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“Great hike”
Review of Kilauea Iki Trail

Kilauea Iki Trail
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A moderate 4 mile hike into a an old volcanic crater.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

Beautiful scenery, not overly difficult but not easy either as the way back is up a fairly steep hill. Can't imagine that it would be possible for the scenery to be any better though. Bring your own water and sneakers are a must!

Thank Brian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 123 reviews
"crater floor"
in 185 reviews
"counter clockwise"
in 69 reviews
"parking lot"
in 131 reviews
"thurston lava tube"
in 145 reviews
"steam vents"
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"bring water"
in 73 reviews
"moderate hike"
in 24 reviews
"lava cake"
in 95 reviews
"favorite hike"
in 15 reviews
"kilauea iki"
in 56 reviews
"guide book"
in 17 reviews
"mile hike"
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"switch backs"
in 15 reviews
"wear sunscreen"
in 16 reviews
"lush rainforest"
in 27 reviews
"take your time"
in 39 reviews
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Reviewed June 17, 2014

One of our activities we'd planned to do on Kona was go hiking, but we were trying to get in several things in just 7 days, so we had to be selective. The Kilauea Iki Trail in Volcanoes National Park was the winner.

Know this going in: It costs almost nothing to get into the park. Enter the park and then go to the visitor center and chat with the numerous volunteers and rangers. They'll give you a map that will explain much about the trail. Also note: After you're done, eat lunch at the Volcano House across the street from the visitor center...spectacular view of one of the volcanic vents and tasty, reasonably priced food, combined with a gift shop--that is NOT so reasonably priced. lol.

The hike itself is about 4 miles long and takes 2-3 hours, depending on your pace. If you like to dawdle, as I do, and take pictures along the way, it'll take closer to 3 hours.

Do the hike in counter-clockwise direction. It starts off with a gradual downhill through the rainforest with awesome views of the crater along the way. You're making your way through the forest to the crater floor. It looks smooth from the rim, but, really, not so much.

Wear comfortable walking / trail running / hiking shoes. NOT flip flops. You will be sorry if you wear anything less. You're walking over volcanic rock in some places and wearing sandals--including Keenes--is a recipe for discomfort or a twisted ankle. There's lots of loose rock, gravel, sand, lava chips that'll pop up in your sandals, so avoid them altogether.

Take water. I wore a backpack with 10 bottles of water and some trail mix and granola bars for the five people in our group, just in case.

Once you get to the crater floor, you'll hike across it, following the ducks...stacks of rocks that serve as trail markers. Take in the view...it seems like what it might be like to walk on the moon--with gravity.

On the other side of the crater, now you get to hike UP. It's steep with a lot of switchbacks through the rain forest. At the top, you can cross the road and go into the lava tubes. It only takes a few minutes, but it's very cool and it's on the way back to the parking lot.

But, most of all, take a camera, take pictures (be creative), and HAVE FUN because this is an amazing hike WAY different from any other hike on Kona.

The guide books refer to this hike as "moderate to difficult" intensity, but, actually, our group ranged in age from 26 to 56, all of us in reasonably good shape and we hardly broke a sweat. Nevertheless, you should be able to walk up hills and navigate over uneven, rocky terrain to enjoy this.

If hiking is your thing, you will really dig this one! So, go for it!

5  Thank Propellerhead76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2014

This hike was the highlight of our stay. It could get very hot down there as there is no shelter but luckily there was light rain when we went. The scenery is just amazing.

Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2014

This was a hike and and a half. My wife and I are older and not the most fit. But we made it with effort -- and it was well worth it. The diversity of people on the hike was broad -- older, hikers, families, different nationalities, groups, pairs, couples. The diversity of effort was wide -- rain forest path, rather steep steps in places, other gradual steps, switch-backs, smooth crater floor, cracked crater floor, almost sandy surfaces in areas, irregular footing on the 'bathtub ring'. Weather varied -- as is normal (as I understand), it rained some and the sun was out -- steaming. Rain jackets to short sleeves, then back. From rain forest with thick foliage to barren moonlike surfaces to cracks in the floor with plants/flowers blooming. It was an experience I am so glad we undertook. Be sure to buy the $2 pamphlet as there are labeled markers on the trail that you can reference. Secondly, I suggest hiking sticks -- there were areas (mostly at the bathtub ring) that I was REALLY glad we had ours. (you can buy collapsible ones that fit in the suitcase). And yes: take water -- you could dehydrate in that temps and length of time. It took us 2.5 hours total -- and we took a few short rests and many pictures.

1  Thank William G W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2014

From a dense, jungle rain forest to a practically barren, volcanic crater, all in one hike! It's absolutely incredible! As everyone said, park at the viewpoint and start to the right. We didn't get the pamphlet, but wished we had, so make sure to pick one up as there are markers all through the trip. Once on the crater floor, there are steam vents all over, which makes you realize what you're actually walking on! The way back up can be a little tiring on the legs, but not too bad. You'll end up walking right by the lava tube, so make sure you take that little detour before heading back where you started. There's a little area where you can stop and rest before heading to the tube if you need to take a break. Be sure to bring water, as once you're in the crater, it can get pretty hot. Also, once down there, there's no shade, so bring a hat and sunscreen. It took us a little over 2 hours for the hike, and we stopped for plenty of pictures along the way.

2  Thank Bob A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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