This is the second leg of the Mauna Loa Trail, leading to a campsite at a major trail junction. From the junction you can continue on in one direction to the Mauna Loa cabin (2.1 miles; 13,250 feet) or head off in the opposite direction to the official summit of the mountain (2.6 miles; 13,677 feet).
If you want to see both, the best plan is to head to the cabin, spend two nights there, and day hike to the summit and back without a pack. That said, you have already seen the best of the mountain on your way to North Pit. The trails to both the cabin and the summit are more of the same, but with rougher footing, so many hikers go to North Pit, count it as the top, and turn around.
© Suzanne Swedo /Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.