Observatory Trail to North Pit Junction

Hilo, Hawaii

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This is the shortest, fastest route to Mauna Loa’s North Pit; from there you can continue to the Mauna Loa cabin at 13,250 feet, or to the summit of the mountain at 13,677 feet. You can spend the night at North Pit and go on to either the summit or the cabin the next day, or you can do the whole trip as an out-and-back day hike. Once you have reached North Pit, you have really seen the best the mountain has to offer. Special considerations: The trail covers desolate and surprisingly beautiful country. There is not a blade of grass or a molecule of chlorophyll anywhere, but the lava comes in such a range of colors and textures that you won’t miss the green.
Hiking the Hawaiian Islands

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking the Hawaiian Islands

by Suzanne Swedo (Falcon Guides)

This is the shortest, fastest route to Mauna Loa’s North Pit; from there you can continue to the Mauna Loa cabin at 13,250 feet, or to the summit of the mountain at 13,677 feet. You can spend the night at North Pit and go on to either the summit or the cabin the next day, or you can do the whole trip as an out-and-back day hike. Once you have reached North Pit, you have really seen the best the mountain has to offer.

Special considerations: The trail covers desolate and surprisingly beautiful country. There is not a blade of grass or a molecule of chlorophyll anywhere, but the lava comes in such a range of colors and textures that you won’t miss the green.

©  Suzanne Swedo /Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hilo
Distance: 7.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Season: Spring, summer, fall
Local Contacts: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Local Maps: USGS Koko'olau
Driving Directions: Directions to Observatory Trail to North Pit Junction

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May 2018