Puʻu o Lokuana

Hawaiʻi the Big Island

High points like this red cinder cone make great lookouts no matter whether you're Kamehameha keeping an eye out for rival chief Keoua in the 1780s, Captain Brown watching lava consume your house in 1868, or the US Army scanning for Japanese ships and planes using secret new RADAR technology in 1942. In the last case, the looking-out happened below ground where 'scope dopes' analyzed blips transmitted from the tower above to monitoring rooms carved into the cone's core.

The concrete blocks of the radar tower were set aside as the ranch mined the top 100ft of cinder to pave area roads. If you don't want to do the whole trail, you can join the trail across the street from the landing strip and get to the crater in a few hundred feet (cheater!).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hawaiʻi the Big Island attractions

1. Kahuku Unit


Kahuku Unit's six hiking trails that lead through green pastures to volcanic cinder cones, lava tree molds, rainforests and lava flows come alive during…

2. ROD Quarantine Gate

3.19 MILES

This gate marks the end of the drivable portion of the road through Kahuku Unit as well as the Pali o Kaʻeo trailhead and an alternative starting point…

4. Paliʻokulani Overlook


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5. Mark Twain Monkeypod Tree

4.65 MILES

In 1866 Mark Twain wrote in yet another long letter home that in Waiʻohinu, 'trees and flowers flourish luxuriantly, and three of those trees – two…

6. Kamaoa Wind Farm

5.15 MILES

The rusty carcasses of 37 windmills from the failed Kamaoa wind farm lie next to their foundations along South Point Rd.

7. Honuʻapo Bay Overlook

8.12 MILES

For killer coastal views, pause at the scenic lookout above Honuʻapo Bay northeast of Naʻalehu. This sweep of shoreline and scrub is part of the longest…

8. Whittington Beach Park

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Northeast of Naʻalehu, this small park has tide pools, an ancient Hawaiian fishpond frequented by birds, and the photographic ruins of a historic pier…