HVNP: August, September Kahuku Unit Events
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, as part of its “Find Your Park” campaign, invites the public to join in on August and September Kahuku Unit events and HVNP guided hikes.
Kahuku is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays and the events that run at the park are free. Interested participants should enter the Kahuku unit on the inland side of Highway 11, near the 70.5 mile marker, and meet near the parking area.
Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.
Kahuku ‘Ohana Day: Ku‘i Kalo
Learn to pound poi (ku’i kalo) as children and families join together to learn the Hawaiian tradition that has sustained people of the Hawaiian Islands for centuries. Manuel Rego of Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden will lead the learning session. The Kahuku ‘Ohana Day Ku‘i Kalo program will fun on Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, call (808) 985-6019.
Birth of Kahuku
Explore the rich geological history of Kahuku. 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. This guided easy-to-moderate hike will take place on Aug. 30 and Sept. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 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. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is offered Aug. 9, Aug. 22, and Sept. 26 (National Public Lands Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Pu‘u o Lokuana
Take a short, moderately difficult 0.4-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 Aug. 15 and Sept. 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
People and Land of Kahuku
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. The guided hike is offered Aug. 16 and Sept. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Hi‘iaka & Pele
Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters 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. The Hi‘iaka and Pele program is offered Aug. 23 and Sept. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
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. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered Aug. 29, Sept. 5, and Sept. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Kahuku ‘Ohana Day: Hū Kukui
Children of all ages and their families are invited to learn how to make their own hū kukui, or Hawaiian top, with native kukui nuts. Park rangers will demonstrate this popular Hawaiian pastime, and then keiki can compete to see whose top spins best. The Kahuku ‘Ohana Day Hū Kukui program is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 19, but the deadline to register is Sept. 3. Call (808) 985-6019 by Sept. 3 to sign up for this program and a free lunch for keiki.
Inspiration Hike – Artists in the Park at Kahuku
Come appreciate the beauty of Kahuku and learn how nature can inspire you to connect with your own creativity. Local artists show you how to witness nature’s handiwork and see the magic within the landscape. This program requires advance registration and is limited to 15 people. It is an interactive moderately easy 1.5-mile hike and program that lasts three hours. The new Inspiration Hike is offered from 9:30 a.m.m to 12:30 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 19, but the deadline to register is Sept. 7. Call (808) 929-8075 to hold your spot.