From the pullout along the Mamalahoa Highway (Hwy 11), the Footprints Trail traverses mostly level ground though various old lava flows. Along the way, stop off at the shelter and have a look at 200-year-old fossilized depressions made by ancient Hawaiians in volcanic mud ash. The prints featured in the shelter may no longer be the best preserved. Look nearby where the shifting sands have revealed other footprints. For more info on the history of the footprints and their discovery visit the park's website.
Continuing along to the southeast, the trail soon reaches the Ka'u Desert Trail at its approximate midpoint allowing for a bail-out option or a quicker way to reach the nearby Mauna Iki Trail to the northeast.