• 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?

`iliahi is the Hawaiian name for sandalwood.

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).