hiked up the Mauna Kea trail with my girlfriend, breaking her elevation record in the process. We really enjoyed this hike and how we got a nice workout midway through our ocean-focused vacation. Did not see any other hikers on the trail, but did see plenty of tourists and grad-student-types at the observatories near the summit. Pretty cool! Check out the Kona brewery if you're on the island.
My wife and I debated allocating the time to do this. On the last full day of our trip we woke to an unusually clear day and decided to head up. After the summit, we checked out a few observatories - cool. Both the University of Hawaii and the W. M. Keck Observatories allowed minimal entry and had informational posters (W. M. Keck also had a video). Glad we did it.
Alas, my sister got altitude sickness so I didn't have a chance to walk over to the actual summit. However it doesn't really matter, it is one of the most serene and beautiful places in the world.
This was unreal! The views were amazing and the landscape was out of this world. I felt like I was on the moon, not on a tropical island! The air was thin and the final push was tough, but it was all worth it.
I actually felt some altitude sickness. It doesn't help to go from sea level to the summit in <6 hours.
Left Kona around 6:30am, arrived at visitor center at 8:00. It doesn't open until 9, but there was a ranger there to provide instructions to the trail head.
After that, it was a pretty straight forward hike to the summit. I took the detour to the lake at 13,000ft, and it was well worth it. Hung out there for 20 min to eat, then made my push to the summit. I was huffing after 12,500, but made it to the summit after a total of about 4:45. Left the summit at 1:00pm, at about 12,500ft, the ranger drove by and offered a ride down, I took it.
Nice hike - the ranger said they get about 5-7 hikers a week, so if you want solitude in HI, this is the one.
Saw two patches of snow covering a total area of about 2ft.
Right in the middle of a school session...
We flew there and stayed two days...
One day to summit and the other one to tour the island...
Thanks again Philip for the opportunity!!!
Yeah, we drove it, not very sporting. The telescopes were in interesting though.
The road and the trail. Feel a little slow at about 12,000ft, but was able to made it to the top. Saw lots of people sitting around in Downsuits and me in shorts and a tee-shirt.
Left my hotel in Kona just past 6am. Arrive at the Onizuka Visitor Center (9,200') by 7:45am. Started hiking from there at 8:15am on the Humu`ula Trail (Mauna Kea Trail). Took a quick side trip to visit Lake Wai`au then traveled clockwise to check out all the telescopes (from the CalTech submillimeter telescope to the UK infrared telescope). Made the summit by 12:05pm. Stayed there for about half an hour. Started going down at 12:35pm. I tried hitch-hiking but no one gave me a ride, so I had to walk back down the trail. Got to my rental car by 2:15pm (6 hrs car-to-car). Fun, easy day on top of Hawaii.
Start hiking Humu'ula Trail from Onizuka Visitor Center early in the morning. Due to more badly becoming weather (strong winds, clouds and falling temperatures) I gave up after one hour. Hike down to the rental-car (4WD) and drove up to the summit. Visibility at summit below 50 ft.
Did you go on foot the entire way from sea level?
Done during our honeymoon on the Big Island. Ain't my wife grand? :-) I check the "successful" box with a wry grin. Heehee!
Snow on Hawai'i - how crazy is that.
This was an interesting day, We saw volcanoes, and were at sea level, and on top of a near 14,000 footer in the same day. Amazing.
My daughter and I reserved a potential ski adventure in Hawaii in 1986, alas a year of little to no snow in the islands. We hiked from Hale Pohaku. This was Vanessa's first 10,000 ft peak, but we hitch-hiked down to get back to the beach! I remember a fuel truck passing us on the way up -- he was going about 5 miles an hour. This was number 9 of my 49 state high points and Vanessa's 39.
It was an awesome terrain like no place else on earth. We did one of those tours at dusk because we didn't want to cope with driving. It was great we didn't have to drive to the top but we didn't think it was worth the price they charged. Anyhoo--still glad we did it.
Drove to the top, slipped on some pants and a jacket (board shorts and a tee isn't what the natives had in mind up here!) stumbled over the cable and hike (or jogged rather) to the top of the summit (maybe a 1/4 mi away). Great views, spectacular sunset, and more stars than I've ever seen in my entire life. Got a good look at my next Hawaian peak to conquer....Manua Loa.
My third highpoint. Met my friend Wayne at the airport, drove to the observatory and walked over to the summit. Not very strenuous but this is Hawaii and I was on vacation with the family... quick and dirty.
Took the easy route to the summit via the road. Ran into the author of one of the best tour books written for Hawaii called "Big Island Revealed". Look for my wife and I posing at the summit in the 4th edition when released. Weather was pretty mild. Absolutely amazing place!!