Sometimes, bigger does mean better. The Island of Hawaii, also known as the “Big Island,” is the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and home to the most national parks in the state. This idyllic island features unmatched beauty, brimming with a wide range of landscapes and habitats. Exploring the national parks on the Big Island is a great way to experience the diverse beauty the island has to offer, from tranquil wetlands to the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes. To ensure you make the most of your adventures, we’ve created an insider’s guide to national parks and sites on Big Island.
National Parks & Sites on Big Island
As the name suggests, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa. As such, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park gives visitors to the Big Island a unique opportunity to explore volcanic terrain with a variety of hikes and drives.
Take a stroll through history with a visit to a sacred site of the Hawaiian people and view the largest collection of petroglyphs in Hawaii. Pu’uloa is home to over 23,000 petroglyphs carved into hardened lava. The Pu’uloa Petroglyphs hike is estimated to take just up to an hour and a half, but beware that the trail is uneven on the lava terrain in certain areas, so be sure to bring water and a good pair of shoes.
Kilauea Overlook provides visitors with majestic views of Kaluapele and Halemaʻumaʻu crater. This underrated photo spot might be even better in the dark when you can fully see the intense glow of the lava pool, although, at this writing, activity has paused. Plus, Kilauea Overlook is incredibly spacious, so it doesn’t feel crowded even when it gets busy.
For travelers looking to immerse themselves in a place of cultural significance, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park is an excellent choice. Featuring ancient housing sites, religious sites, fishponds, lava tube shelters, and more, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park preserves many important ways of life of ancient Hawaiians, providing a fascinating and educational experience.
Encompassing 175 miles of trail, Ala Kahaki National Historic Trail is the perfect summation of the Big Island. This trail features a wide variety of ecosystems, caves, anchialine pools, lava formations, endangered species, and more. Keep in mind, despite the daunting 175 miles of trail, it is not continuous, allowing visitors to access it across different points along the coastlines of Big Island.
Mauna Kea, an Upscale Big Island Hotel Experience
After a busy day of exploring the breathtaking national parks and sites on the Big Island, recharge at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, where you can enjoy a gorgeous white sand beach, golf a round at a championship course, and relax at the spa and salon. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a paradise along the sea and is a great location for taking advantage of the many adventures Hawaii has to offer. To reserve a trip to this five-star hotel, please visit us today, or call 1-877-880-6524.