Mountain Biking in Ainapo Trail, Mauna Loa, Hawaii USA

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Mauna Loa is one of the five active volcanoes in the island of Hawaii, the largest one on earth in volume and in kilometers covered. Its peak stands at 13679 ft/4169 m above the sea level.

The summit of the mountain lies above the forest line and the terrain consists of mostly lava rocks and shrubs due to its alpine weather conditions. Because of the volcano eruptions, there are lava flows all around the mountain and some of them flow all the way down to the sea.

Ainapo trail is about 9 mi/14 km long (one way), about three hours riding up and one hour speeding down. The trail head starts from the Kapapala Forest Reserve where you have to drive with a 4wd car only, until the Kapala Ranch. A permit is not required to bike the path, but there is a locked gate and in order to get through it, you get the combination key for the lock from Kapala Ranch.

It is considered to be a technically challenging route and only experienced bikers should attempt the trail. The trail for the first two miles is mostly pasture land but becomes steeper and rough as you ride higher. The trail head elevation gain is 2800 ft/853 m which makes it hard on the way up, but the way down is fast and full of fun.

Bikers should wear bright colors since hunting is permitted in the area of Kapala Ranch.