Hilina Pali Trail
ElevationAscent: 121' 37 m
Descent: -1,990' -607 m
High: 2,260' 689 m
Low: 384' 117 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)
Current trail conditions
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“Extreme solitude and distant views are on tap with this rugged backpacker's route.”— Megan W
From the Hilina Pali Overlook and trailhead, plunge steeply down the huge, grass-covered cliff, switchbacking repeatedly. Take your time on the loose lava rocks and consider using poles. This challenging descent is very rough on the knees, and it is worth saving ample energy for if you're climbing back up later.
After the 1.5+ mile-long downhill, the Ka'aha Trail branches steeply off to the right (south). Stay left to remain on the mostly level Hilina Pali Trail as it traverses the hot, dry hillside. The path through the monotonous shrubby terrain can be overgrown by grasses, so watch for the "ahu," lava rock cairns.
On its approach to the coastline, the trail turns to the east and runs along the top of a high, steep bluff. At the eastern end of the bluff, the Halape Trail descends to Halape Beach and campsites. Continuing east to the terminus of the Hilina Pali Trail requires some more downhill hiking before finally ending at the junction with the Keauhou Trail.
"Hilina" means struck by wind, and "Pali" means cliff, so this trail is essentially named "windy cliff."
Local Club: Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Land Manager: National Park Service - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park