Pu’u O’o Trail
There is a pull-off on the South side of the road (POTH) marked with a small, brown DOFAW sign near the pull-off
The main road turnoff has good road visibility only in the eastern (toward Hilo) direction . A small rise and turn partially obscure the road in the western (toward Kona) direction plus the pull-out onto the highway is slightly steep and graveled.
Clouds and rain can appear very quickly in this location rapidly obscuring visibility; cars and motorcycles travel very quickly on this road. Please use great caution when pulling onto the road.
The trail begins with a short section through an a’a lava flow and then proceeds through emergent ohia forest. In this area amakihi and oma’o are common. After this section there is an open area of aged pahoehoe with a clear path through grasslands (former pasture). Sheep and goats are infrequently seen on the edges of the forests. Kipuka are on either side of the path in this section. The trail then continues through several kipuka and a’a flows before approaching Power Line Road. The distance at this point is ~ 3 3/4 miles and the short stubs of the former power poles can be seen to the east about 100-200 yards away.
At this point, one could take Power Line Road back to Saddle Road and then using the current power line access road continue on the the Pu’u O’o trailhead for a total round trip of ~ 7 miles, making for a long day since most of Power Line Road is not shaded and is hard on the feet. It’s somewhat easier if one car is left at the Power Line Road trailhead to ferry folks back to the Pu’u O’o trailhead.
It might be possible to take a shortcut from PO10 to Power Line Road, a distance of ~0.3 miles but it’s somewhat dangerous, being over a’a flow which is both rugged and unstable walking (loose, sharp rocks and crevasses). There are many ungulate trails through this stuff, but…
Pu’u O’o Trail Topographic Map
Pu’u O’o GPS Data
Pu’u O’o Elevation Data