Hilina Pali Overlook

Hilina Pali Overlook: Phenomenal Birds Eye Views Of Hawaii
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Hikers and bikers and anyone who is inspired by exploring the gorgeous trails that Hawaii has to offer should make plans to see Hilina Pali Overlook inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. When you arrive, you'll experience something awe-inspiring and incredible...the Hilini Overlook where you will have a breathtaking birds-eye view of the Hawaiian coastline and the Pacific Ocean.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Hikers and bikers and anyone who is inspired by exploring the gorgeous trails Hawaii offers should make special plans to see Hilina Pali Overlook. This Hilina Pali Road landmark was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1933 and 1942 and includes a 9.9 mile very narrow road, more like a trail that takes an average of five hours to complete. When you reach the top, you’ll experience something awe-inspiring and incredible…the Hilini Pali Overlook located inside the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park which is truly a sight to see.

It’s like getting a birds-eye view of the beautiful coastal Island below. The Hilina Pali Overlook’s elevation is more than 2,200 feet offering views of the Ka’u Desert, Hawaii coastline, and the sky blue Pacific Ocean. Pack your binoculars to even see more of the scenic landscape right in front of your eyes. The many lava flows throughout the years have artistically created a variety of colorful and lush tropical vegetation that grows in between and around the rocks. But it is the ocean, the glorious Pacific Ocean that reaches into eternity creating a memory that will last a lifetime! You and your group will probably be there the only folks there, because it is a challenging journey, making it extra special. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be one with nature and absorb the sights, sounds, and serenity. It is peaceful and relaxing after your exhausting journey. It’s your reward and well worth it!

Pack plenty of food and water, and essentials for your hike, you’ll need them. There is a rustic-covered stone structure to protect you from the sun, rain, and wind. That’s about it for accommodations. As you can imagine at that height it can get extremely windy. Hold onto your hat and belongings and stand steady! There are picnic tables inside to enjoy your lunch and relax while taking in the fabulous views. 

Always do your research and prepare for your exciting outing to Hilini Pali Overlook. It is in a National Park, but it is like a road less traveled, and the undeveloped natural view is what creates such an amazing destination. Take a look at some tips and things you need to know before heading out.

  • Hilina Pali Road may be closed to vehicles during drought periods to prevent fires
  • Hilina Pali Road is located about six miles from the Kīlauea Visitor Center on Chain Of Craters Road in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
  • Hilina Pali Road offers a scenic drive but is an extremely narrow, very curvy paved road with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. Watch for oncoming vehicles, bikers, and hikers
  • There are restroom facilities located about three and a half-mile marker in the Kulana’okuaiki Campground.
  • The 12-mile-long Hilina Pali Overlook measures an impressive 2,282 feet elevation.
  • Hilina Pali Overlook has no restrooms, only an outhouse and pit toilets
  • Hilini Pali Overlook has no running water, electrical hookups, or food and beverages services
  • It is extremely windy at The Hilina Pali Overlook
  • The Hilina Pali Overlook has one picnic table inside a stone covered shelter and one picnic table outside

When you pack up and are preparing to head back to civilization, remember to take plenty of pictures of this Hawaiian treasure before you go to share with family and friends. The journey down is just as challenging and scenic as it was reaching the extraordinary top. Aloha!

Insider Tips:
There are entry fees for visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you plan to visit often, purchase a park-specific annual pass. Rates vary, so contact the Park. No campfires are ever permitted. There are three trails that take you to the Overlook, Hilina Paili Trail, Ka’u Desert Trail, and a third that leads to a stone monument with signage displaying arrows to notable locations.