Hawaii-Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa info ...

Hawaii-Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa info ...

Machimoodus
Machimoodus

April 8th, 2002, 11:58 pm #1

I will be on the Big Island in a couple of weeks to climb Mauna Kea. This opportunity to travel to Hawaii came upon me suddenly and I am scrambling to prepare. Does anyone know of any good links or resources for maps and trailguides online for Hawaii ? I really don't have time to buy anything that I couln't pick-up in a bookstore this week (so mail order is out). Last time I checked, REI was not selling Hawaiian Guidebooks or maps.

I would like to walk from sea level to the summit, preferably on trails. It appears that I could do this for Mauna Loa, but I did not realize how far apart Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea are. And ... I have yet to see a trail linking the two on the sites I have visited.

I have 5 or 6 days on the island ... I am in good shape and can hike long distances .. but any hike I do end up committing to will need be a circuitous route so as to get back to my rental car.


Thank You,

Rob O'Keefe
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Shepherd
Shepherd

April 10th, 2002, 2:15 am #2

There are at least three ways of climbing to the summit of Mauna Loa. First of all Mauna Loa is an immense mountain, it is the largest single mountain mass in the world. The standard route follows the Mauna Loa trail to the summit, it is a very long slog at about 43.4 miles round trip. There are two huts along the way with catchment water so you don't have to bring a tent, but you must treat the water. The second most popular way to climb the mountain is via the Observatory trail, it is around 8.8 miles round trip, but the trailhead is at 11,000 ft., so acclimatization is a problem. The third route is the way the ancient Hawaiians used to climb the mountain and it is called the Ainapo trail. It is the least used trail up the mountain, however there is a hut with bunks on this trail as well. It is possible to climb from sea level to summit on Mauna Loa, but it would definely involve a little bit of a road walk.
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Shepherd
Shepherd

April 10th, 2002, 2:36 am #3

I will be on the Big Island in a couple of weeks to climb Mauna Kea. This opportunity to travel to Hawaii came upon me suddenly and I am scrambling to prepare. Does anyone know of any good links or resources for maps and trailguides online for Hawaii ? I really don't have time to buy anything that I couln't pick-up in a bookstore this week (so mail order is out). Last time I checked, REI was not selling Hawaiian Guidebooks or maps.

I would like to walk from sea level to the summit, preferably on trails. It appears that I could do this for Mauna Loa, but I did not realize how far apart Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea are. And ... I have yet to see a trail linking the two on the sites I have visited.

I have 5 or 6 days on the island ... I am in good shape and can hike long distances .. but any hike I do end up committing to will need be a circuitous route so as to get back to my rental car.


Thank You,

Rob O'Keefe
I just wanted to add this bit of information. I live on the Big Island and have climbed Mauna Loa before, though I did not summit. I went to the summit cabin which is across Moku'aweoweo Crater from the actual summit. The summit area is huge and Moku'aweoweo is as big as Kilauea Caldera. I was planning on climbing Mauna Loa again this month via the Mauna Loa trail and would like to stay at the summit cabin sometime around April 27th as it is the full moon and it would be truly advantagous to climb during the full moon.
As for information on the trails, the Park Service website for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has info on Mauna Loa and Trails Illustrated has a very good map of the park that you can pick up at the Visitor's Center or at just about any bookstore on the island.
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roger
roger

April 10th, 2002, 2:39 am #4

I will be on the Big Island in a couple of weeks to climb Mauna Kea. This opportunity to travel to Hawaii came upon me suddenly and I am scrambling to prepare. Does anyone know of any good links or resources for maps and trailguides online for Hawaii ? I really don't have time to buy anything that I couln't pick-up in a bookstore this week (so mail order is out). Last time I checked, REI was not selling Hawaiian Guidebooks or maps.

I would like to walk from sea level to the summit, preferably on trails. It appears that I could do this for Mauna Loa, but I did not realize how far apart Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea are. And ... I have yet to see a trail linking the two on the sites I have visited.

I have 5 or 6 days on the island ... I am in good shape and can hike long distances .. but any hike I do end up committing to will need be a circuitous route so as to get back to my rental car.


Thank You,

Rob O'Keefe
The best source for what you're looking for:
http://www.hawaii.volcanoes.national-pa ... .htm#trail

A word of caution. Walking through miles and miles of volcanic lava flows can have all the charm of walking through miles and miles of asphalt. There is little or no plant life and at lower elevations it can be excruciatingly hot.

You conceivably could walk from Mauna Loa to Mauna Kea however it would involve a substantial time walking on a road. I believe the peaks are about 20 miles apart. The infamous Saddle Road goes in the middle of the valley between the two. Near the turn off for Mauna Kea there is also a turn off for the trailhead for the Mauna Loa observatory.

If you want to hike Mauna Kea, the trail from the Mauna Kea visitor center is the way to do it. You will get a taste of everything from lava flows, to the mountain's famous cinders, to one of the highest lakes in the U.S.
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PJ
PJ

April 10th, 2002, 4:24 pm #5

I will be on the Big Island in a couple of weeks to climb Mauna Kea. This opportunity to travel to Hawaii came upon me suddenly and I am scrambling to prepare. Does anyone know of any good links or resources for maps and trailguides online for Hawaii ? I really don't have time to buy anything that I couln't pick-up in a bookstore this week (so mail order is out). Last time I checked, REI was not selling Hawaiian Guidebooks or maps.

I would like to walk from sea level to the summit, preferably on trails. It appears that I could do this for Mauna Loa, but I did not realize how far apart Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea are. And ... I have yet to see a trail linking the two on the sites I have visited.

I have 5 or 6 days on the island ... I am in good shape and can hike long distances .. but any hike I do end up committing to will need be a circuitous route so as to get back to my rental car.


Thank You,

Rob O'Keefe
Here's some random thoughts that might help:

Sea to summit is logistically difficult to do without a lot of road walking and a walking a long way. I don't know whether the Parker Ranch would let you cross their land, but that might be a good way to go. You could also rent a bicycle and ride to the saddle, then walk up. Be aware that cross country travel on Mauna Kea is discouraged because footprints in the cinder cones last forever.

If you want to do a great backpacking trip on the Big Island, go to Waimanai (sp?) Valley. Its the next one over from Waipio (sp?) valley. Its a better hike than walking across miles and miles of a'a lava to get to Mauna Loa.
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Machimoodus
Machimoodus

April 10th, 2002, 5:09 pm #6

I will be on the Big Island in a couple of weeks to climb Mauna Kea. This opportunity to travel to Hawaii came upon me suddenly and I am scrambling to prepare. Does anyone know of any good links or resources for maps and trailguides online for Hawaii ? I really don't have time to buy anything that I couln't pick-up in a bookstore this week (so mail order is out). Last time I checked, REI was not selling Hawaiian Guidebooks or maps.

I would like to walk from sea level to the summit, preferably on trails. It appears that I could do this for Mauna Loa, but I did not realize how far apart Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea are. And ... I have yet to see a trail linking the two on the sites I have visited.

I have 5 or 6 days on the island ... I am in good shape and can hike long distances .. but any hike I do end up committing to will need be a circuitous route so as to get back to my rental car.


Thank You,

Rob O'Keefe
Thanks to the info you guys provided here, and a few personal email responses as well, I have a better grasp the logistical problems I face, and hence, can now formulate the most likely routes I should follow.

It has become apparent that I will have to abandon the sea-to-summit idea. It sounded appealing at the time but now I see how impractical it is. I just don't have enough time and it seems like I will be missing out on a lot of other wonders if I stay committed to that plan. I am now leaning towards a hike up Mauna Kea from the Visitor Center. What is it's elevation ? 9,000 feet if I remember corectly ? Can one camp at or near the VC to get acclimated ?

If I do that then I will camp one night on Mauna Kea, summit then be off the Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. I will have 5 more nights and 6 more days on the Island. I may do the Mauna Loa route from Kilauea. It looks like about a 40 mile RT slog. At 10 miles a day I could make it in 4 days and still have a night and a day left to play.

Anyone know a good beach to camp on ?

Thanks again,

Rob
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Machimoodus
Machimoodus

April 10th, 2002, 5:14 pm #7

On second look I see it is 20 miles One-Way from Lookout Shelter to the summit Cabin ... might have to climb both Mauna Kea and Maunea Loa from the Saddle road
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Shepherd
Shepherd

April 10th, 2002, 6:54 pm #8

Thanks to the info you guys provided here, and a few personal email responses as well, I have a better grasp the logistical problems I face, and hence, can now formulate the most likely routes I should follow.

It has become apparent that I will have to abandon the sea-to-summit idea. It sounded appealing at the time but now I see how impractical it is. I just don't have enough time and it seems like I will be missing out on a lot of other wonders if I stay committed to that plan. I am now leaning towards a hike up Mauna Kea from the Visitor Center. What is it's elevation ? 9,000 feet if I remember corectly ? Can one camp at or near the VC to get acclimated ?

If I do that then I will camp one night on Mauna Kea, summit then be off the Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. I will have 5 more nights and 6 more days on the Island. I may do the Mauna Loa route from Kilauea. It looks like about a 40 mile RT slog. At 10 miles a day I could make it in 4 days and still have a night and a day left to play.

Anyone know a good beach to camp on ?

Thanks again,

Rob
Mahukona is my favorite place to camp on the island it is up in Kohala towards Hawi. Kohala is the district just north of Kona. There are superb views of Maui and great sunsets. Mahukona is where they used to send the sugar by railway for shipment over seas so there are a bunch of "sugar days" ruins all around. You will probably be here just at the tail end of the whale migration and Mahukona is an excellent place for whale watching. One time recently we had our tent set up real close to the shore and at night were lulled to sleep by the whales coming up for air, that is how close they were! There is no beach there but all the beaches in Kona are close by. Punaluu is a place where you can camp near the beach. It is the famed black sands beach and there are a lot of sea turtles there,but the snorkelling is no good and it has been my experience that it rains there an awful lot.
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roger
roger

April 10th, 2002, 7:20 pm #9

There are so many wonders on the Big Island, it's probably a waste of hiking time to blow it all on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

Here's the topo map to Mauna Loa:
http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=19. ... -155.60833

Here the map to Mauna Kea:
http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=19. ... -155.47083


Both have the trails marked. And yes the visitor center is about 9,000 feet.

Your plan for Observatory to Mauna Loa and Visitor Center to Mauna Kea seems practical (you could almost do them both a very long (and boring) day. The Waipio Valley in the north is perhaps the most beautiful place I've ever seen with its waterfalls falling directly into the ocean and black beach. There's a spectacular cliff walk. The next time I go I will spend my time there (you can camp by reservation but I'm not sure if it meets your time frame for advance notice).
http://www.waipio.com/waipiovalleyinfo.htm

On the south is South Point which is the southern most point in the U.S., which is also a hike.

Then you could also hike through a swamp to the place where Capt. Cook was killed.

All this talk. Can I go too?
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Shepherd
Shepherd

April 10th, 2002, 7:48 pm #10

Thanks to the info you guys provided here, and a few personal email responses as well, I have a better grasp the logistical problems I face, and hence, can now formulate the most likely routes I should follow.

It has become apparent that I will have to abandon the sea-to-summit idea. It sounded appealing at the time but now I see how impractical it is. I just don't have enough time and it seems like I will be missing out on a lot of other wonders if I stay committed to that plan. I am now leaning towards a hike up Mauna Kea from the Visitor Center. What is it's elevation ? 9,000 feet if I remember corectly ? Can one camp at or near the VC to get acclimated ?

If I do that then I will camp one night on Mauna Kea, summit then be off the Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. I will have 5 more nights and 6 more days on the Island. I may do the Mauna Loa route from Kilauea. It looks like about a 40 mile RT slog. At 10 miles a day I could make it in 4 days and still have a night and a day left to play.

Anyone know a good beach to camp on ?

Thanks again,

Rob
Roger is right, there is a lot of killer stuff to do on the Big Island. I have not been to Waipio Valley yet, but I am planning on it, and I here that it is spectacular. South Point is a cool place to hang out at too, there is a heiau, which is an ancient Hawaiian religious structure, and all around there the ancient Hawaiians carved holes in the lava so as to tie off their canoes. The green sands beach is about a mile hike from South Point. The coolest thing is a 35-40 foot cliff that you can jump off of into the ocean. It takes a while to get your nerve up, but it is worth it. You truly feel as if you are jumping off the end of the Earth. South Point was and still is a very spiritual place for the Hawaiians. It is considered leina a ka 'uhane (leap of the souls) where the Hawaiians believed their dead made the jump off to Po (the afterlife). If you do make the jump, do it where the fisherman have their boats tied off, there is an iron ladder that you can use to climb back up the cliff there.
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