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Mauna Loa Summit Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (3)

Standing on the tippy top of the active volcano, Mauna Loa is a great accomplishment.


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Map Key

2.7

Miles

4.4

KM

Point to Point

13,664' 4,165 m

High

13,006' 3,964 m

Low

663' 202 m

Up

35' 11 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Description

To reach the true summit of Mauna Loa at 13,679 ft, use the Mauna Loa Summit Trail along the north and west rim of the caldera. From the intersection with the Observatory Trail and Mauna Loa Trail, skirt the northern edge of North Pit going counter clockwise. After some mostly level travel, begin a steady climb up lava fields along the top of the cliff edge. Pass some fissures and a jeep road leading to the original location of the Mauna Loa observatory.

The grade eases again and finally the summit is a high point along the 600 ft high rim of the caldera. With no references for scale, it is difficult to grasp the true size of this enormous crater. You're likely to have the place to yourself as most people don't often linger here to tempt Pele and the fierce weather.

Beware of altitude sickness, bring warm clothes, sun protection, excess water and food. Expect extreme and rapidly changeable weather. To avoid getting the bends, scuba divers should not ascend Mauna Loa within 24 hours of their last dive.

Contacts

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#9753

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#51

in Hawaii

#9,753

Overall
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4,319 Since Mar 6, 2016
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Photos

Mauna Loa summit caldera - looking west. with permission from Andrew Stehlik
Mar 6, 2016 near Honauna…, HI
The Summit Cairn on Mauna Loa. An outline of distant Mauna Kea on the left horizon. with permission from Andrew Stehlik
Mar 6, 2016 near Honauna…, HI

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Jun 8, 2005
Lisa Kessel