Hiking Mauna Kea

Hiking Mauna Kea

Joined: March 31st, 2004, 3:19 pm

December 3rd, 2004, 7:31 pm #1

The Holmes and Winger books only discuss driving to the summit. I'll be there in late March and would like to hike partway, say from the visitor's center. Is there a trail? Are there maps at the visitors center? Where can I go to get information?

Bill
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

December 3rd, 2004, 9:13 pm #2

I'll defer to the Hon. Mr. Votapek, but for now check out Summitpost.com's Mauna Kea page:
http://www.summitpost.org/show/mountain ... ain_id/798

There's a description of the Mauna Kea Trail in the "Routes" sectio, along with some photos and a topo image.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:07 pm

December 4th, 2004, 7:53 am #3

The Holmes and Winger books only discuss driving to the summit. I'll be there in late March and would like to hike partway, say from the visitor's center. Is there a trail? Are there maps at the visitors center? Where can I go to get information?

Bill
...if you go to the americasroof Hawaii page, and click on the official website, i believe it takes you to a website that has a map of the trail that goes from the visitor center to the summit. It's not a small undertaking, with some 4000ish feet of elevation gain. It does intersect the road at least twice, so if you have someone to drop you off, you might be able to do a shortened version of the trail.

I'll be there at the end of this month, and as it stands now, i'm most likely going to walk up the road from the saddle in the early night, bivy for a few hours, and then be joined at daybreak at the visitor center by 2 friends to hike the trail up to the top. (I'm still open to anyone who wants to join at any point along the way, including the private flight from Oahu.) Hopefully we can hitch back down.

There is an ancient local route that starts from the end of a 4wd road at about 6000' and goes up the east side of the mountain. It's been done at least once recently, but from the limited beta i can find, it's only "landmarked", i.e. not a trail or with cairns or anything. Considering our limited time and wanting to spend some of it seeing other parts of the island, we probably won't try that route unfortunately. (this time...)

i'll post a trip report around the new year. feel free to ask me for Oahu hiking info too. aloha
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Joined: March 31st, 2004, 3:19 pm

December 6th, 2004, 1:48 pm #4

The Holmes and Winger books only discuss driving to the summit. I'll be there in late March and would like to hike partway, say from the visitor's center. Is there a trail? Are there maps at the visitors center? Where can I go to get information?

Bill
Olivier, I had forgotten about checking the SummitPost site. Their information is very useful.

Mark, will be interested in your trip report. From what I read Mauna Kea should be somewhat similar to Mt. Elbert. if you've done Elbert I'd like to get your comparison.

Thanks
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Joined: January 24th, 2004, 8:34 pm

December 6th, 2004, 5:10 pm #5

The Holmes and Winger books only discuss driving to the summit. I'll be there in late March and would like to hike partway, say from the visitor's center. Is there a trail? Are there maps at the visitors center? Where can I go to get information?

Bill
I hiked the trail up from the visitor's center in March 2000. We hiked up and hitchiked down. The guy at the visitor's center said most people hitchhike down.

I'll warn you, this is a really hard hike. Geographically its similar to Elbert, but if you, like me, sleep the night before in a hotel on the beach, it can knock you flat. I was huffing from the altitude when we stepped out of the car at 9000 feet. At 13,000 feet, I was too exhausted to hike the short trail down to the lake -- I didn't want to waste a breath not heading for the summit. We stopped and rested at the observatories for a half hour before tackling the last little hill to the actual highpoint.

But its a hike worth doing. The road is rarely visible and you feel like you are on a huge continental mountain, not an island peak. You come up against the road once shortly after the start, and the final push to the observatories is on the road, but otherwise you'll feel like you're on a wilderness hike.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 3:15 pm

December 6th, 2004, 5:56 pm #6

The Holmes and Winger books only discuss driving to the summit. I'll be there in late March and would like to hike partway, say from the visitor's center. Is there a trail? Are there maps at the visitors center? Where can I go to get information?

Bill
Even hiking over to the highpoint from the summit parking lot can be an exertion. A friend of mine actually ran over to the highest hill from the car and he nearly died.

Consider driving to the top of Mauna Kea and enjoy the short hike over to the highpoint. The landscape is cinder. Then go back down to the saddle and driveup the slope of Mauna Loa, park, and hike to the summit of that worthy peak. The landscape is lava flow. Two different landscapes. Two different mountains.
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Joined: November 25th, 2000, 10:31 pm

December 14th, 2004, 11:32 pm #7

...if you go to the americasroof Hawaii page, and click on the official website, i believe it takes you to a website that has a map of the trail that goes from the visitor center to the summit. It's not a small undertaking, with some 4000ish feet of elevation gain. It does intersect the road at least twice, so if you have someone to drop you off, you might be able to do a shortened version of the trail.

I'll be there at the end of this month, and as it stands now, i'm most likely going to walk up the road from the saddle in the early night, bivy for a few hours, and then be joined at daybreak at the visitor center by 2 friends to hike the trail up to the top. (I'm still open to anyone who wants to join at any point along the way, including the private flight from Oahu.) Hopefully we can hitch back down.

There is an ancient local route that starts from the end of a 4wd road at about 6000' and goes up the east side of the mountain. It's been done at least once recently, but from the limited beta i can find, it's only "landmarked", i.e. not a trail or with cairns or anything. Considering our limited time and wanting to spend some of it seeing other parts of the island, we probably won't try that route unfortunately. (this time...)

i'll post a trip report around the new year. feel free to ask me for Oahu hiking info too. aloha
Haven't climbed Mauna Kea but did Mauna Loa 2.9 x. I climbed from the "strip road" on the E., from Volcanoes Park, or from the NOAA Observatory (which I visited on TDY on the way to being posted at the one in Barrow AK!)(did visit Pt. Barrow, N'most point of US).

However, in a visitors' register on the summit or at Puu Ulaula hut (cabin) on the way up, or Mauna Loa cabin (el. 13 250) on the crater rim, I found an entry from people that climbed from Capt. Cook or Honaunau on the W. or Kona side. This would be a real adventure; there's no trail.

I considered hiking down the W. side but was told it was unwise alone due to lava tubes (if I fell in one) or pakalolo plantations in the "forest reserves" far down the Kona side. But it's a trip I've always wanted to do.

I also met someone who hiked the SW Rift Zone, no trail either. Hiking round and across the huge Mokuaweoweo Caldera was enough for me.

Roger Williams, Boulder, Colorado.
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Joined: April 3rd, 2004, 4:42 pm

December 21st, 2004, 6:41 pm #8

The Holmes and Winger books only discuss driving to the summit. I'll be there in late March and would like to hike partway, say from the visitor's center. Is there a trail? Are there maps at the visitors center? Where can I go to get information?

Bill
Bill:

I plan on hiking Mauna Kea from the visitor center next July. Please post your trip report. It should be similar to a typical Sawatch range 14'er in CO, but with a lot different terrain! I hope to bag it in the first couple days in HI so I don't lose my advantage of living in CO.
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