want to have plenty of warm clothes for the top - it was 30 degrees when we were up there and when sweat freezes, it could be very dangerous.

View user's profile page
Molly Duntemann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 19, 2021
Hiking

Awesome. Cold. Hard. Worth it.

View Molly's activity
View user's profile page
Jeff Salin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2021
HikingGreat!Icy

The road to the top is closed but the trail is open. Snow covered from midway to the top. Even still, well marked. It was cold and wet. We used micro spikes and be prepared for cold weather. With trail finding, took us about 8 hours. It was a great day!

View user's profile page
scott knollenberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 12, 2021
HikingGreat!IcySnow

Great trail. Quite a bit of snow and ice above 12,250 ft. I had to use Microspikes to get true summit as it was a sheet of ice. Great weather with nice cool breeze except at Summit where there was 50mph+ wind. My recording only tracked the acsent and half the descent. Total distance was 13.2 miles. Total hiking time was 6 hours with 7 hours total time that included two 15 minute snack breaks and 1/2 hour at summit.

View scott's activity
View user's profile page
Sona Rathod
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

Hiked up with my husband today and it was a beautiful and clear day. Tracking to the top was around 6.5 miles: Mile 1/2: This part is pretty steep. Hard to climb super fast because the trail is on a layer of loose sand/rocks that slides back as you step forward. I highly recommend going slow on this part anyhow and conserving your energy. Mile 3/4: The trail surface becomes harder and easier to walk on. Not as steep as miles 1/2 and you can move faster and make up some time. Mile 5: Slightly more inclined than 3/4 and this will eventually lead to the lake (sacred site so be sure to respect it). Mile 6-End: Short and easy section past the lake that leads to the access road. The last part is up 3 switchbacks on the road to get to the top. In my opinion, this was the worst part of the hike because walking on a car road is lame and just feels endless. We checked the weather before to make sure the winds were below 10mph....makes for a much more pleasant hike and you can spend time at the summit without worrying about getting too cold.

View user's profile page
Julio Nieves
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 5, 2021
Hiking
View Julio's activity
View user's profile page
Sagy Volkov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 5, 2021
Hiking
View Sagy's activity
View user's profile page
Kevin Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2021
Hiking
View Kevin's activity
View user's profile page
Jaime Dawes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2021
RunningGreat!

The first 1.5-2 miles of the trail are tough (steep incline and loose sand). After that it is very manageable if you can handle elevation. No scary edges and the last mile or so is on a paved road. We took the road down which is longer but probably faster if you’re a runner or fast hiker.

View user's profile page
Uzma Khan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021
HikingGreat!No shade

I have to admit that this is the toughest hike I have done. I experienced all signs of altitude sickness but I was still able to go all the way to the top. Definitely found it harder than I thought I would and took lot more breaks than expected. Overall I am proud that I was able to do it on Day 1 of 2021 and raise the bar for year ahead for myself. My advice is to avoid long hikes a day or two before you plan to do this one - I believe that’s why I got fatigued much faster. My headache got worse on hike down. A park ranger offered to drive us back to the car after we hiked down on the access road two miles. He told us that today it was lot more windier and colder than usual. We met him on the way up too; he warned us of weather as well as noted down our names and phone numbers. It was a great experience overall, we started at sunrise and took six hours to reach the top - out and back would’ve definitely been around 13 miles. It’s not 11.8 as listed, Please plan accordingly. Fully exposed with not a sign of bird or trees. As advised by other reviewers, we did take Advil before starting, but I didn’t really last much for me. I am a regular hiker (2020 exception) and have done hikes in Colorado that start at 10K elevation; none of the 14ers though. Plan between 8-10 hours to finish this hike.

View Uzma's activity
View user's profile page
Akshay S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021
HikingGreat!No shade
View Akshay's activity
View user's profile page
Laurie McQuay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021

This is not your normal woodsy, flowery hike, but it is very rewarding none the less. As another poster said, if you have climbed any of the 14ers in California, this wont be that hard. It is roughly 12 miles because the map offered here takes you up the side of the mountain rather than on the road, adding about a half mile. The first two miles (and the last two subsequently) are the hardest. These two miles are quite steep and without any time to acclimatize or even warm up, its rough going up. I hike regularly but Im 51 and while athletic, not a hiker babe, I made it to the top in less than 5 hours and down in 3.5 hours. If I had better knees, I would have been down in 3 or fewer. I have climbed a few 14ers. Today was very windy, moderate to strong gusts of 30 to 40 mph. It was much nicer when the wind subsided.

View user's profile page
C Gascoigne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 29, 2020
Hiking

100% exposure. cold and windy. we measured 13.6 miles and 5k elevation change if you continue past the ridge on the summit. it took us 10 hours and we got mild altitude sickness. since there's no birds on the trail it gives this eerie silence that you don't get elsewhere. it's a lot like hiking mars

View user's profile page
kyle kozak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking

Pretty nice

View kyle's activity
View user's profile page
Jessie Keiser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 27, 2020
Hiking
View Jessie's activity
View user's profile page
adam Earls
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 24, 2020
Hiking

Tough!

View adam's activity
View user's profile page
Katie Nell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Trail is open! Take it nice and slow to avoid altitude sickness and start early in the day to avoid getting back past sunset. Bring a good bright flashlight/head lamp just in case. We thought we could make it back in time, but it took us 7 hours to the top and started at 9; for the last mile we had in the dark the trail was difficult to see with good lighting (lessons learned). Approximately 14+ miles, not 11.2. We paced ourselves, went to the lake, and took multiple breaks (and even then still experienced some foggy brain, and mild headaches). Bring 3+ liters of water, sunscreen (reapply multiple times), pre-medicate with ibuprofen if you get sore knees, layers, and honestly wearing a mask helped keep dirt out and the condensation from breathing helped with keeping your face warm! The wind can be brutal but the views are spectacular! We caught a beautiful sunset of Mauna Loa on the descent. A must do hike on the Big Island!

View user's profile page
harsha bing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 11, 2020
Hiking

Anyone going today? Hit me up @insta - harshabingi Harshabing@gmail.com

Showing results 1 - 19 of 130