THING TO DO

Hike to a Petroglyph Field

Pu‘u Loa Petroglyph Field Boardwalk
Pu‘u Loa Petroglyph Field Boardwalk

NPS Photo

Pu‘u Loa Trail

Walk in the footsteps of the kūpuna (elders) to Pu`u Loa (hill of long life), a sacred and awe-inspiring gallery of ki`i pohaku (images carved in stone). These simple etchings document the life and culture of the native Hawaiian people and spiritually, cradle the piko (umbilical cord) of their children. It brought with hopes of receiving the blessings of a long and prosperous life.

Pu‘u Loa Boardwalk
Pu‘u Loa Boardwalk

NPS Photo

Of interest: This coastal trail traverses a 500-550 year old lava field to one of Hawai`i's most extensive petroglyph fields. A site that has approximately 23,000 petroglyphs, many viewable at a boardwalk constructed for this purpose.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance and hiking time: 1.4 miles (2.25km) round trip. Approximately 1.0 - 1.5 hours.
  • Distance from Visitor Center to trailhead: 19.6 miles (31.5km).
  • Trail begins: Pu'u Loa parking area on Chain of Craters Road.
  • Bring: Water, food, hat, sunscreen and rain gear. Be prepared for hot, dry, wet, windy weather conditions.
The petroglyphs are very fragile. Stay on the boardwalk. Walking on the lava surface will fragment the delicate petroglyphs and destroy them.
Pu‘u Loa Trail
Pu‘u Loa Trail

NPS Photo

Details

Park entrance fees apply. There are no additional activity fees.

Trailhead is off Chain of Craters Road near the coast

Accessibility Information

Trail is over uneven, solidified lava fields 

Last updated: April 7, 2017