Mauna Kea-Humu'ula Trail

HARD 26 reviews

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

DISTANCE
11.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4668 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

rocky

no dogs

Hike the highest mountain in Hawaii (in the world, 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, lay 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.

hiking
7 days ago

Great day for climbing. Last week was rain which shut down the mountain and 70 MPH heavy wind gust this week dropped temp to below zero. However, today was a window that I was waiting for. Temp on the mountain was 45 degrees, sunny and with wind guest of 15 MPH. Started at 0744 after signing in at the visitor center. The road leading to the summit was closed due to black ice but open shortly after I started. The first 2000 feet took me 2 hours but finished the final 3000 in an additional 4 hours. Took my time since I have not been at this elevation for a couple of years. Some headaches, slight dizziness, and shortness-of-breath but made it to the top. Took some pics at the summit, be sure to bring a gift that you can give to the gods of the mountain at the summit since it is a historical/religious site and is noted prior to summiting. Wish I knew this since I did speak to a ranger what my plans where. I had my friends meet me at the summit and we drove down so that we could make it to Kona prior to sunset. Made it just in time. The trail is marked by steel stakes to keep you on track. The trail is steep and exposed to wind and sun so wear proper clothing/sunscreen. If you have ATT you have signal up to 11298 but after that you only have signal once you hit the hardball road leading to the summit. Be sure to sign out once you return to the visitor center as well.

1 month ago

Brutal, 5.5 mile trek (one way) up nearly 5,000 feet in elevation. The terrain is that of what you would expect to find on the moon. What makes this trek more challenging than other 14,000 foot hikes I’ve done in Colorado is that you drive from sea level to 9,000 feet in less then an 1.5 hours giving yourself very little acclimatization time. That said, the altitude didn’t bother me however it did have an affect on one of the members in our party. I highly suggest this hike. I’d suggest a good pair of boots, gators and sun gear. I had on a lightweight Patagonia base layer which was perfect.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Made it to the top!!! YEAH!!!
Mother nature was on my side but be prepared, the weather changes quickly and can be dangerous.
Also, do not underestimate the effect altitude can have on your body. My girlfriend and I have the same fitness level (marathon runners) and she had to stop because of altitude sickness.
Arrive early, take time to acclimate to altitude, bring lots of water and food and stay at the visitors center for stargazing.

3 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

Amazing run

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

In early June, my wife, sister, her boyfriend and myself tried to tackle Mauna Kea, and came up a little short. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike, the amazing views and remarkable landscape! I wrote a lengthy blog review about our experience. It can be read below:
http://jackofall3.weebly.com/blog/mauna-kea-the-hike-that-turned-into-a-climb

I would certainly try it again, if I ever make it back to Kona...

hiking
6 months ago

Tuesday June 13th I'm hitting it around 6:00 am if anyone wants to join. You can DM me on insta @ernienoh if one wants to coordinate.

hiking
6 months ago

Wear solid boots to deal with loose dirt/sand/rock trails. Altitude gain is noticeable. Actual summit is closed off but a comparable elevation can be achieved on the observatory road. Took me and my friend 5 hours from visitor center parking lot to summit and then 3 hours to get back down.

We were told the temperature at the top could be cold (even snow) but the weather was great and got away with long pants and long sleeves

hiking
7 months ago

Looking for fellow dayhikers who want to start at dawn sometime between June 10 and 13th.

hiking
10 months ago

Sunday, May 22, 2016

This is by far the hardest climb I have ever done! Definitely noticed the altitude, but still very worthwhile.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hiked in April as part of preparing for Peru in May. Temps were in the upper 40s so we just wore long sleeve shirts which was just right. The initial trail has a lot of loose cinder that feels like hiking uphill in sand. Had some minor altitude symptoms the first time so we used Advil prior to the second time which helped. Wogging down in cinder leads to stops to empty shoes. Looking forward to Peru.