Puu Huluhulu Trail
6,728 Feet Elevation, 0.6 Miles
Route: A short, easy loop that takes you to the top of the cinder cone with views of the Saddle plain, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Location: Opposite John A Burns Way (Mauna Kea Observatory Road), 27.7 miles from Hilo. Park in front of hunter check station.
Caution: The area is open for seasonal hunting. Wear bright clothing.
A short double loop trail, constructed by the Youth Conservation Corps, encircles both crests of the hill. The trail provides an excellent opportunity to view native plants and birds which were once abundant prior to the introduction of livestock and the lava flows of 1843 & 1935 in the area.
The top of the pu’u (cinder cone) makes an excellent picnic site and provides panoramic views of the area. No open fires are allowed. The trail is short, easily traversed and ideal for youngsters on a day’s outing.
Hiking Safety Tips
- STAY ON MARKED TRAILS! Vegetation or cinders may hide deep cracks in the ground. Use caution near cliffs, cracks, and steam vents. The edges of these features are unstable and can be slippery. Keep your children safe. Hiking over cracks and holes, loose rock, and thin lava crust greatly increases your risk of getting hurt. Falling on lava may result in severe wounds.
- WEAR STURDY SHOES AND LONG LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING PANTS (falling on lava is like falling on broken glass).
- CARRY AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. No matter how short your hike or brief your stay, bring more sunscreen and water than you think you’ll need. Recommended: 2 liters of water per person, per day. Hawaii’s strong tropical sun can cause serious dehydration.
- AVOID HIKING AFTER DARK (cracks, crevasses, and cliffs look like shadows – depth is not evident in the dark).
- Always hike or camp with another person.
- Bring a cell phone.
- Do not drink untreated stream or lake water.
- Always be prepared for rain. Rainstorms can roll in with surprising speed.
- Have warm clothes on hand. At elevations above 1,000 feet (and even on windy beaches), nighttime temperatures can drop by at least 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the elevation, the colder it will be.
- Carry bug spray. Mosquitoes can be thick even on breezy beaches.
- Abide by posted signs and stay on the trail.
- Always obtain the proper permits to hike or camp.
- If you are a novice hiker, consider arranging a hiking tour with an activity/attractions tour provider