The beaches on the Big Island are amazing but there are also many beautiful hikes including the Makuala O’oma Trail hike in the Kaloko Cloud Forest. This cool, shady hike starts at Makahi Street is about a 4-mile loop trail in the Honua’ula Forest Reserve. The trail is well-maintained and offers moderate elevation gain, making it a good option for hikers of all levels. You can hike this clockwise or counterclockwise. This description takes you clockwise.
To start the hike, park on the side of the road at the Makahi Street trailhead. The trail begins with a steep descent through a lush forest of native Hawaiian trees and ferns.
After about a mile, the trail reaches a flat section that winds through the forest. This section of the trail is particularly scenic, with views of towering trees and lush ferns.
After about two miles, the trail begins to climb back uphill. The climb is moderate, but there are a few steep sections. As you climb, you’ll pass by several viewpoints with stunning views of the Kona Coast and the Pacific Ocean.
At the top of the climb, you’ll reach the Makuala O’Oma Trail junction. Ahead of you are Mauka meadows and likely some grazing cows. Turn right to he
ad back to the Makahi Street trailhead. When you take the fourth right turn you’ll make your way back into the canopy. Somewhere along this area take a break to catch your breath and just listen to the sounds of the forest.
Hiking the Kaloko Cloud Forest in Kona takes about 2 hours to complete, depending on your pace and how many stops you make. Be sure to bring plenty of water.
Here are some additional tips for hiking the Kaloko Trail:
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots, as the trail can be slippery and uneven in some areas.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks, as thereare no services on the trail.
- Be respectful of the native Hawaiian plants and animals.
- Leave no trace: pack out all of your trash.
Another great hike takes you to a beautiful snorkeling spot in Kealakekua Bay
Additional information for this hike can be found here