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Click on picture to enlarge


Kaloli Point


Shipman Beach


Pu'u Loa Petroglphys


Along Coco's hike



East Hawai'i Hiking and Walking

(Scroll down for hiking in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park)


Hiking is wonderful on our side of the Big Island. Our vacation rental is located in Hawaiian Paradise Park which is graced with ocean front lava cliffs that you can walk on. Though at times it's a bit more of a scramble so you'll want to wear sturdy shoes. I would not recommend flip flops or sandals. If you take the road in front of our house, Ala Heiau Road, all the way south until it dead ends (about 3/4 of a mile), you come to a park area. You can walk quite a ways south on the 'lava bench" and because it's not quite as high up from the ocean as most of the lava cliffs there are a few tide pool opportunities. The waves here can be rough so please be careful and do not turn your back on the ocean.


Hawaiian Paradise Park Hikes


Quick Hike to the Kaloli Point Cliffs (20 minutes one way):

On one of our recent trips we took the short walk out to Kaloli Point which is in Hawaiian Paradise Park. There are sea arches and a number of petroglyphs in the area. To get to the trailhead go up Maku'u a couple blocks to 1st and turn right. After a mile you will turn right on Paradise Drive and after a couple short blocks you have to take the curve to the left onto Paradise Ala Kai. Follow that all the way to the end, a mile or so, around various turns and curves, park at the end (leave nothing of value within view in your car). Head into the woods on the trail\road a short distance (100 yards or so) and then make your way to the coast. It really is quite a nice area with a few sea arches. We haven't found the petroglyphs yet but my understanding is that if you keep walking towards Hilo you will find them. If you do let us know.


Hike to Paki Bay (Coco's trail) (30 - 40 minutes one way):

This hike begins at the same spot as the quick hike mentioned above. Follow the trail\road into the woods but resist taking any of the many side trails towards the cliffs on the right. After a half mile or so you can cut over to the cliffs and walk along the high cliffs for some wonderful views of the waves and sea arches. Continue along the cliffs towards the north long enough and eventually you will come to a large bay, Paki. In that bay you can sometimes see sea turtles. Resist any urge you have to attempt to figure out any way to try and access the ocean during this hike.  The day we went in May of 2012, the waves were high and it was a spectacular view. I would imagine during whale season these high cliffs could offer some very good whale viewing in the afternoon. When you are ready to return just walk back along the cliffs and when ready cut back over to the road and make your way back to your car. You can read a bit more about this hike and who Coco was by following this link - Coco's Trail.


Shipman Beach

This longest (3-4 hours) of the three HPP hikes ends at the only white sand beach in our area called Ha'ena or Shipman Beach. It involves some hiking in the shade and some in the sun. Ive heard some people say its a good idea to take mosquito repellent with you for the forested portion. To find the trail, head up Maku'u a couple blocks to 1st and turn right. After a mile you will turn right on Paradise Drive and after a very short block turn left onto Beach Road (also known as the Old Government Road) and take it to the end. There are several large rocks placed across the old gravel 4 WD portion of the Old Puna Government Road. The actual trailhead is beyond this point, but vehicles are no longer allowed beyond the rocks. We havent taken it yet so Ive included some notes from a friend of mine who completed the hike but started a little closer to the coast:

"Hi - nice, nice, nice. I think I sent all my good pix of it to my mother. I can't remember how long the hike took us, but I'd allow a bit more than an hour each way. We were staying at the end of Ala Kai, so started off from there, thru the ironwood forest. However, that didn't lead us obviously to the trail, so we clambered over the rocks along the shore which took a lot longer. It did take us right to Paki Bay, and at first we thought that was the beach and were quite disappointed. Then we saw someone inland, so we decided that was the trail and made our way there. There's a big pond at the Shipman house that lets out into the Bay. We crossed that and ate our lunch on the Hilo side of the bay; there might be a spring on that side somewhere.

A much longer and thorough description of the hike can be found at this blog posting. If you take the hike I would love to have your thoughts.




Hiking in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 


Hiking along Crater Rim Drive:

  • Thurston Lava Tube if re-opened, this is a very cool and an easy walk. You can visit this in less than an hour.

  • Kilauea Iki Crater hike- if re-opened, this 4 mile loop trail hike takes 3-4 hours or so and is a moderate to difficult hike. It has a 400 foot descent and at the end you hike back out. This is an amazing hike. Apply sun screen, bring your hat, plenty of water and maybe a snack. Depending on how much sun exposure youve had you might want a light shirt for your arms. My favorite version of this hike starts out of the Thurston Lava Tube parking area. As you face the crater turn right and begin a gentle descent through the forest into the crater. Once you are in the crater you will see minor vents here and there. As you continue the hike through the crater notice the cliffs off to the right there are often white birds soaring in the area. If you have the time you can take a small side trip to the area and is an interesting place to stop and have your snack or lunch. Once you are back on the trail continue the hike to the end of the crater and hike up through the woods back to the parking lot.

  • Devastation Trail (one mile roundtrip) a little ways past the Thurston Lava Tube is the parking area for the Devastation Trail. This is an easy walk that ends with an overlook of the Kilauea Iki Crater.


Hiking along the Chain of Craters Road - this drive is quite scenic and whether you take it all the way to the ocean at the end is not important. There are many places to stop and craters to visit.

  • Puu Huluhulu (restroom at trail head) 8 miles from the visitor center at Mauna Ulu parking area is the trail head for Pu'u Huluhulu. This 3 mile round trip moderate hike is one of my favorites and is usually not crowded. As usual take a hat, sunglasses, water, and be prepared for weather changes. The walk goes over and along lava flows to an ancient cinder cone. When the lava flowed here in the 70s it left this forested cinder cone untouched. If you climb 150 feet to the summit of Pu'u Huluhulu, on some days you can see in the distance vent activity at Puu Oo crater which has been discharging magma and steam since 1983. 

  • Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs trail - 20 miles from the visitor center on at the 16 mile marker of the Chain of Craters road is a moderately easy 2 mile round trip hike to the largest collection of petroglyphs anywhere on the Islands. The trail meanders across exposed lava with no protection from the elements - bring a hat, sunglasses, water, and your camera. There are a few placards along the trail offering explanations of this and that. When you are back at the car you can wander across the road and try to spot a few more petroglyphs on your own. There are no facilities at the trail head.


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