“Run through lava fields punctuated by vegetation struggling to survive and unique lava formations.”
— Megan W
This trail has been closed from time to time due to new eruptions. Check with park rangers for current conditions.
Naulu Trail is a challenging run across stark `a`a lava flows from the 1971 and 1972 Mauna Ulu eruptions. It meanders through a welcome section of shady, ferny rainforest. Along the way you'll encounter tree molds, lava tubes, collapsed lava bubbles, and a lava covered section of the old Chain of Craters Road.
Be sure to follow the lava rock cairns so you don't lose your way. The Naulu Trail connects to the Napau Trail
and offers a shorter route to the Napau Crater Overlook, with uphill elevation gain of approximately 800 feet. Once at the Napau Crater Overlook, one can gaze across the field towards Pu`u `O`o.
This backcountry route, through the Napau Wilderness Area, is within Kilauea's fascinating east rift zone. About halfway up the Naulu Trail, you'll see the overgrown, and now closed, Kalapana Trail heading off to the east. This trail was abandoned after being buried by lava.