Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Horse Trail

Trail in Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve


  • Directions

    Geolocation is not allowed
  • Distance

    4.62 miles

Contact Information


The trail heads south through pioneer ʻōhiʻa (Metrosideros polymorpha) forest, brush and grassland in the direction of Volcano Village. It passes over the 1855 & 1881 lava flows and through several kīpuka (pockets of forest surrounded by lava) of mixed native species and older koa (Acacia koa). Hikers may return by way of Powerline Road, a hunter access road which intersects the trail at the 3.7 mile point and rejoins Daniel K. Inouye Highway about 0.5 mi. closer to Hilo. An interesting nature hike through a variety of mostly native vegetation, Puʻu ʻŌʻō Trail offers birders the opportunity to see ʻiʻiwi (Vestiaria coccinea), ʻapapane (Himatione sanguinea), ʻamakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens), ʻelepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis), ʻōmaʻo (Myadestes obscurus), ʻio (Buteo solitarius), ʻakiapōlāʻau (Hemignathus wilsoni) and nēnē (Branta sandvicensis). It was pioneered by early cattle ranchers to drive their stock to embarkation points on the coast. Rain, fog and cool temperatures are common.

Part of the Hawai‘i Island Birding Trail (see link below)

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Point: 5,810 ft.

Lowest Point: 5,650 ft.

Allowed Activities
Horseback Riding
Rifle Hunting
Rules & Regulation
No Motorized
Dogs On Leash
No Biking
Allowed Access

Additional Information

Special Conditions

Seasonal bird hunting is allowed, so wear brightly colored clothing for safety. The trail can be difficult to follow where it crosses lava flows, especially in daily fog. Cold climate with rain and fog. Do not use any trail or access road that is not delineated by name and color and that may also be displayed on these maps. The marked features are managed for public recreational use. Other trails or roads that branch off from the public features may be on private property, and are not managed for any public recreational use. Access is subject to adjacent landowner approval, and if used without authorization, you will be trespassing and possibly putting yourself at risk. Downloadable resources are provided below.


  • Dogs on Leash
  • Equestrian
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Pedestrian
  • Tours
  • Wildlife View


  • Parking


  • Cultural Study
  • Nature Study
  • Open Views
  • Sensitive Area


  • Hunting Area
  • Uneven Surface

Dog Owners

Hunting may be in progress on or near this hiking trail. Hunting dogs may be off-leash while engaged in the hunt. Hikers must keep their dogs leashed at all times and remove dog waste while on this trail.

Simple Trail Tips

  1. Stay on the trail 
  2. Check the weather 
  3. Watch the time 
  4. Avoid undue risk 
  5. Read all posted signs 
  6. Respect other trail users 
  7. Pack out at least what you pack in


Trail head is identified by a sign on the south side of Daneil K. Inouye Highway (Hwy 200) approximately 22.4 mi. from Hilo. Parking is limited.


  • No Motorized Vehicles
  • No Bicycles
  • No Open Fires
  • No Plant Sand Dirt Rock Removal