Big Island Hiking

Hiking on the Big Island is one of the best ways to take in its natural beauty, and there are trails for hikers of all levels here. The Big Island hiking trails offer access to just about every landscape imaginable, and you can take extended treks that last more than one day if you're interested. Camping along the way is the norm on extended hikes, and outdoor enthusiasts will likely relish in the chance to pair the two pursuits. Big Island hikes, whether long or short, are always rewarding, and it's definitely recommended that you pack a good pair of hiking boots for your Hawaii vacation. You will have plenty of opportunities to lace them up and put them to use during your visit.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the best places to go hiking on the Big Island, as it offers miles of amazing trails to select from. You can pick up a trail map at the park headquarters before you begin your trek, and you might inquire about the current hiking conditions while you're at it. You can make your way through rain forests, cross desert terrain, walk along the beach, and even encounter wintry conditions at an altitude of more than 13,000 feet when hiking on the trails at Volcanoes National Park—you won't want to forget your camera.

For those who are looking to truly challenge themselves when it comes to Big Island hiking, the Mauna Loa Trail at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is worth checking out. You can hike up to the 13,250-foot summit of Mauna Loa on this trail, where freezing overnight temperatures are the norm throughout the year. If you're not up for a rigorous hike at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the 1.5-mile Kipuka Puaulu Trail is ideal. You'll hike through a small forest that is almost completely surrounded by a field of lava, and it's a great walk for anyone who enjoys birdwatching. There is an array of other trails at the park to choose from, including the Kilauea Iki Trail, which descends into the beautiful Kilauea Iki Crater.

One of the other top places to go hiking on the Big Island is in the Waimanu Valley, which is found near Hilo on the northwest coast. The often-difficult Muliwai Trail in the Waimanu Valley offers a test for even the most seasoned hikers, and a trek of about nine hours is required just to get to the trail. It will take about two or three days to complete the trail, and then you must endure the nine-hour hike out.

It's worth all the work, as a pristine valley boasting waterfalls and scenic sea views is yours to explore along the way. Bringing water-treatment equipment and insect repellent along for the hike on the Muliwai Trail is a good idea, and though the campsites are free, you will have to get permission to camp from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife ahead of time. Hiking the Muliwai Trail is not for everyone, and it is recommended that you go with a friend if you plan on adding it to your Big Island vacation itinerary.

Whether you are visiting Naalehu or relaxing on the Kohala Coast, finding Big Island hiking trails to explore won't be hard. If you want help locating some of the best trails on the island, you can always book a guided hiking tour. A number of Big Island hiking guides offer excursions that can last a couple of hours or a few days or more, and it's possible to arrange personal hiking tours to fit your needs. Perhaps afterward you'll be up for adding other outdoor adventures to your guided Big Island hiking tour, such as horseback riding and fishing. The Big Island vacation packages and tours, just like the Big Island hiking trails, come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no shortage of fun things to do once you get here.

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