Mauna loa trail.... who's been there

9:13 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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153 forum posts

Doing the Mauna Loa trail in about 1.5 weeks and wondering if anyone here has been there yet. The plan is to hike from the trailhead (approx 6700 feet) to the red hill cabin area, spend the night there at 10,000, hike to about 12,000 and spend the night somewhere between red hill cabin and the summit. From there, we'll stash our non-essentials and hike to the top and return back to the 12,000 foot point to spend the night again, heading back down the next day.

The main thing I'm wondering is if there is any suitable places to pitch a tent between red hill and the summit. Smooth lava or cinders is what I'm looking for, but the jagged basketball sized ones aren't. The volcano on Maui seemed to be a mix of the two but I'm wondering what I'll find here. If there's absolutely nothing we could always stay at the cabin at the summit, but I'd like to avoid sleeping at 13.5 if I can.

Any other input would be great. Yes, we are prepared for cold!!

10:07 a.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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210 forum posts

I'd never sleep on the a'a flows.. and you may not even need a tent.

I left a lengthy post on the Gear thread, but you can find a lot of resources online at

Hilo is VERY limited with outdoor gear, so be cautious, and the Pu'u Vent is very very very active this year...

9:26 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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Cool, you caught me only 12 hours before I leave, good timing!!

April 21, 2018
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