Explore the most popular camping trails near Kula with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

this trail is absolutely

Stunning views that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. We didn’t do the full loop. Way back up is hard with the altitude but worth the hike. Our 8 year olds and 11 year old loved it.

I added on the loop to see Kawilinau, which is a 65 foot hole into the abyss of the earth lol. I think that out me around 14 miles and I did it in six hours. I only had 1.5 liters of water and ran out, I would've liked at least 3 liters I think.

I don't believe sliding is truly a risk, I never slid once and the trail is mostly pretty wide, you aren't going to slide off into the crater.

I think the most dangerous aspect is the trail is so easy going down inexperienced hikers may feel like they can handle the trip. Going back up in the heat, I started at 8:45am, was definitely tiresome. I think anyone could do it if you have cat meat three liters of water, food, and plan on being at it all day.

As for the cold at top, I quickly warmed up going down and hiked back up without my shirt (sports bra) because I was so hot. I didn't put my shirt back on until about 3/4 of the way up. I had a clear, sunshiny day for my hike.

we did the 11 mile loop. so quiet (one of quietest places). very scenic, challenging, rugged. took about 5 hours. nice because so few other people on the trail given difficulty.

Amazing hike! Start early tho and if you can go on a cloudy/partly cloudy day! The trail has no trees and for most of it it is dark gravel! My friend and I did the hike starting from the top of the crater which lead us back to the lower parking lot!

strenuous; but beautiful, rewarding and very impressive; would definitely do it again; be prepared to bring layers of clothes; it can get pretty cold on the way back up; I got back around 430pm in overcast conditions and it was cold. - but hike is worth every effort.

DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED.

I did this hike June 27,2018, the weather was nice and so was the drive up to summit, however it was a long drive. This hike is for experienced hikers only, as going down into the crater is very easy and you will think that you can go further and further. Do not be fooled though, as the hard part is getting out of the crater. I would call myself decently experienced as I was in the Boy Scouts, but even I was exhausted after getting out of the crater.

One of the names for this hike is the Sliding Sands trail, this isn’t a lie, if you start to go off the trail you will slide down into the crater. Some points on the trail can be slippery due to the sand

So here are my tips for this hike:

Bring water, it may be cold and windy on the summit, but when you get far enough into the crater it will get hotter due to the sun beating down on you

Wear sunscreen, like I said it is sunny in the crater.

Bring trail snacks, you’ll probably be in the crater for a couple hours

Wear layers, but layers you can easily take off. It will be extremely windy at the summit, but in the crater it can be hot.

Overall this hike is extremely beautiful and I definitely recommend it, but only for experience hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

#1 thing to keep in mind when walking this trail is that it’s much more difficult to walk uphill than downhill, especially at 8,000-10,000 feet.
Hiked with my wife and 10 year old daughter about half way into the crater. They headed back up at that point, while I continued down almost to the bottom. There I took a side trail that leads to the top of the westernmost cinder cone. You can look down into the steep-sided interior of the cinder cone from its peak. Although it’s well worn, safe and easy to follow, I’m not sure how legit this little trail is in the eyes of the park service. It was amazing to watch the clouds ebb and flow from the crater gaps from that vantage point an hour before sunset. This is a unique, incredible place and every time I come I remember again how impressive it is.

2 months ago

Beautiful perspective views of the crater floor. Remember sun screen.

hiking
2 months ago

Very beautiful spot. We hiked to the end of the valley and then back up the hill. Be prepared for a substantial hike, part of which is about 5.5 miles all up hill continuously if you treat this trail as an out and back. Recommend getting there early morning to avoid clouds settling into valley/crater in the afternoon obstructing views.

This hike is hard only in the spot where you'll need to climb back out of the crater. This hike is beautiful start to finish. pretty cool too that you see plants that ONLY grow right there!

hiking
2 months ago

I've done it twice: once in 1975, when I was 24, and once a year ago. (You can figure out how old I was the second time...) First time was hot, sunny and dry, and I didn't bring enough water, so the hike back out was really hard. Second time was cold, cloudy, windy and rainy; we went maybe a couple-three miles down. I got chilled on the way back up, had to put the car heater on to get warm again. But both times beautiful--a cross between the Moon and Mars.

Book tickets online early to see the sunrise! They were sold out for over a month.

Amazing scenery. We hiked 1.5hrs down to almost the base of the mountain. The trek back up was challenging but rewarding. We left from just after sunrise and we are glad we did. Haze and clouds roll in at times in the afternoon and we weren't effected. Bring lots of water and good shoes. Enjoy!

Spectacular views! The trail itself is very well maintained and clearly marked. The footing is also relative good along the entire trail. The ascent is steady but not too steep. The weather does change suddenly. We descended in the sunshine and ascended in a heavy mist. We just wore tennis shoes and we were fine. Definitely remember to carry sunblock, water and bring layers. Getting there is also easy, which is nice!

One of the highlights of our visit to the national park. We visited with the intention of going on a long hike and the wind was so awful at the summit that we couldn’t do it SO we stopped by this little loop trail on our drive out. Happy we did! A wonderful short little jaunt thru a gorgeous forest full of quiet, nothing but trees and birds chirping and nice signage describing birds and trees in the area. There are two viewing spots with big metal fixed binoculars to look thru and check out the birds (or whatever). Super easy stroll and nice setting.

Park and jaunt.

Great hike for people looking to go to the crater floor. We opted to turn back where the trail splits into a loop, which made the total hike 7.8 miles. This was a good alternative to 11-12 miles. The descent and ascent are gradual and the biggest obstacle is the weather. When I hiked it in late April the weather changed every few minutes from cloudy to windy to misty to downpour. Come prepared. There are no services along the trail. That said, weather permitting, there can be same great views of the barren landscape.

hiking
3 months ago

Use 4WD! We drove it in a car, and the potholes were very difficult to maneuver. Too risky without 4WD. We did the redwood and plum trails to make a full loop. There were several downed trees across the paths that required you to crawl over, under, or around. Be cautious because the ground is soft on the edges of the paths. It’s a touch climb back up the plum trail. Not for the faint of heart. I wore my heart monitor because I’m an avid runner and I track my rates, and I was in the red for many parts of the way up - had to take it very slow. Beautiful hike on a clear day, but I would not want to drive the dirt road if it rains.

Waaaay more difficult than moderate. Bring waterproof layers and lots of water. Tough hike but worth it!

Othwerwordly. Pack water and sunscreen. And your camera.

4 months ago

Great hike and 4wd not required if you park before the sign that says it is and start from there. Just a lot of exceptional sections of forest and flowers. Nice and cool but don’t expect views of the ocean or island. Mostly different trees (including a section knocked down by wind). If you go to the forest cabin you can take the road back to your car, although that’s not so fun

Breathtaking

hiking
4 months ago

The first mile or so is extremely overgrown; however, it’s not that hard to follow the “trail.” See pictures I am posting for examples of how overgrown it is. After the first few miles the trail becomes a lot easier to follow. Wear good shoes with ankle support. Trekking poles are helpful for both going up and coming down. Microspikes are not necessary. Bring plenty of water (I drank 3L going up and refilled at Paliku). You will need to treat or filter the water. The weather can change quickly (and you are ascending nearly 6k feet) so be prepared for everything from a hot exposed climb to rainy cold weather. There is nothing really dangerous about the hike in terms of steep drop offs, etc. there are maybe only 2 or 3 places that are even remotely large drop offs but the trail is quite wide there.

Paved surface up to the last 4 miles. At the last 3.3 miles, you will see a cattle gate with a warning not to proceed. Only 4 wheel drive vehicles allowed. Violators will be fined. We parked here in our rental van and proceeded to walk. A friendly couple in a pickup truck asked us to join them to the trailhead. Stay to the right at the Polipoli State Forest sign and go downhill maybe .5 mile or more to the campground. Follow the sign to the Ranger Cabin. The woods were lovely, dark and deep but knowing we had to hike back to the van, we turned around before reaching the redwoods. Awww shucks. We enjoyed the hike none the less! Take a four wheel drive vehicle next time.

Amazing views. My wife and I loved the ability to make your own hike with the out and back trail. We felt like we were on Mars! Definitely recommend this. Be sure to bring plenty of water if you plan on going further. We opted for a 10 mile hike.

hiking
5 months ago

I hate “awesome” as it is so inflationary used when things are truly terrific. But Sliding Sands Trail truly is awesome. Due to turning weather we had to do the entire hike in 3hrs 20 minutes but as the trail is easy terrain walking a good flat and evenly inclining, one could have breaks to take photos and enjoy the views and always have the head up to enjoy the scenery. We started in clouds, had sun, grumbling thunder outside the crater and hail in the last 50 Meters. So unless you can catche the perfect day, be prepared for changing conditions.
My favorites where the few plants that managed to hold out in beauty.

trail running
6 months ago

Easy light run

You can eat lunch at the picnic tables and then go for a walk in the grove. The fragrances from the trees are fantastic - eucalyptus, peppermint, etc. It was really beautiful!

Great views. The hike back up to the crater rim is def more strenuous. Bring water and make sure to use sunscreen!!

hiking
6 months ago

Weather changed numerous times when we were on this trail. The views are nonstop amazing but be prepared with at least two liters of water and the right attire. The elevation change was pretty rough on us being from the Midwest. Overall it was fun and challenging!

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