The trail begins just a few yards above the Visitor's Information tower. At first the trail is very steep passing through a Mamane forest. Around 10,200 feet, you will find that the trail will take a Horseshoe Turn, and you will pass the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve and reach a prominent cinder cone called the Puu Keonehehee. You will pass three smaller cones, which were the products of the explosive stage of the volcano's evolution.
As the trail reaches the 11,000 to 12,500 mark, you will reach the Keanakakoi Adze Quarry, with piles of basalt chips and flakes, along with some partially completed adzes. As you near the summit, you will pass two prominent cinder cones – the Puu Hau Kea and the Puu Waiau, to the left and you should take the trail saddled between these two cones, to reach the Lake Waiau.
Walk up a bit and you will reach the Mauna Kea Observatories. Thereafter, you should take a counterclockwise direction along the summit of the loop to reach the summit of Mauna Kea - a breathtaking view awaits you. To go back, hike back along the summit access road.
Weather Report for Ookala, HI
Temperature: 58.1° F
Relative Humidity: 58%
Dew Point: 43.6° F
Winds from the NNE at 1.1 mph gusting to -999.0 mph
Last Hour: 0.00"
Sunrise: 5:53 AM
Sunset: 6:44 PM
Weather reported from kamuela, Waimea, HI (KHIWAIME56)
Weather information provided by Weather Underground. Current as of 4/30/2017 4:56 AM
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