4,890 Feet Elevation, 3 Miles
Route: Kaumana Trail follows the 1855 lava flow through native forests.
Location: The trail can be accessed off of the Saddle Road (Hwy 200) at 18.45 and 19.75 miles from Hilo.
Trail is a remnant portion of the old Hilo-Pu’u ‘O’o Horse Trail. Until the U.S. Army built the Saddle Road in 1942, it was the only direct route from Hilo to the Humu’ula Saddle. It follows the 1855 lava flow, passing through pioneer ‘Ohi’a forest and adjacent to kapuka of mature koa/’Ohi’a/hapu’u forest. Native Hawaiian birds are readily sighted enroute. Wear bright colored clothing, as this area is open year round for game mammal hunting.
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