Pu’u Huluhulu (meaning hairy hill) is an old cinder cone that sits between the two access roads for Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. It’s a nice little diversion, but the best benefit is dramatic views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Don’t confuse this hill with the one in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park that has the same name.
Trailhead: Near the 28 mile marker on the Saddle Road, Hwy. 200, and between the access roads for both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, find a short paved road to a trailhead for Pu’u Huluhulu. This big hill is obvious from miles away on the Saddle Road. The trailhead has a portable toilet.
Gear: Standard hiking gear. This hike is over 5000’ in elevation, so expect cool temperatures.
Hike: From the parking area walk through a gate and spot a trail heading up the hill to your left. It’s a bit faint, but pretty easy to follow. The trail makes a long switchback to the east and then cuts back to a false summit that offers an exceptional view of Mauna Kea. From this open false summit, continue south up the trail to the actual summit, which is choked in dense foliage. There are great views of Mauna Loa, but it’s hard to find an open view through the trees. Return to the trailhead the way you came and don’t cut any switchbacks or create your own trails.