Halema'uma'u Trail

One of the best hikes for viewing lava in Volcanos National Park.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
10 km
Ascent
193 m
Descent
193 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.1 km
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Halema'uma'u Trail Map

Description

The Halema'uma'u Trail is one of the best routes for reaching a volcanic caldera and spotting molten magma in Hawaii Volcanos National Park. The trail begins by descending 425 feet steeply off the rim, dropping through a lush rainforest to access the caldera below.

"Once you reach the caldera floor, you will hike across the caldera for several miles, finally reaching the Halema'uma'u Crater, which is over 300 feet deep," writes Ed F on SummitPost.org. Hawaiians believe that Pele resides here, and until recently, the floor of this crater was magma. Along the way, you will pass lava flows from the last 20 years, and hike through amazing scenery."

Since the ground in the caldera is ever-changing and lava vents frequently re-open, the National Park is constantly altering the exact route of this hike. Be sure to follow the cairns, as the route may have changed slightly. At times, this trail may even be closed due to active volcanic eruptions. Even at the quietest of times, remember that as you hike across the caldera, there's active magma just a few hundred feet below you!

Sources: https://www.summitpost.org/halema-uma-u-trail/167032 https://bigislandhikes.com/halemaumau-trail https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hikedayhalemaumau.htm

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area