Hikes on the Big Island of Hawai‘i
The Big Island of Hawai‘i is the largest Hawaiian island (as well as the largest island in the United States). The volcanic island covers over 4,000 square miles, but is only home to a fraction of the Hawaiian population, leaving lots of outdoor spaces to explore. Explore the Big Island’s dramatic beaches, gushing waterfalls, historic sites, and evolving volcanic features.
A rugged coastline circles the island, lined with tide pools that host sea turtles and tropical fish. The island’s interior is covered with volcanic landscapes and rainforest-draped ravines. Waterfalls are abundant, including ‘Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. On the north side of the island, Waipi‘o Valley is a special place to visit.
Five shield volcanoes make up the Island of Hawai‘i: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualālai and Kīlauea. The largest volcanoes are Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, each rising to over 13,000 feet tall. The summit of Mauna Kea is the tallest point in Hawai‘i, at 13,802 feet. Visit Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to see how Kīlauea Volcano has changed and is changing the land. The Big Island of Hawai‘i is the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands in geological terms and continues to grow from volcanic eruptions.
Hiking the Big Island of Hawai‘i
This collection of trails on the Big Island of Hawai‘i is arranged from north to south. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, elevation profiles, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these day hikes. An interactive map is also provided.
|100||Waipi‘o Beach & Muliwai Trail Overlook |
This hike plunges into fantastically-wild Waipi‘o Valley, crosses a remote black sand beach (framed by cliffs and waterfalls), and climbs to a stellar view overlooking the ocean, beach, and valley.
This short hike visits rare rock carvings in Puakō Petroglyph Archeological District on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawai'i.
|0.2 - 1.2 miles|
|200||Kalahuipua‘a Trail and Fishponds Loop|
This action-packed hike explores a lava field with a lava tube shelter and impressive fishponds along a gorgeous coastline.
|220||Kiholo Bay & Wainanali‘i Lagoon|
This coastal hike in Kiholo State Park Reserve has non-stop ocean views, crossing tide pools and beaches on the way to a turquoise lagoon.
This short loop slips through a tropical valley to bold views of a 442-foot single-drop waterfall.
This short hike around Rainbow Falls Lookout explores a viewpoint facing a lovely waterfall and also ventures up to the top of the falls.
This underground hike explores lava tubes on the edge of Hilo, created by an 1881 eruption of Mauna Loa.
|430||Royal Grounds – Pu‘uhonua Loop|
This loop on the coast south of Kona explores Hawaiian royal grounds and a place of sanctuary in Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park.
This nature trail loop visits a forest oasis within the lava flows below Mauna Loa.
|505||Sulphur Banks Trail - Crater Rim Trail Loop|
This hike tours a colorful hydrothermal area and looks into Kilauea Caldera from Steaming Bluff.
|515||Keanakāko‘i Crater & Overlook Trail|
This hike follows eruption-damaged Crater Rim Drive to views into Keanakako'i Crater and the far grander Kilauea Summit.
|525||Pu‘u Loa Petroglyphs Trail|
This hike in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park traverses an old lava flow to a boardwalk loop within a special area of preserved petroglyphs.
|530||Hōlei Sea Arch|
This brief hike in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park crosses a basalt bluff to a landmark sea arch extending into the ocean.
Points of Interest on the Big Island of Hawai‘i
This viewpoint on the rim of Waipi‘o Valley provides a great perspective over Waipi‘o Beach and the beautiful coastline on the north side of the Big Island.
See molds cast by a lava flow at the hollowed sites of old trees.