Hiking on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii has the lowest population density of the four major Hawaiian Islands. With only 46 people per square mile, there is an abundance of forest reserves, animal sanctuaries, and hiking trails to explore on the island. It can exhaust even the most avid hikers with over 300 miles of trails.

As the home to five very distinct volcanoes, the Big Island is a great place to view lava flows and immense craters. The most famous and most active of the five is Kilauea and you can view its glowing lava within the grounds of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanoes National Park

With so many natural resources, choosing where to hike can be a daunting task. A great place to start is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The visitor center will have trail information, maps, and permits. To get you started, a few of the most popular hikes are the Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Road, and the Twilight Volcano Unveiled Guided Tour. The Twilight Volcano Unveiled tour is a visual learning experience that showcases an active lava lake and a private lava tube. It’s an incredible experience, to say the least.

volcanoes national park

While Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an incredible opportunity for hiking, you will want to explore the rest of the Big Island as well. Keep in mind the Big Island is the largest of the major Hawaiian Islands. No need to constrict yourself to the always popular leeward coast. The windward side of the island receives an incredible amount of rainfall. Thankfully, these wet conditions produce some incredible opportunities to explore the jungle. The districts of Puna, Hilo and the Hamakua Coast are where you’ll find some incredible sights and jungle treks.

Puna Trail

Starting in Puna is the Puna trail, a 5-mile hike that overlooks a pristine, sparsely populated beach. Deep green ferns and rainforests along the trail guide you to a small bay with lava cliffs.

rainforest hiking in hawaii

Kalopa Native Forest State Park

Arguably, the best rainforest hiking on the Big Island is the Kalopa Native Forest State Park & Recreation Area in Hilo. This 100-acre state park is near the village of Honoka’a. Many of the plant species in this park are native to Hawaii and are centuries old. A visit to this park is a chance to enjoy some solitude and time to take in the untouched rainforest of old Hawaii.

big island hikes

Explore the Big Island

Exploring the Big Island can be difficult due to its size and numerous trails. It’s difficult to know where to go or where to start but one of the best ways to explore is with Airbnb experiences! It’s a fantastic way to connect with others and take in some locals-only knowledge of the region. The guides are typically very knowledgeable and provide all the necessary preparations for your hike. Another fantastic resource is the website They have numerous trails and valuable safety guidelines for all the hikes listed on their site. I highly recommend looking at it prior to venturing out.

Let’s Chat

Give me a call at 808.938.3910 or email me if you are interested in learning more about hiking in Hawaii or anything in general about life on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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Carlos a.Guzman

April 1, 2022

I think is great to live in a place like Hawaii big island.what is the average price for a one bed condo, somewhere near the ocean. Thanks

Satori Ebedes

April 8, 2022

Awesome blog, thank you.

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