Big Island – Napau Trail

For my second major hike on the Big Island, I loop hiked two outstanding trails in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — the Napau Trail and the Naulu Trail.  Doing these two trails as a loop hike requires a car shuttle.  In addition, I also hiked out the spur trail to the viewpoint of Napau Crater.  The hike took me 7 1/2 hours and covered about 12.2 trail miles plus 3 road miles.  There were so many outstanding aspects to this hike which I will be discussing in detail in an upcoming report.  The hike essentially passes through a variety of lava flow areas from recent times and occasionally enters rainforest which was untouched by lava.  This hike was way different from anything I had ever done before.  I originally intended to hike to the summit of Mauna Loa.  But that has been closed all week due to hurricane-force winds.  Maybe it was for the best, because this hike turned out to be so good.

Passing through an area of volcanic steam vents
Passing through an area of volcanic steam vents
There is a surprising about of beauty, color, and variety with lava flow
There is a surprising amount of beauty, color, and variety with lava flow
Beautiful Hawaiian rainforest untouched by the destructive power of lava
Beautiful Hawaiian rainforest untouched by the destructive power of lava
Lava tunnels appear in the middle of nowhere
Lava tube tunnels appear in the middle of endless lava fields