Hidden Craters Hike in Kailua-Kona, HI

Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, HI 96740
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Get ready for an excursion unlike any other on the Hidden Craters Hike through Kona. Your tour brings you behind 3 locked gates to discover Hualalai, Kona’s infamous volcano. Throughout your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the island’s volcanic eruptions in the 1800s, climb through a segment of a lava tube, and embark on a 3-4 mile hike you’ll never forget.

1 or more people

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Kailua-Kona Travel Experts
  • Total hike length: approximately 3-4 miles.
  • Tour duration: approximately 6-7 hours long.
  • Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs, and rain ponchos are provided.
  • Deli-style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water is included.
  • Tours depart from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.


from Hidden Craters Hike
Experience a peak to pint adventure on a rocky hike up the cool and misty lava-scaped slopes of Kona's own Hualalai Volcano. Enjoy exclusive access to this stunning mountain, which offers a bird's eye view of Kona's lava history. Your guide will take you off-road, through multiple locked gates and then by foot at a 6,500-foot elevation, where you will experience the surreal scene of black lava flows and native dryland forest.

You will see firsthand the geologic forces which created the islands at the heart of Hualalai’s 1801 eruption, the Kaupulehu Crater. Travel to magnificent coastal viewpoints and stunning lava formations, walk amidst a forest of native birdsong and scramble through a "lava tube".

Highlights include:
• Exclusive private access onto Hualalai volcano and into a native forest.
• Take pleasure in a 3-4 mile hike through untouched cloud forest with incredible vistas of the Kona coast.
• Stand on the edge of precipitous volcanic craters that plunge deep into the earth below.
• Climb through a segment of a lava tube.

Schedule: Departing select days from the Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters

Rated: Moderate; hiking on uneven terrain of up to 5 miles

Included in the Tour: Water, daypacks, walking staffs, and raingear.

Group Size: Tour limited to 10 people

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. This tour sometimes encounter cool and wet conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.

What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and a light sweatshirt or jacket.

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Hidden Craters Hike is located at Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, HI 96740
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hidden Craters Hike

How much hiking do we do? 
Tours stop a couple of times throughout the adventure for short hikes of less than ½ mile. The total hiking distance is approximately 3 to 4 miles long.

Is there elevation gain? 
The tour ranges from sea level to 6,000 feet. We will meander on a single track trail through native forest with a mild elevation change of approximately 30 feet. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend and ascend approximately 30 - 40 feet.

How many different types of volcanic features will I see? 
Along the tour, we’ll see 200-year-old lava flow, spatter cones, fissures and collapse pits.

Do we need any special type of equipment to explore the lava tube? 
The lava tube we visit is perfect for the casual adventurer. We’ll descend via earthen steps with a rope to assist and there’s enough ambient light to see all of the major features inside the cave.

Is Hualalai Volcano active? 
Technically speaking, yes. Hualalai’s last eruption ended in 1801 so it is considered active. However, magma is not close to the surface so we won't see any geothermal activity.

How long is the tour?
The tour is approximately 6 to 7 hours long in total.

Is food included?
Yes. In addition to enjoying a sampling of locally made beers, ciders and/or nonalcoholic energy drinks at Kona’s newest brewery, a deli-style lunch is also included.

What should I bring?
Guests should bring comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and a light sweatshirt or jacket.

Where do tours begin?
Tours meet and begin at Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.