Napau Crater Trail to Makaopuhi Crater

Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Napau Crater Trail to Makaopuhi Crater

Napau Crater Trail to Makaopuhi Crater Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Before the 1969–1974 eruption of Kilauea, the Chain of Craters Road swung east from Pauahi Crater as far as Makaopuhi Crater. That eruption not only obliterated that part of the road but also built a new shield volcano, Mauna Ulu; filled in Aloi and Alae craters, which had been attractions along that road segment; and sent lava cascading into huge Makaopuhi Crater. Fortunately, it did not succeed in obliterating Makaopuhi Crater as it did Aloi and Alae.

Instead, it left a sort of dividing line through Makaopuhi Crater: the western part is in the lava-plastered landscape left by the eruption, while the eastern part blends into the old rainforest. You must walk to Makaopuhi now to enjoy these contrasts, and on the way, you have a close-up look at Mauna Ulu—maybe too close for comfort! You begin by bearing east-northeast through brown pahoehoe from the turnout/parking area. There are cairns to mark your way. The going, while easy, does involve some minor ups and downs over the lava, so watch your step."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
950 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
4.67 hours
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Makaopuhi
Local Maps

Trail Log