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Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit in 2017

MEDIA RELEASE

Everyone is invited to participate in the upcoming free guided hikes in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, from January through March 2017. Visitors can also explore Kahuku on their own on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended. Entrance and all programs are free.

Mauna Loa Southwest Rift Zone. Take a short, guided hike to an overlook located on the Upper Palm Trail. From the overlook, park rangers point out the prominent geologic features that define the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the fascinating eruptions that created these features and the cultural traditions associated with them. The Mauna Loa Southwest Rift Zone program is offered Jan. 7 and March 25; from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Pu‘u o Lokuana is a short, moderately difficult 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone, Pu‘u o Lokuana. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū. This hike is offered Jan. 8, Feb. 5 and March 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Birth of Kahuku. Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku. Traverse the vast 1868 lava flow, see different volcano features and formations, and identify many parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the Hawaiian hotspot and the creation of Kahuku. This guided easy-to-moderate hike is offered Jan. 14 and March 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped, and restored this land. The guided hike is offered Jan. 15, Feb. 19 and March 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered Jan. 21, Jan. 29, Feb. 26, and March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree, and the lehua flower. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is offered Jan. 22, Feb. 12, and March 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Pele & Hi‘iaka. Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters Pelehonuamea (Pele) and Hi‘iaka, and the natural phenomena they represent. Visitors will experience the sisters coming alive through the epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku on this easy 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku. The Hi‘iaka and Pele program is offered Jan. 28 and Feb. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku. Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. This hike is offered Feb. 11 and March 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Keep up with Kahuku events and visit the calendar on the park website, www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit…  and download the Kahuku Site Bulletin www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit…

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