Best Hikes On Big Island

The Big Island is the name given to the biggest island in the Hawaiian archipelago group of islands. It’s more commonly just referred to as Hawaii!

Best Hikes On Big Island

Its landscape is full of beaches and hills, with loads to do and see all over the island. On that theme, there are loads of different hikes that you can take part in while you’re there.

But what are the best hikes on the Big Island? And what do they involve?

Spotlight Hawaii has you covered! We’ve got all the answers below, in our handy guide to the very best hikes that are available on the Big Island.

Each will allow you to see beautiful parts of the island that you would never see otherwise, and they vary in their length and terrain. 

It’s important to remember that you must be respectful while undertaking these hikes.

You need to walk lightly and respect the people who live there, not disturbing them or their land. Leave it as you found it!

The Best Hikes On Big Island

Kalopa Nature Trail

This trail is going to be an easy and relaxing one for many people, and it’s relatively short on top of that, stretching just 0.7 miles!

With that being said, there are so many informational points along the way of the trail that you will likely spend a good amount of time on the walk.

There are 20 different stopping points, each with information about the landscape and life around you.

On some, you’ll find out about the local flowers, while others will tell you about the type of wildlife that’s living within the forest. 

Despite the wealth of plants and animals there, you’ll find that the trail is actually very peaceful and quiet. It’s truly a place of serenity, as the trees loom over you, and the air is full and rich.

On top of that, the geographical location of the trail in terms of the Big Island as a whole means that it has a good amount of rain, which will really bring the trail alive. 

Makalawena Beach

A far cry from the gentle rain of the previous trail, this is a lovely walk along a long beach. However, the beach takes a little effort to reach.

There are two different ways that you can reach it, because it isn’t accessible by car. One of them, the North Trail, is the longest at 4 miles.

With that being said, you will get to take in the beautiful view of the gentle sea water.

The other way is the South Trail, which runs just over 2 miles in length, and will take you over some dunes – as well as a lava field! Either way, the views will be breathtaking. 

Kealakekua Bay

The previous trail had no elevation height, but this one goes up 1300 feet. For that reason, this may be a little bit more difficult, but no less rewarding. 

Some of it can be reached by vehicle, but all the best bits will require you to park up and go out on foot – or swimming!

You see, you can get some of the best spots for snorkeling here, with a whole host of beautiful underwater sea life to look at.

On top of that, Kealakekua Bay marks an historic landmark, in that it has the Captain Cook Monument – marking the captain who made the first contact with the natives of the land.

Best Hikes On Big Island

Akaka Falls State Park

This is a far easier trek, short and with just a small climbing elevation. The path of the trail is clearly laid out, as well as being paved for ease.

It takes you through beautiful rainforest, an overwhelming atmosphere of green and life, before coming to the main attraction: the Akaka Falls waterfall.

Or rather, a view of it! You’ll be able to get a breathtaking view of this enormous body of cascading water, which towers well over 400 feet in height.

It really is quite extraordinary, and the icing on the cake at the end of a beautiful trail. 

Kalopa State Park Perimeter Trail

This isn’t to be confused with the Kalopa trail that we began this list with, for this is bigger and longer.

Like that, this offers a stunning view from within the first, as the trees tower over you and the amazing collection of flowers and wildlife inhabit all around.

There are a few different paths you can take within it, but the Gulch Rim Trail will give you the best and most varied views. 

Occasionally, it’s not just wildlife that you’ll see around. This trail is often a popular point for people to ride horses on, which will only add to the character of the place.

On top of that, some people use the trail for their mountain bikes, which is a bit noisier.

Don’t let that make you think that this isn’t a peaceful and quiet place for the most part – you’ll find plenty of calm and relaxation typically!

Napau Trail

We’re going to finish with one of the most difficult trails on Big Island. We recommend that you only take this challenge up if you’re an experienced hiker, but the sheer adventure and sights will make it all worth it!

Spanning about 12 miles in length, and with an overall climb of 1200 feet, this is likely to take the best part of a day – but you’ll see a lot!

From craters to rainforests, you’ll pass it all – including a trek over a lava field! When you get to the end, you’ll get to see the jaw-dropping site of a recent volcanic eruption. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! There are loads of different hikes and trails to do on the Big Island, with beautiful scenery and exciting viewpoints.

Richard Ennis