Hawaii Forest & Trail - Endangered Native Habitats Adventure
This Big Island nature tour explores two rare habitats: the cloudmist kipuka rainforest on Mauna Kea and the sub-alpine dryforest of Pu'u La'au on Mauna Kea. A huge study in contrast, this tour takes you to two opposite environments. At Pu'u La'au, you’ll get to see the sub-alpine dryland forest on the western side of Mauna Kea. Keep an eye out for the endangered palila (a large finch with a rounded bill) and the bryani sub-species of elepaio (a small, adaptable monarch flycatcher).
The other location is the Pu'u O'o Trail, located in a cloudforest habitat on the northeastern slope of Mauna Loa. Here you are likely to see the endangered akiapolaau (a woodpecker like bright yellow honeycreeper), omao (Hawaiian thrush), iiwi (a large honeycreeper) and apapane (most common Hawaiian native bird).
After this tour is done, you’ll have walked for about 4 miles in the rainforest portion of the tour and less than 1 mile in the dryforest portion. The elevation gain is minimal, about 500 feet in the rainforest and 350 feet in the dryforest.
- Fascinating birdwatching adventure
- See two of opposing environments: a cloudmist rainforest and a sub-alpine dryforest
- Great photo opportunities
- Continental breakfast with baked goods, fresh local fruits, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate
- Deli-style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water
- Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos
Big Island Forests
- Where and When:
- Tour departs at 6:30 am and returns at approx. 4:00 pm.
Departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, 73-5593A Olowalu St., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 View Map
- All Guest Must:
- Provide Proof of a negative COVID-19 test through the Hawaii Safe Travel Program or proof of 14 day quarantine (airline generated flight itinerary). Test results must be presented upon check-in.
- Complete a Health Questionnaire and temperature check with contactless infrared thermometer completed prior to participation.
- Wear a face mask at all times in the vehicle and wherever social distancing is not possible.
Please bring your own water bottle for use on tour. Water bottles are available for purchase at Hawaii Forest and Trail and a jug will be available for refills.
- Participants must be at least 8 years old.
Participants must be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain.
We sometimes encounter cool, wet, or muddy conditions.
This is a moderate to strenuous hike.
- Special Notes:
- Operation Days:
- 11-12 hours round-trip from Headquarters
- Hawaii Forest and Trail
- Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos are provided.