“This rugged and scenic route features lots of lava, clifftop travel, beaches, and possible sea life.”
— Megan W
Features: Birding — Swimming — Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Very little shade, hot, very tough footing.
From the Pu'u Loa parking area, descend gradually through endless dark, shiny lava flows from the 1971 eruption. Follow the ahu (tall lava cairns) that mark the way. See how many different kinds of lava you can identify. A long stretch of trail hugs the the ragged coastline where waves have created spectacular stone arches and blowholes. Keep an eye on the sea for whales and pods of dolphins.
On the approach to Apua Point, the trail passes by some cattle yards made of piled lava stones. There is camping and a toilet available at Apua Point but no water catchment. Beware of the strong rip currents at Apua Point.
From Apua Point to Keauhou, cross multi-textured lava fields from the 1973 eruption and then dry, grassy terrain. The camping at Keauhou features some palm trees and ponds surrounded by jumbled rocks.
The section of trail between Keauhou Landing/Shelter and Halape Beach covers old lava interspersed with shrubs and grasses. Huge lava cairns mark the way. One large, rocky slope has an intricate and welcome path cut through it to ease travel. The high cliff in the distance forms the backdrop for the pretty white sand beaches of Halape and the backcountry campsites found there. This popular area has a pit toilet, lean-tos, a nearby sandy cove and brackish pools to explore.