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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
Mostly clear with a 20 percent chance of showers. Haze after midnight. Lows around 67 at the shore to around 57 at 4000 feet. Southwest winds up to 10 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph.
Temperature: 61.0° F
Relative Humidity: 91%
Pressure: 29.99"
Dew Point: 58.3° F

Winds from the SSW at 0.0 mph gusting to 0.0 mph

Last Hour: 0.00"
Today: 0.00"

Sunrise: 6:46 AM
Sunset: 5:44 PM
Weather reported from Hawaiian Paradise Park, Keaau, HI (KHIKEAAU18)
Mostly sunny. Haze through the day. A 50 percent chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs around 83 at the shore to around 69 at 4000 feet. South winds up to 10 mph with gusts to 30 mph shifting to the east with gusts to 25 mph in the afternoon.
Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Haze. Lows around 67 at the shore to around 52 at 4000 feet. Light winds. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Occasional showers in the morning, then scattered showers in the afternoon. Highs 60 to 80. North winds up to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the late morning and afternoon. Gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Wednesday Night
Breezy. Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows 45 to 70. North winds 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Weather information provided by Weather Underground. Current as of 12/12/2017 0:17 AM
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