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Puu Oo Trail

Hawaii > The Big Island > Mauna Kea
Length7.4 mi
Elev. Gain420 ft
Difficulty3 / 5
Rating7 / 10
The trail is located at an altitude of 6000 feet and runs through grassland, emerging forests and native forests lined with lava flows of many ages. According to history, this trail was originally used by Hawaiian cowboys who used to drive cattle to the ships in the harbor at Hilo.

Start the trail at the rim of the parking lot to soon enter a forest of Ohia trees on top of a 400 year old lava flow. Pass through the trees and climb over an edge and again climb over a second edge. You can see the Mauna Kea and the Mauna Loa from here.

Descend the second edge and land on a grassland bordered with Ohia and Koa forest on both sides. After a journey of a quarter mile on the grassland, the trail reaches a small area of Koa trees. From this Kipuka (small island of forest surrounded by lava flows), the trail runs through another forest of Ohia trees and lands on another grassland crossing two more Kipukas.

The next phase of the trail makes you cross a number of Kipuka and lava flows before you enter into the Tall Tree Kipuka. Come out of the Tall Tree Kipuka and head towards two more lava flows. Again, cross three more Kipukas and two more branches of ancient lava flows before reaching the Powerline Road. From the Powerline Road reach the Saddle Road from where turn left and after 0.75 mile you will reach your car.

Best time to go
Throughout the year. Go early in the day to avoid rain and fog.


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Hike Featured In...
Best Hiking Trips in Hawaii
By Pamela Wright
Trailhead Location
GPS Coordinates:
19° 40.622' N
155° 23.069' W

Driving Directions:
You need to take the Saddle Road from either east or west Hawaii and reach the gravel parking lot on the south side of the road which is in the middle of the mile marker 22 and 23.
Hiking In Paradise
Weather Report for Papaikou, HI
Partly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows around 69 at the shore to around 55 at 4000 feet. West winds around 10 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Temperature: 55.0° F
Relative Humidity: 94%
Pressure: 30.11"
Dew Point: 53.4° F

Winds from the North at 0.0 mph gusting to 1.2 mph

Today: 0.00"

Sunrise: 6:18 AM
Sunset: 5:53 PM
Weather reported from Volcano, Volcano, HI (KHIVOLCA7)
Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers in the morning, then showers likely in the afternoon. Haze through the day. Highs around 81 at the shore to around 70 at 4000 feet. Light winds becoming southeast around 10 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Sunday Night
Mostly cloudy with showers likely. Haze. Lows around 72 at the shore to around 58 at 4000 feet. South winds around 10 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms in the morning, then occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Haze through the day. Locally heavy rainfall possible. Highs 69 to 86. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph increasing to 45 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Monday Night
Cloudy with occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms. Haze. Locally heavy rainfall possible. Lows 52 to 74. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph decreasing to 40 mph early in the morning. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Weather information provided by Weather Underground. Current as of 10/22/2017 10:08 PM
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