Mauna Loa Climber's Log

Viewing: 1-20 of 41

MikeyB - Aug 17, 2011 11:21 pm Date Climbed: Jul 8, 2011

Observatory Trail  Sucess!

Very cool hike over lots of old lava flows. Getting above the clouds was a sureal experience. Had the mountain and route to my self.

Dennis Poulin

Dennis Poulin - Dec 18, 2010 8:01 pm Date Climbed: Dec 6, 2010

Observatory Trail  Sucess!

Nice hike. I was alone on the mountain today. It took longer than I thought it would. Lots of rock hopping. Beautiful day.


LakesideHiker - Jan 31, 2010 4:46 pm Date Climbed: Jun 1, 1979

Observatory Trail

Left Kona on a Friday night and camped at the Observation Trailhead. Went to the top the next day. Altitude sickness was the order of the day and night. Great view and hike.

Jesus Malverde

Jesus Malverde - Dec 17, 2009 11:07 am Date Climbed: Dec 16, 2009

Observatory Trail  Sucess!

An ono pupu for the the peak bagging g-spot of your soul. Recommend sleeping higher up to acclimatize for this one. I slept at the radio transmitter towers at 8900 feet (more privacy and off the road). Taking 4 liters of water is recommended as well. 7 hours 20 minutes round trip in a bizarre and very interesting place. Enjoy!


boisedoc - Mar 31, 2009 10:58 pm Date Climbed: Mar 27, 2009

observatory trail  Sucess!

hiked up the lava fields from the Observatory. Pretty barren. Hiked on snow for the last 2.5 miles about 13000 feet, resulting in a sunburn on the back of the knees that I had not expected. Coming up from sea level in one day, this is a good way to see if you are prone to mountain sickness


farrisgl - Mar 21, 2009 2:46 pm Date Climbed: Aug 10, 1992

Camped just below the summit  Sucess!

Took the observation trail, camping just below the summit. What a spectacular night view of the star. Appeared so close you could almost touch them. Received light snow in the middle of the night as well. I need to go back some day in the near future and climb via the Mauna Loa Trail and again camp out on or near the summit.
I highly recommend this mountain.


Niederbayer - Feb 23, 2007 7:53 pm

April 2000 - Mauna Loa Trail

made it to rim of caldera - feels like walking on Mars - no vegetation, no birds or insects, just rocks and no other sound except the wind - unfortunately clouds blocked views

Dan the Jones

Dan the Jones - Sep 19, 2006 3:41 am Date Climbed: Jan 23, 2005

Never made it

What a geologic feast. Had to turn back due to time restrictions, but want to go again.


NanitaD - Apr 1, 2006 1:44 pm Date Climbed: Feb 22, 1998

Trail from the weather observatory  Sucess!

Amazing, spectacular and unusual peak. My new tennis shoes were shredded on the sides from the sharp volcanic rocks.


fieldbio - Mar 24, 2006 10:56 pm

Simple and Sweet

nice hike, amazing landscape

Mountain Jim

Mountain Jim - Mar 11, 2006 4:22 am Date Climbed: Feb 27, 1998

Very interesting mountain  Sucess!

Via Observatory Trail. From a geology standpoint this is one of the most interesting mountains anywhere ... a raw, unfettered volcanic landscape.


Kalama - Feb 14, 2006 9:15 am Date Climbed: Jan 26, 2006

Red Hill and Observatory January 26th, 2006  Sucess!

First went solo Red Hill route. Raining horizontally + 30 mph wind. Retreated and drove to Observatory route. TONS of snow starting at 12,000 ft. 23 degrees inside summit cabin. Nalgenes frozen in morning. FUN!!!

Paul Kaye


SkydiveKen - Dec 7, 2005 2:13 am

Route Climbed: Observatory trail Date Climbed: December 5,2005  Sucess!

Sunday morning to the cabin, low water at the hole but clear water in the tank. Awesome sun rise on Monday. Very cold hike to the summit. Gloves and a hat the whole way. This is a very big and lonely place to have all to oneself for two days. I will come back some day to explore the crater and maybe hike all the way arround it.


shknbke - Jul 31, 2005 9:36 pm

Route Climbed: Observatory trail Date Climbed: July 26, 2005  Sucess!

Took the easy dayhike from the weather observatory at 11K. Distance can be covered quickly, but it takes quite awhile to gain elevation as it is very gradual. A 2.8 mile hike still remains after you reach the rim at ~13K'. The crater is awesome.

nvllified - Jul 8, 2005 8:29 pm

Route Climbed: The traditional route Date Climbed: October 2003 and 2004  Sucess!

I've hiked Mouna Loa twice with my father. The first time was our second backpacking trip. It was freezing in the early morning (well, freezing for a person who lives in hawaii) I climbed up read hill the first day in 2003 to take sunrise pictures (it was windy and cold!) perfect weather that trip. The second time we wanted to descend via the Ainapo trail... but at the summit we experiance hail and thunder so we decided to decend a more familiar route. Mouna Loa will always remain my favorite mountain, and my time spent there charished. Mouna Loa has always captivated me as a child... the start of my obsesion of gaining altitude! If you go to hawaii do Mouna Loa and call me! because I want to come too!

p.s. For those of you who've done the Mouna Loa aren't those 20 miles from the caldera lip to the cabin the longest twenty miles of your life! (well... 2 miles actually.. for those who've not yet experianced the distortion in time and space)


SkydiveKen - Jul 4, 2005 1:30 am

Route Climbed: Observatory Trail Date Climbed: August 2 2004

Only went to the cabin. Rained from 3pm til late the next day. Truly an erie expierence in the rain and fog. Shared the cabinthat night with an altitude sick hiker who came in late and soaked to the bone. Talked him into returning with us and gave him a ride around the island to his car.


jdavies212 - Apr 24, 2005 8:31 am

Route Climbed: North side trail from saddle road and weather station parking area. Date Climbed: September 1986  Sucess!

I had a carbon-copy of Dan Nelsen's (Sept. 6, 2003) experience. Up to the summit in 4 hours with shorts and a light windbreaker jacket. Although I am an experienced climber, the illusion of taking off from a tropical climate at a low altitude lulled me into a false sense of security and I was ill-prepared for the 50-degree temperatures and wind at the caldera.

Not only did I experience altitude sickness (vertigo and disorientation), but hypothermia began to set in on the way back with dusk approaching; violent shaking and numb extremities made normal walking almost impossible. I thought I was a goner. My salvation was having a hiking partner (the only thing I did right on the trip). He, apparently being in good condition, helped me stumble back to the waiting car, and by now it was pitch dark. As soon as we got in and closed the door, it hit him as well--spewing his lunch all over the seat and floor carpet--great aroma as we made our way back into more tropical environs.

Don't be fooled by the gentle slope and ease of access. It's still a 13,000-foot-plus mountain with all the usual potential hazards! (By the way, in memory's eye, the spectacular caldera and other-worldly moonscape at the top still make me happy for having had the experience--albeit almost my last experience...).


wbass - Feb 5, 2005 4:49 pm

Route Climbed: Observatory/Summit Trail Date Climbed: January 24, 2005  Sucess!

One of the most difficult and boring slogs anywhere, over endless expanses of lava and snow fields, but with fantastic views of Mauna Kea and Haleakala. Watching clouds build below and encircle the big island leaving only Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa exposed (the airplane view) is an amazing experience.

Don Nelsen

Don Nelsen - Sep 11, 2003 10:14 pm

Route Climbed: North side from the weather observatory Date Climbed: Sept. 6, 2003  Sucess!

What an incredible mountain! I heard the advice to acclimate but due to time constraints was not able to heed them and paid the price. Left Kona at 8:30 and was on the trail at the weather observatory by 10:30 (11,100 ft.) This rapid ascent virtually guaranteed altitude sickness and boy did I get it! I made the caldera rim at 13,000 feet+ in 2 hours and hit the summit at 13,679 ft. about 1 1/2 hour later. (7.1 miles total as per my GPS.) This is an eerie and mystical place. Must return to fully explore later. Serious vertigo and disorientation resulted in a 3 1/4 hour time back to the trailhead. Weather was great with 55 degrees at the trailhead and about 50 degrees on top with little wind.


Scott - Aug 21, 2003 1:17 pm

Route Climbed: Red Hill Date Climbed: Feb 1995  Sucess!

Some snow near summit

Viewing: 1-20 of 41
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