Devastation Trail

Trail Length: 0.5 mile paved each way, wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Activity: Pedestrian
Difficulty: Easy
Island: “Big Island” Hawai’i

Devastation Trail

Devastation Trail

Only half a mile long, this paved, wheelchair-accessible trail offers fantastic views of Mauna Loa looming over the sulfur-encrusted caldera. The 1959 eruption of Kilauea Iki toasted this rainforest, leaving trees dead, stripped bare and sun-bleached white, along with tree molds and scars of ashen gray and black dirt. Now ohia trees, ʻohelo shrubs and ferns are colonizing the area anew.

The prominent cinder cone you’ll see along the way is Puʻu Puaʻi (Gushing Hill), formed during the eruption. You can start the trail from either end, at the Puʻu Puai Overlook parking lot or the Devastation Trail parking area further west, where Crater Rim Dr turns south.

Approximately 1/2 mile from Puʻu Puaʻi is the Devastation Trail parking area. You can park your car here and take a 30-minute walk through the cinder outfall of the 1959 eruption of Kīlauea Iki. This 1/2 mile (each way) paved trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible. You can have the driver of your car proceed on to the Puʻu Puaʻi Overlook located 1/2 mile away and meet your group.

Another option is to walk the unpaved trail (.6 mile each way) to the Byron Ledge trail across the cinders being reclaimed by a variety of native and alien species.

 

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