Hilina Pali Road

based on 4 tracks & routes #12 hike out of 27 in
8.6 mi
5 hrs 18 min
3,179 ft
Elev Gain


This is a difficult out and back trail to Kaʻaha in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

Due to extreme fire hazards the road is sometimes closed. Check the park’s website for up to date information. If you can drive the Halina Pali Road to the start of the trail, do so.

Ka’aha is one of eight backcountry campsites within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Permits to camp are required and available in person or by calling the backcountry office in the park.

Sections of the Kaʻaha Trail and the Hilina Pali Trail are badly overgrown. Trail cairns may not be visible. Please plan accordingly.

Ka’aha hike begins with a steep downhill trail that switches back 24 times to the base of the pali (cliff). Along the trail you will be hiking through mostly non-native grasses dotted with native ‘ōhi‘a trees. Two thirds of the way down you will find your only chance for shade on this hot, dry, windy trail under a large ‘ōhi‘a tree.

The rest of the hike is a gradual downhill slope to the coast. Ka‘aha has a rocky shoreline with a well protected cove that has some great snorkeling. You may find green turtles swimming in the cove, or resting on the shore. There are no trees in the area to provide shade, but the shelter on the hillside is a nice place to get out of the elements. Ants are extremely abundant, although they do not bite, or sting, but they will crawl on anything (including you) on the ground. The trail out is uphill the entire way and feels like five miles in the intense sun. We recommend you avoid hiking in the mid-day sun.

Getting Started

This hike begins at Kulanaokuaiki campground on Halina Pali Road.

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Public Tracks

There are no published trips for this hike. There are 4 private trips.

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