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Bicycle Trails

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Bicycle Trails

1. Circle the Rim
1-2 hours
11 mi (17.6 km) loop
400' elevation change

Crater Rim Drive encircles Kilauea Caldera. Travel from lush forest to a seemingly barren desert. Stop at Jagger Museum for a spectacular view. Park bike at pullouts and parking lots to take short hikes to volcanic features including Halema'uma'u Crater. The smell of sulfur reminds you that you are at one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Paved hiker/biker trails are located on the rim between Jagger Museum and KMC (1a) and along Waldron Ledge Trail (1b). Stay alert when cycling in the rain forest because the road is narrow and winding with limited visibility. The best time to ride is early in the morning and late afternoon.
2. Escape to Mauna Ulu
2-3 hours
12.5 mi (20 km) loop
800' elevation change

The Escape Road descends through dense rain forest, across a 1973 lava flow to the Mauna Ulu parking lot. Suitable only for mountain bikes, this unpaved rough road is the "escape route" for evacuation if lava should cover the main roads. Start either at Thurston Lava Tube or one mile east of the park entrance on Highway 11, opposite Old Volcano Road. Close all gates to keep pigs from entering the rain forest. Return via Chain of Craters Road and Crater Rim Drive. A toilet is located at the Mauna Ulu parking lot.

Overlook Hilina Pali
3-4 hours
18 mi (29 km) round trip
1400' elevation change

This narrow paved road winds downhill over small fault scarps and old lava flows through the Ka'u Desert to the Hilina Pali Overlook. The overlook at road's end offers views 2,000' down to the coastal flats. This area can be hot, dry, and windy. The road is sometimes closed to most cars due to high fire danger, making it more attractive for biking. Watch for traffic on blind curves. Vigorous return uphill. Toilets but no water are located at Kulanaokuaiki Campground and at the overlook.
4. Ride Ainahou Ranch
1-2 hours
5.7 mi (8.8 km) round trip
800' elevation change

Four and a half miles down the Chain of Craters Road turn onto a service road and pass through the locked gate. Stay on the signed route. The rough road descends 800' in 2.7 mi (4.4 km) toward the Keauhou hiking trail, with great views of the coastal plain. This route can be very hot and dry. Vigorous return uphill. Check at the Kilauea Visitor Center on the status of this route.
5. Summit to Sea
2-6 hours
40 mi (65 km) round trip
3700' elevation change

Descend 3,700' (1128 m) through remnants of native forest, across vast lava flows from the eruption of Mauna Ulu, to the coastal plains. The road ends at the 2001 lava flows. Be aware of gusty winds and volcanic air pollution along the Chain of Craters Road. Ascent is challenging because it is hot, windy, and steep; consider arranging transportation back up. A toilet, but no water is available at the end of the road and at Mauna Ulu parking area.
6. Ups and Downs
of Mauna Loa

2-4 hours up, 45 min. down
27 mi (43 km) round trip
2600' elevation change
The Mauna Loa Road climbs 2600' (790 m) up the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano, through koa woodlands, and over prehistoric lava flows. The road ends at 6,662' (2031 m) elevation where, weather permitting, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Kilauea. Watch your speed as you descend the narrow curvy road as cars often cut blind corners and it is difficult to negotiate hairpin turns at high speed. A gated road spur on Crater Rim Drive between KMC and Kilauea Overlook provides a shortcut to Mauna Loa Road. Parking is available at Kipuka Puaulu, 1.3 miles (2 km) up Mauna Loa Road. Toilets but no water are located at Kipuka Puaulu picnic ground and at the end of the road. This road may be closed to most cars during times of high fire danger.
•6a Mauna Loa Corral
1.5 mi (1.3 km) one way
This bike route begins with a left turn off the road to Tree Molds. Take the left fork at the horse corrals and continue to Kipuka Puaulu picnic area. Return the same way, or via Mauna Loa Road.
•6b Spur Road
0.8 mi (1.3 km) each way
The Spur Road starts at the boulder-lined pullout 4 miles (7 km) from Hwy 11 (0.5 mile past first cattle guard). The dirt and rock road meanders through shady koa forest. The route ends at the Kapapala Ranch fence (private property).
•6c Six Tanks Road
0.3 mi (0.5 km) each way
Short but sweet, this difficult-to-find spur begins 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from 6b Spur Road. Look for grassy truck tracks that climb a small knoll in the dense koa forest. It ends abruptly at the Keamoku 'a'a lava flow from Mauna Loa.
•6d Powerline Road
1.5 mi (2.4 km) each way
The Powerline Road intersects the Mauna Loa Road at the second cattle guard (5.8 mi, 9 km from Hwy 11). The south spur is a 1.5 mi (2.4 km), rough, bumpy up-&-down road that ends at Kapapala Ranch (private property). Vigorous return uphill. The north spur is 1/4 mi (.4 km) long and ends at the Keauhou Ranch fence (private property).


Ruby on RailsRuby: 1.8.7, Rails: 1.1.6