Hawaii: Mauna Loa marathon

According to my map this trip was 7,015 feet of vertical gain and 39.2 miles round-trip, with 24.2 of those miles above 10,000 feet elevation. Normally this is done as a three day trip, but dad likes condensing these things so we did it all in one day. I expected a suffer-fest, but it turned out to be quite enjoyable much of the time.

Dad and I parked at the end of the Mauna Loa Strip Road and headed up the Mauna Loa trail.

The trail passes through an amazing number of different types of land, at the start it is partially vegetated lava flow, but after a couple thousand vertical feet we started passing through stark black lava, red lava, gold lava, sandy beige lava, spatter cones, rifts, small volcanoes, and on and on. Amazing.

Much of the trail has nice, level footing, but the start of the trail is rough and the 3-4 miles before the summit is very rough with many ankle rollers.

The only water on the route was the catchment at Red Hill (10,000' elevation).

Copyright © 2004 Gabriel Deal.