Big Island High Country Adventure Tours

Hidden, Rare, and Unique – A One-of-a-Kind Adventure

Take an adventure to otherworldly landscapes, unique ecosystems, and endangered wildlife found only on the Big Island! Explore the unique high elevations lava fields of the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa. Take a guided walk through Mauna Kea’s unique montane dry forests and search for endemic birdlife only found here on the Big Island. This is an off-the-beaten-path adventure most visitors never get to see! Your exceptional naturalist will provide guided interpretation during your entire tour experience.

Tour Highlights

Experience the magic of the unique sub-alpine dry forest and two of the largest volcanoes on planet Earth:

  • Explore the northern flank of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth
  • Travel back in time as you learn all about the lava flows that make up this otherworldly landscape
  • Views of Mauna Loa Observatory
  • Mauna Kea Forest Reserve
  • A guided walk in search of Hawaiian honeycreepers, small birds indigenous to Hawaii
  • Breathtaking views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the tallest volcanic mountains on Earth

$1,345 For up to 4 Guests

$125 per Additional Guest

** Please note route map is for reference purposes only. Guests will be picked up at their place of lodging so actual tour routes may vary. **

Full Tour Details:

8 Hours

8 Hour Tour Time

Itinerary:

  • Start Time: 9:00 AM

  • After pickup from your place of lodging, begin your high country adventure tour of the Big Island by traveling on a road built through lava flows as you explore the northern flank of the largest volcano on earth, Mauna Loa. This incredible and otherworldly landscape gives you a sense of being on Mars rather than on Earth.
  • Mauna Loa is among the world’s most active volcanoes, but it’s also home to an NOAA observatory. Take in the sights of Mauna Loa Observatory which has been recording atmospheric changes since the 1950s and boasts the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • Explore the rare and lesser-known high elevation dry forest around the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano. This unique environment is home to diverse plants and animals, including many species of native birds.
  • Take a Big Island birding tour adventure to the last place on the planet where you can find the endangered and endemic Hawaiian Honey creeper the Palila (Loxioides bailleui). This is the last finch-billed honey creeper in the main Hawaiian Islands. You will learn about the significance of honeycreepers in native Hawaiian culture.
  • Witness other rare and endemic birds such as the Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi, ‘Apapane, Hawaiian Hawk and Hawaiian Short-eared Owl. Hawaii has some of the best birding opportunities in the world due to the evolution of the islands and the presence of the rare bird species still found here. You’ll get to witness these unique species yourself on our birding tours of Big Island Hawaii. Immersing yourself in the island’s incredible ecology and exploring the history of its people will deepen your admiration for this special place.
  • Enjoy a guided walk through this special forest reserve as you learn all about the unique plants and animals found in the area.
  • Search for endemic birds with your provided Nikon Prostaff binoculars. These binoculars give you a wide field of view in high definition, expanding the possibilities for what you will see on your Big Island high country adventure tour.
  • Marvel at two of the largest volcanoes on planet earth as you enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by the beauty of the sub-alpine dry forest.
Traveling up Mauna Loa Observatory Road
Endemic Mamame
Mauna Loa lava fields.
Big Island Birdwatching Tours
Palia Discovery Trail
Endemic Apapane on a Hawaii birdwatching tour.

What’s Included

Tour Inclusions

Wildlife photography in Hawaii, endemic short ear owl, Pueo.
  • Admission into all venues and parks
  • Pick up and drop off at your place of lodging 
  • Fully guided naturalist tour with educational materials and commentary provided by our top of the line tour guides
  • Complementary Photo package: 20-25 professional, edited photos shared via Adobe Cloud for easy accessibility while traveling

Food & Drink

Where the November 2022 Mauna Loa lava flow crossed the Mauna Loa Observatory Road.
  • Lunch: Picnic style lunch surrounded by the beauty of Hawaii’s unique sub-alpine dry forest
  • Snacks: trail mix, fruit snacks, granola bars, beef jerky, chips, chocolate 
  • All non-alcoholic beverages: water, juice, soda, hot tea, coffee and hot chocolate

Tour Gear

  • Patagonia rain jacket and Nano puff
  • Nikon ProStaff binoculars
  • Hiking Poles
  • Flashlights
  • Umbrellas
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Warm layers: The high country temperatures range widely from the mid 70’s  to the mid 40’s Fahrenheit.
  • Tours can be adapted to accommodate all ages and abilities. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have specific needs.
  • Assuming no modifications to this tour, guests should be able to walk at least 1-2 miles with some steps included.
  • Guests must be able to walk on uneven or rocky terrain and we may encounter cool, wet, or muddy conditions.

Customizing Your Tour

Upon booking your tour, one of our guides will contact you to discuss custom options we have available for your tour. Whether you’d like to spend more time star gazing, enjoy more time at our private waterfall location, or enjoy an extended guided hike, we’re here to make this experience memorable and most importantly – ALL ABOUT YOU!

Want a custom tour? Give us a call: (808) 315-9278

Ready to Book a Tour?

We look forward to taking you on an amazing adventure!