Two spur trails connect Keoneheʻeheʻe (Sliding Sands) Trail, near Kapalaoa cabin, with the Halemauʻu Trail between Paliku and Holua cabins. If you’re camping you may have time to do them both, as the trails are not very long. The spur trail furthest west takes in many of the crater’s most kaleidoscopic cones, and the viewing angle changes with every step.
If you prefer stark, black and barren, the other spur trail takes you through ʻaʻa (rough, jagged lava) and pahoehoe (smooth-flowing lava) fields.
Both trails end up on the northern side of the cinder desert near Kawilinau, also known as the Bottomless Pit. There’s not much to see, as you can’t really get a good look down the narrow shaft. The real prize is the nearby short loop trail, where you can sit for a while in the saddle of Pele’s Paint Pot Lookout, the crater’s most brilliant vantage point.