Kaumana Caves is a 0.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hilo, Hawaii that features a cave. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

0.1 miles
0 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly


nature trips






no dogs

4 days ago

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.

20 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.

25 days ago

Neat caves and quite the ol lava tube.

Flash Lights and closed toed shoes a must.

Cool lava tube and it’s free. A few stairs down. Wear good shoes and bring head lamps.

26 days ago

So much fun! Good shoes a must! Flashlights necessary too.

1 month ago

A fun stop while in the Hilo area. The lava tube cave is very interesting.

3 months ago

Amazing experience.

3 months ago

Very interesting to see this lava tube as it is free of charge compared to other lava tube visits that charge $25 pp. We believe this was sufficient to explore a lava tube and we went all the way to the far end which was interesting.

5 months ago

When I read the review that you’ll get wet I assumed they meant walk through a stream, the water’s actually dripping from the roots in the ceiling. Reviews also say headlamps are necessary and they’re definitely not for the right cave (phone works) but could be nice for the left cave. We were fine anyways. Close toed shoes definitely necessary. My friend in vans slipped (not bad/doable) and I was fine in my timberlands.

The right cave is easy and more friendly because it’s short and just stops.

The left cave requires some low stances (watch your head) and traversing rocks. It also opens up to a huge tube a few times. There are reassuring orange arrows/dots depicting the way out (same way in). At the end of the tube there are a few holes which you physically could climb out of but I do not recommend. For one, where are you, two is that a maintained trail, three the signs specifically say exit through the entrance. So go back out through the cave.

Also be aware the weather may change by the time you’re out of the cave. Sunny for us when we went in and pouring when we came out. Car’s not far from the entrance so it was okay.

9 months 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.

10 months 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

10 months ago

Awesome cave
Go down on the left cave. Under the. Platform, you can go on for. Several mete (almost 1 km)
Make sure ti bring a flash light

Monday, January 15, 2018

This is an incredible cave. As mentioned below, there is access to the left and right of the entrance.

To the left it is about a 15 minute walk to the openings at the end. No real views on top that I could see, just jungle, but it's still pretty cool. At the beginning the cave appears to end, but keep going through the 4-5 ft opening and it really opens up. Four of us went the entire way with our cell phone lights no problem. Good flashlights would have been nice though. You definitely want closed+toed shoes.

To the right, is much like the left side but from what I've read goes on for nearly two miles of accessible cave.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

So fun! Make sure to bring headlamps/flashlights and wear sturdy shoes. The cave on the right is long and meandering. The cave on the left is short and has 2 skylights; at the second one you can climb up to the surface, but you must return back thru the cave to the exit. At times, the floor can be rough/uneven, you will have to scramble over boulders, and you may have to squat low (no need to get on your hands and knees though). There is also some dripping water and puddles. Sad to see the walls have lots of graffiti on them (mostly the cave on the right). It is like the “high adventure” version of Thurston Lava Tube. It is definitely underrated, but that is great because it keeps the crowds away.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kaumana Caves are so underated to visit and is perfect if the weather isn't the best outside. You can go as far as you like, I ended up hiking down about an hour and then back up. There are no trails in the caves so you are walking around a lot of black and sharp lava rock so wear appropriate foot wear.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fascinating little stop to make on the way. From what I can recall I believe theres only 2 small caves. Doesn't take too long to check both of them out.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Great for kids

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bring a strong flash light ! Good hiking shoes. It is awesome and the cave carvings of people's names and dates like 1907.! So cool! Well worth it. Cool damp and dripping . Loved it

Friday, April 10, 2015

Great little hike right near town. Wear real shoes (or Chaco-like sandles). Take a headlamp for sure.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Awesome!!! I could end the review right there and it would be enough, but I'll continue with some tips.

The Good:
- This is not your guided tour walk through a well-lit cave full of dripping stalactites and stalagmites. No this is for the adventurous who like to explore on their own.
- Restrooms are available along with a small picnic area.
- Stairs help you get into the caves.
- Parking is across the road and is plenty for the number of people who show up at one time.
- Scenic drive on your way to the caves.
- Nice and cool inside.
- Water fountain.

The Not So Good:
- I stretching here, but there are a lot of ants around the water fountain.

Here are some Tips:
- There are two tunnels when you go down the stairs. The one to the left is a little more kid-friendly. It is walkable the whole way through. There is an underground stream on the pathway, but you should be able to find places to step without getting your feet too wet. Near the end of this tunnel, there are two places you can actually come out of the tunnel and get some fresh air. My kids loved finding the source of the underground stream. I took all my kids into the left tunnel, from the 2-year old to the 11 year old. All of them made it just fine.
- RIGHT TUNNEL: I only took my 7, 9, and 11 year old kids in this one. This one is a longer tunnel and in some places larger, some places smaller than the left tunnel. We had to crawl in some parts in order to continue. There was an underground stream in this one as well; you could hear it long before you saw it. Sometimes all we could do was hear it under our feet! You have to climb a little in this tunnel as well. So think about the ability of the people in your party before you go to the right. I think it is only moderately difficult for kids, and for an experience hiker/climber, you should have no problem.

Bottom Line:
Awesome!!! I'll only add, BRING YOUR OWN GOOD FLASHLIGHT. iPhones are great, but they are horrible when you are trying to explore. You want something more powerful, and you want your hands free. I wore a headlamp, packed it in the suitcase when I planned for this trip. Definitely worth it!

Yelp!: http://www.yelp.com/biz/kaumana-caves-hilo

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