Nāpau Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Embark on the Napau Trail for an immersive all-day experience in Hawaii’s dynamic volcanic landscape.
Time from Kailua-Kona 2 hrs. drive
Hike Distance 11.8 mi. out and back
Estimated Completion Time 5-7 hours
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to the Napau Trail, is a testament to ecological diversity and geological marvels. The park encompasses a vast area with varying climates, from lush rainforests to arid lava fields. Venturing along the trail is like stepping into a living, breathing showcase of the Earth’s raw power.
As you begin, the lush rainforest envelops you, its dense canopy and vibrant bird calls a stark contrast to what lies ahead. As the trail progresses, the scenery undergoes a dramatic transformation. You’ll find yourself traversing across vast lava fields, where the ground tells the story of recent eruptions. Each step takes you further into the heart of the park’s volcanic activity, with the stark, barren landscape of the lava fields stretching out around you.
The trail leads to the Napau Crater, offering a view that is both desolate and captivating. Along the way, you might spot nēnē (Hawaiian geese) and other native wildlife adapted to this harsh environment. The trail’s length and the variety of terrain it covers make it a challenging yet rewarding Big Island hike, ideal for those who wish to deeply explore the diverse and dynamic nature of Hawaii’s volcanic landscape. Google Map