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Accessibility Improvements Scheduled for Mauna Loa Lookout

October 31, 2017, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated October 31, 8:54 AM
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Courtesy photo

Vehicles will have limited access to Mauna Loa Lookout for eight weeks, from Oct. 30 to Dec. 31, while workers improve the parking lot, toilet and picnic area for visitors with disabilities.

During the project, the 11.3 mile road will remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists, but vehicles can only go as far as a designated parking area five miles below Mauna Loa Lookout. The entire parking area at the lookout will be reconstructed and repaved and a new picnic area will be added, along with a new vault toilet.

Hikers will be able to walk around the construction area to access Mauna Loa Trail and backcountry sites like Pu‘u‘ula‘ula (Red Hill) and its cabin, but it will add mileage to the hike. Bicyclists will not be allowed past the construction site.

In addition, sections of the Kīpukapuaulu circular parking area will be used for staging materials and equipment during the project. No impacts are expected at the Kīpukapuaulu Trail or day use picnic area.

Prepared hikers can also access the Pu‘u‘ula‘ula, Mauna Loa summit and cabin and other sections of the Mauna Loa Trail from the Mauna Loa Summit Trail by driving up Mauna Loa Observatory Road. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays.

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The park regrets any inconvenience and the public will be notified of any updates.

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