Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mauna Ulu Eruption Trail - Splatter Rampart

We did this hike in the Hawai'i Volcanos National Park as part of a very cool Volcano tour. There are plenty of trails in this area for longer treks. This hike is a nice stop on the way to the Holei Sea Arch (and end of the Chain of Craters Road).

After doing this hike, I discovered a great episode of Motion TV on the same area - Greg even walks around this same area. Check out the video below

The hike starts of the side of the Chain of Craters Road with Mauna Ulu in the far distance. There is a one car parking spot on the west side of the road, simply cross the road and been treking toward Mauna Ulu, there is no trailhead or marked trail. For navigation, feel free to use this EveryTrail Map.

Since there is no dedicated trail, you are free to find your way along the 1969 Eruption Fissue (some spots can be deep). The trail surface is mostly cinder and Pele's Tears - we didnt see may strains of Pele's Hair - but there are plenty of cool things to look at along the trail.

Upon meeting a fairly obvious lava flow (from 1974) turn to the left (Northwest) toward the Start of the Napau trailhead.

Soon you will reach the end of the old Chain of Craters road which was taken over by lava in 1974. This is the main trailhead for the trails toward Mauna Ulu, Makaopuhi Crater, Napau, and Pu'u O'o. 

There is a pit toilet here at the trailhead, but no water. Our tour guide meet us with our vehicle so it was a one-way trip, but you can return back to the parking spot on the Chain of Craters Road by retracing your steps. Or you can start your Splatter Rampart trip from this trailhead parking area.

A very fun area to trek around on the Splatter area (much easier than walking on old lava flows). To be honest, unless you have been here before, I would highly recommend doing the Viator Twilight Volcano tour -- its a small-group tour and very well run. Its the best run tour to the Volcano and gives you a great understanding of the area, so on your next visit you can do it on your own.

Area - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island, Hawaii)
Trails - Splatter Rampart Trail (unmarked, not mapped)
Length - 1 miles oneway - Easy Hike
Duration: 45mins to 1 hour
Trail - Loose cinders (sounds like walking on Capn Crunch cereal)
Bikes - none
View - Great views of Mauan Ulu on sunny days
Getting There - EveryTrail or book online with Viator.  
Fee- No extra fees on the tour, water and food provided
Weather- Can be sunny or rainy, trek is out in the open on the lava fields
Other Trails - Napau Trail, Naulu Trail, Kalapana Trail (unmaintained), Escape Road (map). A great book for hiking on the Big Island: Hiking the Hawaiian Islands

Mauna Ulu Eruption Splatter Trail at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking on Big Island, Hawaii