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Hawaii Forest and Trail
Since 1994, Hawaii Forest & Trail has been operating tours focused on Big Island history and ecology. Its founder, Rob Pacheco, established partnerships with private landowners that would allow tours to places with wild and remote native ecosystems that had been previously inaccessible. Hawaii Forest & Trail is one of the few tour companies allowed access to private lands and controlled access wildlife refuges. The company offers a handpicked cadre of guides with strong academic backgrounds in biology, geology, Hawaiian history, and extensive "field" experience.
With a staff of over 25, a fleet of over 15 customized vehicles, and a retail store, the company offers daily tours yet remains quietly unassuming and friendly. Hawaii Forest & Trail is committed to keeping the tour groups small, well-outfitted and comfortable for a pleasurable day of exploration. Tours include the original Rainforest Bird Walk and other eco-adventures like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, stargazing from Mauna Kea, and a Kohala waterfall walk.
Immerse yourself in Kohala's stunning beauty and rich history. On a fun off-road adventure and relaxed trail walk, experience dramatic views of Pololu Valley, charming foot bridges, historic taro terraces and intimate waterfalls. With an opportunity to swim at a waterfall and stroll the quaint plantation village of Hawi, this is the perfect tour for all ages.
8 hour tours daily, all ages, lunch included. We provide walking sticks, warm wear, day packs, bottled water. Tour limit 12 guests. Rated: Easy; all ages welcome.
Witness the majesty of Waipio, Valley of the Kings. Hike over a thousand feet above the valley floor on an historic trail that reveals inspiring views of two rivers, thriving taro farms, ocean vistas, native forest and numerous waterfalls, including a secret view of world renowned Hiilawe Falls. Perhaps no other trail in Hawaii offers so much beauty and history than on this exclusive three mile rim hike.
8 hour tours daily; departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters in Waikaloa King's Shops, and also from Waikoloa Queen's Marketplace. Ages 8 and over. We provide Deli style lunch, bottled water, juice, walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos. Tour limited 12 guests.
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Tour
Join the professionals of Hawaii Forest and Trail on an intriguing and provocative journey through space and time. On your way to the 13,796' summit of Mauna Kea you will learn about the remarkable evolution and changes the Hawaiian islands have experienced. Your tour stops at a historic ranch outpost features a hot, picnic style dinner. After dinner the tour continues to the summit of the world's tallest volcano for a sensational sunset view. Stand in awe amidst the largest collection of telescopes on earth witnessing some of the most dramatic scenery you'll ever experience.
8 hour tours daily; departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters in Waikaloa King's Shops. A picnic style dinner is included in the tour (your choice of hearty vegetable or beef stew and cornbread muffins), assorted teas, hot chocolate, and dessert. We provide hooded parkas and warm gloves.Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests. Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 16 and over.
Kiluea Volcano Daytime and Twilight Tours
Experience the awesome spectacle of Pele's creation. There's not a better place to witness the timeless battle between the elemental forces of fire and water than at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On our volcano tours, we'll journey through Hawaii Island's incredible range of ecosystems and climate zones as well as experiencing the phenomena aroudn the volcano itself.
We offer both a regular day time tour, and an afternoon + evening "twilight" tour. The twilight tour explores the volcano, then heads to Kalapana to witness the awesome power of lava as it enters the ocean at sunset. Let us share with you our passion and knowledge of the special places and stories that make Kilauea world renown.
DAYTIME TOUR- 11 - 12 hour tours daily; departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, Waikoloa Kings' Shops. Continental Breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate is included as is a deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water. We provided walking sticks, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos. Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests. Rated: Easy to Moderate; All ages welcome.
TWILIGHT TOUR11 - 12 hour tours daily (afternoon); departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, Waikoloa Queen's Marketplace. Deli style lunch is included. Dinner is served family style at our favorite Pahoa restaurant. Snacks, assorted beverages, bottled water, hot cocoa and cookies. We provide walking sticks, flashlights, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos. Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests. Rated: Easy to Moderate; 8 and up recommended.
Rainforest and Dry Forest Birding Tours
At Puu Laau, we roam the sub-alpine dryland forest on the west side of Mauna Kea, home of the endangered palila and the bryani sub-species of elepaio. Our other locale is the Puu Oo Trail, in a cloudforest habitat on the northeastern slope of Mauna Loa. There we look for the endangered akiapolaau, omao (Hawaiian thrush), iiwi, apapane, and other endemics.
Hakalau Forest National Wildelife Refuge
This is a great complement to our Rainforest/Dryforest tour. Named by Hawaiians long ago, hakalau means "many perches" and is still considered critical bird habitat today. Once part of large cattle ranch, it was the first National Wildlife Refuge established in the United States for forest birds. It is home to some of the rarest plants and animal species on earth. We access the Puu Akala Tract by special permit.
Holoholo Hualalai Adventure
In case you didn't know, Hualalai is that big beautiful mountain you see behind you in Kona. Join us on a rocky climb up the cool and misty slopes of Hualalai volcano. Our Pinzgauers carry us up to 6,000 ft. elevation to visit a surreal scene of lava flows and a forest full of native birdsong. See the geologic forces which helped create our island at Kaupulehu Crater, the heart of Hualalai's last eruption. We'll visit magnificent coastal viewpoints, see stunning lava formations, and scramble through a lava tube on foot.
Restrictions: Please inquire on all the above . Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain and not have knee or hip problems. We often encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Closed-toe walking shoes, shorts or long pants, hat, sunscreen and a light jacket or sweatshirt.
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