From the Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu trailhead and parking area, descend through dark endless lava flows. It can be very windy with dense "vog" here or alternatively you can bake under the brutal sun. Be prepared and have a good attitude because reaching the water is worth it.
Follow lava cairns and enter a stand of scattered ohia trees. After this last bit of shade, the sweeping views across the vast grassland and more lava fields are great. Continue to descend the barren terrain, crossing one bench after another.
First you reach the terminus of the Hilina Pali Trail
and then 2 miles later the Puna Coast Trail
intersects at the Keauhou Shelter and camping area. Here there are lean-tos, toilets, and a water catchment tank. This beautiful spot is the second most popular overnight destination on the coast after Halape Beach. Explore brackish ponds and snorkel in the shallow protected coves.
At one time, Keauhou Landing had buildings and a pier which was used to load cattle onto ships which would take them to market. The land here was leased and converted to pastureland for grazing.
Hawksbill sea turtles nest near here. Give them lots of room.