Hiking Project Logo

Mauna Ulu Eruption

Intermediate
 3.5 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Immerse yourself in a new lava landscape formed by the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu eruption.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

3.0

Miles

4.8

KM

Out and Back

3,421' 1,043 m

High

3,207' 977 m

Low

214' 65 m

Up

214' 65 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views

Overview

This hike recounts the tale of one of Klauea's longest recorded rift zone eruptions. The well-marked trail traverses expansive lava fields, passes just next to wide fissures, and guides visitors to dramatic features that were produced by quickly cooling lava flows.

Need to Know

Surface patterns and delicate lava trees are made from fragile rock. Reduce your impact. Do not touch these formations.

Harmful gases from the active eruption are often blown into this area. Wind conditions can change quickly. Infants, young children, pregnant women, and folks with cardiac or respiratory problems are especially at risk. If fumes cause physical distress, leave the area!

Description

In the pre-dawn morning of May 24, 1969, residents and visitors were jarred awake by window-rattling earthquakes. A large fissure had opened up in a quiet forest along Chain of Craters Road. Soon red-hot lava burst forth to announce the start of a new eruption, the birth of Mauna Ulu (growing mountain).

In the five short years of this eruption, roads, cultural sites, and coastal grasslands were burned and buried in the lavas relentless flow to the sea. A succession of flows transformed vast forests into an eerie landscape of desolate lava fields.

Today Mauna Ulu looms over this surreal landscape, where lava trees stand after the surrounding flows drained away. Step off the pavement and into the past. Re-live the 19691974 Mauna Ulu eruption and witness how this sacred Hawaiian landscape continues to undergo rapid and extraordinary change.

Start by hiking along the road and branch off to the south to check out the fissure. Complete the short loop before continuing along the Napau Trail to Mauna Ulu.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 6 votes

#4397

Overall
  3.5 from 6 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
17%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#28

in Hawaii

#4,397

Overall
20 Views Last Month
2,084 Since Sep 18, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

This road didn't last long!
Sep 18, 2015 near Volcano, HI
Mauna Ulu (4 of 12)
Sep 18, 2015 near Volcano, HI
Mauna Ulu hike.
Sep 18, 2015 near Volcano, HI
Imagine lava spewing from the ground here!
Sep 18, 2015 near Volcano, HI
1969 fissure.
Sep 18, 2015 near Volcano, HI
Mauna Ulu fissure.
Sep 18, 2015 near Volcano, HI

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Nov 6, 2019
Timothy Lane
Scenic hike. Nice views. If you want the coolest view head up to the crater. Freaky cool but worth it. Short but a haul to get up.
May 22, 2019
Jeremy Turk
2.5mi — 1h 06m
Mar 20, 2019
Sam F
3mi — 2h 00m
Oct 29, 2018
Jodi K
Oct 28, 2018
Steve Jaccino
3mi
Oct 6, 2018
Scott Thompson
Apr 30, 2018
Axel Queffeulou
Apr 27, 2018
FishStix
added hike around crater 3.2mi