At the end of the narrow, one-lane Mauna Loa Road is Mauna Loa Lookout. Perched at 6,662 feet (2,031 m), the lookout provides a view of Kīlauea volcano, old lava flows, and the distant ocean on clear days.
The surrounding subalpine woodland includes koa, māmane and ‘ōhi‘a trees, and endemic bird species, including ‘i‘iwi. The octagonal shelter at the lookout was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937, and is an excellent example of the National Park Service rustic architectural style. There is also a short trail to an exclosure featuring the endangered Mauna Loa silversword plants.
For avid backcountry hikers, the rugged Mauna Loa Trail begins here. (Note: all overnight trips require a backcountry permit).
Last updated: November 7, 2021