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“David Ewing Lava Hike”
Review of Pu'u 'O'o Trail

Pu'u 'O'o Trail
Ranked #41 of 83 things to do in Hilo
Attraction details
Reviewed May 12, 2013

I hope this is the correct page to review the hike with David Ewing. The hike begins at his home, built on the lava!

We had Stacy as our guide the evening we went and on the hike out she shared interesting facts about the lava and the volcano. The hike over the old lava is not an easy one. But so worth it when you get to the place were the lava is on the surface of the ground. So fascinating to watch the flow!! We were able to spend a few minutes there and even able to capture some of the lava to let cool and bring home..

The hike then continues to were the lava is flowing into the ocean. Almost an in-describable thing. something you just have to see for your self!! we stayed there till well after dark. The darker it gets the better view of the lava entry you get.

Then you hike back in the dark! Actually, for me, the best part of the hike.. On the way out I was having a hard time keeping up with the group. I sometimes was trying to follow the path of the guide and then the path my husband was taking. Others would be passing me and getting in front of me.. It was just not a pleasant experience for me. But on the way back you have to stay single file in the line the guide puts you in. She placed me right behind her.. And I was so happy with my self .. I kept up with her and was never more than 3 steps behind her. !!!!
It was like rock dancing. You have to be very light on your feel and follow your partner, (the person in front of you) Because i was the oldest woman on the tour I felt amazing by the time we got back to the house. My calfs were sore for days afterwards. But I felt very good with the accomplishment.

Our trip to the island would not have been the same if we had not got to see the lava..
we did visit the volcano park, but you don't see any flowing lava there. Only old lava flows from many years ago.

Many thanks to Dave and his assistant Stacy and to John, the owner of The Dolphin Bay Inn for telling us about his friend Dave. !!!!

11  Thank llsylvester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 27 of 47 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

Long drive to get there, but definitely a site to remember! Broght home tons of gorgeous pictures and lovely memories.

1  Thank ginakLongmont_CO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

This review is for the trail leading to the base of the source of the current lava flow - Pu'u O'o crater/vent. It's called Captain's Trail, and it is one of the top adventures detailed in the Big Island Revealed book, as well as the review below in January 2013.

First off, the trail is officially closed by the County/State as stated by a sign at the trailhead. The hike is mostly through rain forest, which is quite pretty, but it goes on and on for almost 4 miles, or 2.5 hours. Despite some muddy conditions, it was fairly flat and not too strenuous. It ends where the forest meets an old lave flow, where you can then see Pu'u O'o before you. Signs stress it is prohibited to continue further, and, taking the author's advice, we did not proceed further, despite the presence of a smaller trail leading to the summit.

The view of Pu'u O'o was not extraordinary, as it looked pretty much like a dirt mound, and the steam from the vent was barely visible, as it is on the other side (the south side). So, we could not see bubbling lava at the crater or flowing lava.

Overall, I do not recommend this hike. The payoff is not worth the long hike and ignoring the trail closure signs. The only other person out there was a hunter chasing wild pigs with his hunting dogs, which was somewhat unnerving as hikers (and it smelled like he was smoking weed too!). If you do decide to go, do make sure to check air quality conditions/forecast to ensure the vent fumes are not blowing in your direction (North).

16  Thank tSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

What an experience, walking in the middle of a crator, seeing the masses of lava everywhere around. Some areas have smoke coming out from below. Wanderful reminder that this baby is still cooking below our feet.

5  Thank radscasters1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Let me start with "Stay Away From This Hike". I can't stress enough on how dangerous it is and on how lucky these people were. I've hiked there about 100 times give or take. I know it well. There are so many things that could have gone terribly wrong. First and foremost the vent overflowed in a big way right where they hiked up. Its done it numerous times since they're hike and so suddenly and large no one could have ever out ran them. Then add in whiteouts that last for hours and even days. Throw in a sudden flow and well, you get the picture. Were they prepared to spend the night if needed? It gets down into the 40's up there in the winter with strong winds and rain. Do you know the vents flow patterns? Among other things? The forest hike can also change in minutes. Strong winds routinely knock large trees down making the trail virtual disappear. Its very easy to get turned around and many do get lost in there. Its actually close to 5 miles one way through the forest. Its not an easy hike nor is it a typical trail. Just because its in a book doesn't mean anyone should be attempting this hike. Stick with the easy to reach lava flows on the lower flats by the ocean. Stay safe and live to tell about a great lava flow experience by avoiding this area and hike. I can see why Trip Advisor won't make this a separate category. No one should be hiking up there. I have over 21 years experience hiking there and the most important thing I know is when not to go. Take a heli tour.....Or hike the flats with Dave Ewing.

21  Thank Bryan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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