Rare Tour Offered at McCandless Ranch, Home of ‘Alalā

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Photo courtesy of Kona Historical Society.

Kona Historical Society is now accepting reservations for a tour at the privately owned McCandless Land Cattle Company ranch on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The tour will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as the second event in the award-winning Jeep Trip Program.

McCandless Ranch sits on the southwest slope of Mauna Loa in the South Kona Forest Legacy Area between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. The property has a native forest of large `ōhi`a, koa and sandalwood trees. Recent bird surveys show that it is home to five endangered birds including the endangered ‘alalā, or Hawaiian crow, which is found nowhere else in the world. Recent plant surveys have identified 17 rare endemic plant species.

The tour will begin at the ranch’s headquarters in south Kona, continuing by van through rich native forests of endemic flora and fauna. The tour will proceed to 4,500 feet in elevation to an aviary where the ‘alalā was studied extensively. Participants will learn about the research on these birds, and enjoy a historical talk and deli lunch with refreshments at the ranch’s family cabin at 5,800 feet in elevation.


The tour fee is $170 and reservations must be made before Monday, Oct. 16. Anyone interested may participate by becoming a member of Kona Historical Society. Membership is unrestricted and can be obtained by visiting

For more information, or to sign up by phone, call (808) 323-3222.

Tour participants are asked to bring extra water, walking shoes and sun protection.


Kona Historical Society is a community-based nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their cultural heritage with Hawai‘i residents and visitors alike.

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