Pu'u Huluhulu via Napau Crater Trail

MODERATE 94 reviews

Pu'u Huluhulu via Napau Crater Trail is a 4.0 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Pahoa, Hawaii, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.0 km Elevation Gain: 95 m Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

views

wild flowers

rocky

no dogs

Directions from Chain of Craters Road: Napau Trail begins at Mauna Ulu parking lot on Chain of Craters Road. The distance from the visitor center to the trailhead is eight miles.

Trister away over lava

backpacking
2 months ago

Easy, but interesting, hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy walk through the lava.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

Great hike...

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

I actually did two tails and circled back to origin from climbing up the Cain of craters road. I started from Napau trail and then took Naulu trail after Makaopuhi crater which leads to Chain of Craters road. And then climbed up back to Mauna Ulu parking through road

hiking
muddy
no shade
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

The sun beats down hard the first 3-4 miles of the trail through the lava fields. Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water - I brought 2 liters, but didn’t ration it properly and didn’t have much for the hike back. There’s nowhere to refill along the way. I did get some cool breezes and a sprinkle on the way back, which was refreshing. I only saw one person past the first mile. It was a little eerie, especially once I got into the jungle. There are wild boars, and they can be aggressive. Thankfully I didn’t run into any. There were quite a few wild orchids, which added to the feeling of enchantment. Overall, a tough but rewarding hike.

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

Hiked past the lookout to the crater and then went up to the lookout on the way back. Wear a hat and sunscreen and bring lots of water.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice to walk on lava rocks

hiking
10 months ago

The lava landscape it's pretty tremendous. The crater view is OK.

This was a great trail showing a variety of landscapes that Volcano National Park has to offer. At the top there is an almost 360 degree view. This was definitely worth the hike. Many plants along the way are labeled to educate hikers on what they are seeing. Not much shade. Wear sunscreen! Take plenty of water.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this trail past Pu'u Huluhulu out to Makaopuhi Crater. Cool landscape with steam vents right near the trail and great view down to the Makaopuhi Crater, much better than the view of Pu'u Huluhulu. Had some pouring rain down on us at some points of the hike, but ended the hike with dry clothes. It was interesting to see other park visitors and their wildly inappropriate footwear for these trails.

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

Beautiful! Keep walking past the gate!!! Epic cliff pics

hiking
Fri May 04 2018

Hiked it this afternoon and got caught up in the eruption and 6.9 quake before the park was evacuated. Not the best feeling to be on loose and hollow lava beds when a big tremor starts! The hike itself is pretty straight-forward. Just follow the trail markers and bring water. It probably helped that it was overcast and only 85 degrees. Lots of interesting plants and the $2 trail guide at the visitor center was informative. 5/4/18

hiking
Mon Feb 12 2018

hiking
Thu Nov 23 2017

Serious hike that ends with a view of the crater Napau. Walk in 2 parts: -1 on the lava -2 in the jungle For the 2nd part it's good to have a pair of trousers and a shirt that covers your arms as you pass through the undergrowth

Fri Sep 15 2017

Awesome hike! Not for everyone as weather can be harsh and changes quickly. We did 8.02mi by lack of time. The views of the crater are amazing. Be prepared, you are alone in the middle of nowhere... we met only one hiker past the 1st 1 or 2 miles and the terrain can be hard.

hiking
Fri Oct 09 2015

This is a cool hike with the opportunity to camp out overnight at the Napau Crater Rim. See below for a review of the hike with aerial birds eye view of the route. http://tonyflynn.ie/2015/10/08/napau-trail-hawaii/

hiking
Thu Feb 21 2013

Completed this hike Feb 19, 2013. The trail starts out flat and simple with info markers. It is a tourist trail. When you past the markers and see the sign for the Makaopuhi Crater, you are on your way. There are stone markers all along the route to keep you on track. You will pass several steam vents where the lava crust is very brittle. BE CAREFUL. I ended up breaking through several places just by walking too far off the trail to explore. There is also a very large crater here that is not marked in the map. BE CAREFUL. The edge is fragile and you can see how the crater wall is collapsing. This is the most active earthquake zone as well. When you get to the Makaopuhi Crater the view is amazing. There is a large steam vent along the side wall. The trail stops here, but the stone markers show you the route to the Npau Trail. The hike through this rainforest is absolutely amazing. Huge ferns, flowers, trees covered in vines. It travels along the edge of the Makaopuhi Crater on a decent trail with some muddy places, your hiking boots best be waterproof. Because it travels along the edge of the crater you have some different views along the way. BE CAREFUL. There are areas marked where the edge is undercut and not well supported. The trail continues along to the closed Npau camping site, there are wild orchids all along the trail which are a spectacular site to see in nature. Once you reach the camp site, the trail is very over grown, as I noticed hiking through the rainforest, many people stop at Makaopuhi Crater. Follow the sign towards the old pit toilet and you will catch up with the stone markers again. Take notice to all the lava coated tree stumps in this area, very cool. The trail continues down to the Npau Crater edge then is blocked by the warning signs. Just beyond you see a well marked trail down the crater wall and across the old lace lake. Pu'u 'O'o will be smoking and steaming in the distance. Glance to the right of your position and notice the trees with no leaves in the distance, that's from Sulfur Dioxide. Nasty stuff. The trail goes on to the base of the active volcano. I would not suggest "yes or no" to take this trail as you are violating several State and county laws, but make your own decision on the risk you are willing to take.

hiking
16 days ago

recorded Recording - Nov 13, 16:26

hiking
1 month ago

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