ʻApua Point is 6.6 miles from the Puʻu Loa Petroglyphs trailhead and along the south-facing shore of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The trailhead is about 140 ft above sea level and the trail gradually makes its way down to the ocean, mostly over smooth pahoehoe flows. Once you reach the sea you will pass an old goat corral/trap. The stone walls there may be your only chance for shade. From the corral you have to hike about two miles to ʻApua Point. These last two miles will take you along the coast over more pahoehoe flows, a couple hundred yards of aʻa flows, and through sandy dunes overgrown with naupaka. ʻApua has a small stand of coconut trees under which you may pitch a tent. Some of the tent sites have stone walls to shelter you from the wind.
There is NO DRINKING WATER at ʻApua. You have to carry in whatever water you will need (at least 4 quarts/liters per person per day). The closest water catchment tank is at Keauhou, 3.1 miles down the coast.
The ocean at ʻApua has strong rip tides. There are some shallow areas where you can lay in the water to cool off, or you can swim in the cove at high tide. Be warned that swimming in the ocean here may be a deadly activity.
The campsite may be accessed from two trailheads. 1) Puʻu Loa Petroglyphs via the Puna Coast Trail - 6.6 miles, 10.6 km (accessed via Chain of Craters Road). 2) Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu via the Keauhou Trail and the Puna Coast Trail - 9.9 miles, 15.9 km (accessed via Chain of Craters Road).
Link to printable version of map and directions to VEOC (465KB)
Campers may stay a maximum of 3 nights per site. A total of 16 hikers are allowed per night at ʻApua. Backpackers to ʻApua should be adequately equipped, experienced in wilderness trekking, and physically fit.
Pack the Essentials for a Safe and Comfortable Trip:
Prepare Ahead for Extreme Weather
During the day, temperatures can soar into the high 90s or higher. There are NO trees to provide relief from the sun. Carry and drink a minimum of 4 quarts of water per person (per day). The elderly, infants, and those taking antihistamines and certain types of medication for high blood pressure or depression are especially at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The Heat Equation: High Temperature + High Humidity + Physical Work = Heat Illness or Death.
Leave No Trace
Trailheads include: 1.) Hilina Pali Overlook (Hilina Pali Trail) located at the end of Hilina Pali Road (2,280' elevation). 2.) Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu (Keauhou Trail) located on Chain of Craters Road (2,680' elevation). 3.) Pu`u Loa (Puna Coast Trail) located near sea level on Chain of Craters Road.
Seismic and Volcanic Hazards
Pesky and Dangerous Animals
Protect Precious Plants, Animals, and Archeological Sites
Turtles - Endangered Hawksbill sea turtles nest and threatened Green sea turtles rest on park beaches. Do not camp in areas posted as turtle nesting areas at `Apua, Halape, and other beaches. Federal and state laws protect all sea turtles from harm.
Archeology - Respect and help protect Hawaiian archeological sites. Do not climb on or alter any rock structures, such as walls, house platforms, pits, and mounds. Avoid walking on or making rubbings of petroglyphs.
Fishing - Fishing along the coastline from the park's eastern boundary to a point midway between Keauhou and Halape is restricted to native Hawaiian residents of the Kalapana area. It is your responsibility to understand and obey all fishing regulations.
Swimming - There are very few sheltered swimming sites along the coast. Rough seas, high surf and strong, unpredictable currents are typical of the park's coastline. Avoid entering the open ocean. Help protect the rare plants and animals that live in tidepools and brackish ponds - rinse off all soap and sunscreen before entering them.
Pets and Stock Use - Dogs and other pets are not allowed on park trails or in wilderness areas. Horses, donkeys, and mules are allowed in the backcountry with a valid backcountry permit (limit of 6 animals per site). Tether livestock at least 100 feet from campsites in an area that presents no hazard or sanitation problems to other campers. Hikers encountering horse parties should quietly step off the trail and allow the animals to pass.
Leave No Trace - Pack out everthing you pack in. Do not put rubbish in pit toilets. Keep wilderness areas beautiful and clean.
Post your trip journal on our webpage!
Give us your feedback - Let us know about trail, cabin, or campsite conditions. Did you notice anything damaged or dangerous conditions that rangers should be aware of? File a Trip Report
Did You Know?
During the 1800's, vast quantities of fragrant sandalwood were the first major export of the Hawaiian Islands. The trade nearly caused the extinction of `iliahi or sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum).