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.

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".

After an afternoon of hiking the slopes, you will get a much deserved refreshing reward at Kona's newest brewery, Ola Brew, where you can enjoy a local brewery tour and tasting of several local beers.

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.
• After your hike, tour Kona’s newest brewery and enjoy a sampling of locally made beers, ciders, and/or non-alcoholic energy drinks.

Schedule: Departing select days from our Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, Queen's Marketplace, and select resorts

Rated: Moderate; hiking on uneven terrain of up to 3 miles

Included in the Tour: Lunch and beverages, water, daypacks, walking staffs, raingear, warm wear, brewery tour, and beer & cider samples*. (*Must be 21 yrs & older to sample beer & ciders; non-alcoholic samples available for underage guests)

Group Size: Tour limited to 12 people

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We 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.

Big Island Hawaii Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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New York City, New York
"I saw planets!!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 23, 2019 NEW
Great trip very informative. The dinner was nice but I wish I brought my own food, but then again the focus is the summit and the star gazing. Wear warm clothes, I don’t care how hot it is at the resort, it is freezing at the summit and while stargazing. I got to see a globular star cluster, Jupiter, Saturn and binary stars! Mataeo was extremely knowledgeable and the trip was enjoyable. Also, the oxygen deprivation is real so take it easy at the top.
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Leslie C
Maui, Hawaii
"A taste of the Big Island"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 19, 2019 NEW
We have enjoyed other tours with Hawai’i Forest and Trail in the past and knew they would make this tour of the Big Island interesting and memorable for our grandkids and adults. Our guide Mateo was so knowledgeable and made so many Hawai’i facts come to life. Thanks Mateo and thanks Hawai’i Forest and Trail!
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Jane W
Pickerington, Ohio
"Awesome tour!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 19, 2019 NEW
We took the Mauna Kea Sunrise Tour and had a great time. Our guide, Matt was extremely informative and personable. The sights were unforgettable. If I had one complaint, it would be that the van was older and the seats were uncomfortable. Other than that, I highly recommend this tour and tour company!
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"Great Tour!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 18, 2019 NEW
My husband and I wanted to find tours to really see the beautiful island of Hawaii and this one really hit home! Gorgeous scenery, fantastic locations thanks to their relationship with the locals, sights we wouldn’t have seen otherwise! Our tour guide Amanda was so friendly and VERY knowledgeable, it was like having a friend showing you around the island. I would highly recommend this if you are looking to see what the land has to offer, very easy as well!!
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"Mauna Kea Sunrise"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 17, 2019 NEW
Overall awesome experience. Our guide was nice, knowledgeable and onetime. The vehicle and cold weather clothing were excellent, and the tour fantastic. Watching the full moon set, then stargaze for an hour was amazing. Other than being out at sea, it was by far the best star gazing on land I've experienced. Followed by an incredible sunrise.
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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.