Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hiking the other side of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Big Island visitors and residents will get the chance to hike an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that most people don't get to see. It's called Kahuku, and it's located on the park's southernmost section near South Point.

As part of the 10th-anniversary celebration of the opening of Kahuku, park rangers will offer free hiking programs at Kahuku, January through March 2013. No advance reservations are necessary; just show up. There are several tours available each week. One of the tours, Lunch with a Ranger at Kahuku, is scheduled for Jan. 12, Jan. 17, Feb 17, Mar. 15 and Mar. 3 at 11:30 a.m.. Bring a bag lunch and learn about land management, environmental conservation and the cultural history of Kahuku. To get to the park, drive through the Kahuku gate on the mauka side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Park and meet at the visitors' tent near the ranch buildings.

People and Land of Kahuku offers a two-mile, three-hour expedition through pastures, a quarry, an airstrip and the 1868 lava fields of Kahuku. Visitors will learn how people once lived on the vast remote lands of Kahuku, walk through an emerging forest, and hear about Kahuku's history of major earthquakes and eruptions. The guided hike takes place Jan. 13, Jan. 20, Feb 9, Feb. 23, Mar. 10, and Mar. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Follow the same directions as above to get to the parking area. Be sure to bring boots, long pants, rain gear, water and snacks.

A guided hike of Palm Trail, a 2.6-mile loop traversing an ancient cinder cone, reveals some of the best panoramic views of the area. Visitors will see relics from the ranching era, native forests and interesting volcanic landforms from the 1868 eruptive fissure. The hike is offered Jan. 19, Feb. 10, and Mar. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Guests of Holualoa Inn enjoy proximity to some of the Island's best sights. If you're staying with us in the coming months, you can easily drive to Kahuku in less than an hour to take one of the guided tours.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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