Mauna Loa Trail to Mauna Loa Cabin Backpack Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Some of you will find it an irresistible temptation to climb to the top of a mountain that’s the world’s most massive volcano and also one of its most active volcanoes. You can do this trip more easily in four days (allowing five days if you want to take a layover day at the cabin in order to dayhike to the true summit). Or, more difficult, you can hike up in two days and hike down in one monumental day.
Begin your walk near the restrooms, where an interpretive sign shows the general layout of the park. Now you walk uphill a few feet on the paved path that leads away from here—not on the spur that leads to a metal pedestal (whatever it supported is gone). You immediately find yourself in a field of reddish-brown pahoehoe that’s sparsely shaded by kiawe trees. You may see wild goats out on the lava and game birds in the kiawe thickets, but they will flee as you approach. Interpretive signs along the path invite you to pause and consider the origin of this lava field and the uses to which some of its features were put. Most interesting is a large cave, just to the left of the paved path on a short spur. The cave was formed by a lava tube, and the old Hawaiians used it as a cool, roomy home."