• Halema`uma`u Just Before Dawn

    Hawai'i Volcanoes

    National Park Hawai'i

Day Hike - Pu'u Loa

Visitors look at petroglyphs from the boardwalk

The boardwalk viewing platform protects the petroglyphs from damage. (Click on photo for a larger version)


Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs

This coastal trail traverses older lava flows to one of Hawai'i's most extensive petroglyph fields.

Of interest: Petroglyphs, pahoehoe lava.

  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Distance and hiking time: 2 miles roundtrip, 1.5 hours
  • Distance from Visitor Center to trailhead: 20 miles.
  • Trail begins at the Pu'u Loa parking area on Chain of Craters Road (mile marker 16 on Chain of Craters Road).
  • Petroglyphs are fragile. Stay on the boardwalk - walking on the lava surface will fragment petroglyphs and destroy them.
  • Bring water, wear sunglasses and a hat.

View a 3 1/2 minute vitual slideshow of a Ranger Guided Hike at Pu`u Loa


For more information about this special area, visit our History and Culture webpage for the article: Pu`uloa Petroglyphs by Mara Durst


Hiking Tips (pdf-217KB)
Please view this four minute video - "Plan for Safe Viewing of Lava Flows"


Did You Know?

`Ohi`a tree with lehua blossoms.

The `ohi`a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) is a pioneer plant on new lava and a dominant tree in most mature Hawaiian forests. Honeycreepers, like the `apapane and `amakihi, are often seen sipping sweet nectar from its flowers. More...