Explore Kahuku January–March 2017December 26, 2016, 11:54 AM HST (Updated December 26, 2016, 11:58 AM)
The public is invited to participate in free guided hikes in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from January through March 2017.
Entrance and all programs are free.
Visitors can also explore Kahuku on their own on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near Mile Marker 70.5 and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended.
Mauna Loa Southwest Rift Zone: Jan. 7 and March 25 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Take a short, guided hike to an overlook located on the Upper Palm Trail. From the overlook, park rangers point out the prominent geologic features that define the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the fascinating eruptions that created these features and the cultural traditions associated with them.
Pu‘u o Lokuana: Jan. 8, Feb. 5 and March 11 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Pu‘u o Lokuana is a short, moderately difficult .4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone, Pu‘u o Lokuana. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū. This hike is offered
Birth of Kahuku: Jan. 14 and March 5 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku during this guided, easy-to-moderate hike. Traverse the vast 1868 lava flow, see different volcano features and formations and identify many parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the Hawaiian hotspot and the creation of Kahuku.
People and Land of Kahuku: Jan. 15, Feb. 19 and March 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands—from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped and restored this land.
Palm Trail: Jan. 21 , Jan. 29, Feb. 26, and March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures.
‘Ōhi‘a Lehua: Jan. 22, Feb. 12, and March 12, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree and the lehua flower. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk.
Pele & Hi‘iaka: Jan. 28 and Feb. 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters Pelehonuamea (Pele) and Hi‘iaka, and the natural phenomena they represent. Visitors will experience the sisters coming alive through the epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku on this easy 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku.
Realms and Divisions of Kahuku: Feb. 11 and March 18 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku.