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blue Observatory Trail

Trail

3.8 mile 6.2 kilometer point to point
75% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,959' 597 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 12,999' 3,962 m
Low: 11,040' 3,365 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Megan W

This remote and challenging route visits the spectacular Mauna Loa caldera area.

Megan W

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Runner Notes

Uneven, jagged lava makes for very challenging footing.

Description

The Observatory Trail is also called the North Pit Trail on some maps. From the parking lot near the Mauna Loa Observatory (11,200 ft), ascend the lava field following occasional ahu lava cairns. Pass by collapsed lava tubes and cones, keeping an eye out for voclanic glass and other colored deposits.

Enjoy views north across the island to Mauna Kea. Some sections of this trail are comprised of an old, two-track, jeep road. Upon reaching the caldera rim, marvel at the immense size of the crater and the forces that created it. The Observatory Trail ends at a junction with the Mauna Loa Summit Trail and Cabin Trail.

Beware of altitude sickness, bring warm clothes, sun protection, excess water and food. Expect extreme and rapidly changeable weather. To avoid getting the bends, scuba divers should not ascend Mauna Loa within 24 hours of their last dive.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#7986

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Rankings

#46

in Hawaii

#7,986

Overall
10 Views Last Month
685 Since Mar 5, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

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