(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park announced on Monday that it is expanding hours and increasing access to its Kahuku Unit in Kaʻū.
From the National Park Service:
The Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is now open at 8 a.m., adding an additional hour to explore the trails and views from this fascinating and storied area on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano.
The new hours for Kahuku are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. There is no entrance fee, and reservations are not required for ranger programs or special events.
In addition, the rugged unimproved portion of Kahuku Road above the cross fence will reopen to 4WD vehicles, providing easier access to two trails: Kona Trail (highlights include ranching-era relics and 1887 lava flow formations), and upper and lower Glover Trail, which culminates near a huge pit crater that protects a pristine Hawaiian rainforest.
Hikers who venture past the cross fence must decontaminate their footwear to prevent the spread of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD), a deadly fungus that has killed hundreds of thousands of ʻōhiʻa trees on Hawaiʻi Island. It is also recommended that drivers spray the tires of their 4WD vehicles. A decontamination station is located at the cross fence gate.
Kahuku Road above the cross fence was closed to vehicles in 2016 due to the presence of trees with ROD overhanging the road. The infected trees have since been removed to minimize the risk of vehicles spreading the spores. To protect park resources, vehicles are not permitted to drive off the roadway or go past the Upper Glover trailhead parking area.
A dynamic kānaka maoli (native Hawaiian) history defines the Kahuku story and traces back to the earliest Polynesian arrivals. By the 1860s, Kahuku was one of the largest cattle ranches in Hawaiʻi, and also supported timber and pulu fiber industries. Today, hikers can experience native forests and birds, and the infamous 1868 Mauna Loa eruption, via its eight trails. Learn more about Kahuku trails, ranger programs and informal coffee talks on the park website. The entrance is located in the Kaʻū District on Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, about an hour’s drive south of the main park entrance.
by Big Island Video News
HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK - The new hours for the Kahuku Unit in Kaʻū are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.