Explore the most popular hiking 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.

hiking
1 day 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.

The Sliding Sands trail is open but the 2 offshoots to Ka Lu’u O Ka O’o are CLOSED! You can still see the areas that acted as trails but the are no longer open to the public. People who continue to traverse the path leading to and around Ka Lu’u O Ka O’o are breaking park regulations.

Lots of shade. Sometimes enveloped in fog. Rather than out and back, you can continue on to junction with Waiohuli trail and take that trail back to Waipoli Road then walk back to your car at Boundary trailhead.

2 days ago

Must do.

We did only the first mile. The scenery and foliage are beautiful. The overlook of the crater is quite impressive. It is rocky, but easy to hike. You should do it.

The hike in is like landing a spacecraft on a foreign world, totally amazing and unique. The hike out is like you crashed your spacecraft and you are stranded lol. Hiking out is pretty tough as it is obviously uphill and the majority of time in loose sand for 2 miles. Definitely bring sunscreen, extra water, and a little trail snack and just take your time. One of a kind experience for sure. Time it right and get back to the car for sunset at the summit, I found it just as remarkable as the sunrise with much less traffic and no need for a reservation. Stargazing about an hour after sunset is a nice bonus as well. This hike took me and my 16 year old son about 3 hours and 45 minutes round trip.

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

hiking
28 days ago

Absolutely loved the views in this short hike high above the clouds. What a thrill!

Awesome views of the area, a must to take the short hike up for all sides panoramic.

Plan for the altitude change by hydrating as this short hike could tax you if elevation causes any issues.

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!

on Waiakoa Loop Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Had an awesome time. Hike itself was not bad at all. Scenery is very beautiful. It was relatively rainy today and added to feel almost like hiking through a rainforest of some sort. Ran into one group, otherwise it was just my family and I. It was at times pretty muddy, definitely bring some good shoes or hiking boots. I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to drive through the 4wd only section. We thankfully decided against it and hiked through. Absolutely no way anything except a lifted heavy duty off roading vehicle is getting through that. I would recommend the hike to anyone. My mom doesn't hike much at all and was able to make it through just fine.

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.

This is mostly moderate, even though rated hard. It’s a bit rocky, so perhaps that’s part of the hard rating? That can be hard on your ankles. Just be careful. Wear layers, as it can get cold and windy. Bring water and food. It is spiritual as you are hiking the crater, which is one of the energy vortexes of the planet. This is a great hike for connecting with Source.

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!

on Pa Ka'oao Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Short walk to an overlook. Cool view of the weather is on your side. We had high winds but it was worth it to get out of the car on the way up to the summit. Easy walk.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

We parked at the top prior to the 4wd sign. Good thing, that road wouldn’t have been passable without a lifted 4wd vehicle. It was completely rutted out in places and would have been a struggle in a basic 4wd vehicle.

The hike was great but we mistakenly did it counter clockwise and I swear it felt like the whole thing was uphill. We had the whole trail to ourselves, didn’t run into a single soul. No rain and a perfect cool day with light jackets. We saw goats and piglets which were adorable but we didn’t want to run into mama hog (or mistakenly separate her from her piglets) so we barked like dogs to scare them all off.

The trees were stunning, birds were chirping, and the trail was in good shape which other than the uphill factor, didn’t require too much effort to traverse. We did not locate the “cave” which was on the map/sign at the trailhead.

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
2 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.

Absolutely breathtaking. Amazing way to get back up to the rim if you start with the Sliding Sands trail.

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.

2 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

I've hiked this twice, both times many years ago. Gorgeous!

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