For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 

If you’re looking for an easy stroll in the outdoors with incredible views and an abundance of lush vegetation, Emerald Pools is the hike for you. The trail is well paved and the minimal elevation gain can be accomplished by anyone. Hiking Emerald Pools is a great chance to get outside and enjoy a taste of what Zion has to offer.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1-2 Hours

Trailhead: Zion Lodge

Distance: 3.5km (2 miles) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1834m (6113ft)

Elevation Gain: 60m (200ft) to the Middle Emerald Pool and another 60m (200ft) to the Upper Emerald Pool

Difficulty: 4/10 – Minimal elevation gain on a well maintained trail.

Season: Year round. Spring and Fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and the waterfalls generally aren’t flowing as strongly.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: A good pair of comfortable sneakers is all that this hike requires.
  • Water: One bottle of water per hiker should be sufficient as this hike is short and not too strenuous.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Falls from cliffs along the trail have resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: Emerald Pools is perfect for hikers and adventurers of all levels and abilities. The trail starts at the Zion Lodge and immediately crosses over the Virgin River. The first stop along Emerald Pools Trail in the Lower Pool. From the Lower Pool the trail gains elevation to the Middle Pool and then finally climbs to the Upper Pool.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Emerald Pools is perfect for hikers and adventurers of all levels and abilities. The trail starts at the Zion Lodge and immediately crosses over the Virgin River. The first stop along Emerald Pools Trail in the Lower Pool. From the Lower Pool the trail gains elevation to the Middle Pool and then finally climbs to the Upper Pool.

 

Emerald Pools Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Emerald Pools Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There are three different possible routes for this hike. Our recommended route, and the route we will describe in this guide begins at the Zion Lodge (Route marker #1 on the map). If the Zion Shuttle service is in operation, this is the fifth stop. If the shuttle is not running, park at the Emerald Pools Parking Lot. Alternatively you can begin this hike at shuttle stop #6 the Grotto Picnic Area (Route marker #2 on the map), and take the Kayenta Trail to the Emerald Pools. This makes the hike around 3-4 hours. The third option is taking the Southwestern Spur Trail from the Zion Lodge straight to Middle Emerald Pools. We do not recommend this route as it bypasses the Lower Emerald Pool, which is our favorite of the three pools. Also the Southwestern Spur Trail is also often closed due to rainfall and flooding. If you wish to take this trail, check in at the Visitors Center first to check if its open. Please respect all trail closure signs as they are there for your safety.

The route description below is from Zion Lodge (Route marker #1 on the map) taking Emerald Pools Trail.

From the trailhead at Zion Lodge follow the trail over the Virgin River and take a right to head northeast on Emerald Pools Trail along the river.

Emerald Pools - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Emerald Pools Trailhead
Emerald Pools - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Emerald Pools Trail

 

Emerald Pools Trail is paved and has a very gradual incline. The trail follows the Virgin River with some shade provided by small collonwood trees. After following the trail for about one kilometer, you will reach Lower Emerald Pool (Route marker #3 on the map). The Lower Pool is home to lots of lush, green vegetation growing from the moisture filled rocks. The mist caused from the waterfalls creates a microclimate where plants thrive. In the winter months, the mist freezes, forming icicle branches on the trees, which creates a unique photo opportunity. The trail follows the canyon wall behind the two waterfalls that drain from the Middle Pool and fill the Lower Pool. Be careful in the winter, if the temperature is below freezing, the trail may be slippery with ice.

 

Lower Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson walking behind the falls at Lower Pool

 

After wrapping around the Lower Pool the hike starts to get a little bit more challenging. The trail becomes less paved and you begin to gain elevation more rapidly. A rocky staircase along the way helps to ease the sudden elevation increase. The trail loops around to the Middle Pool (Route marker #4 on the map) at the top of the cliff that you just walked under. The Middle Pool supplies the water to the falls viewed previously from Lower Pool. It is small and the least scenic of the three pools but there are good photo opportunities looking back into the main Zion Canyon from this vantage point.

 

Middle Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson at Middle Pool

 

The last leg to the Upper Pool (Route marker #5 on the map) is only 450m (0.3 miles) but can be difficult as you have 60m (200ft) in elevation to gain. Whe you arrive at the Upper Pool, you’ll realize that every step was worth it! The Upper Pool sits at the base of a monsterous 300-foot cliff with a waterfall cascading into the pool below. The Spring and Fall are the best times of the year to view the waterfall because it has the highest volume of water. Upper Pool is a great place to find some shade, relax, and have some lunch.

 

Upper Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall

 

On the return trip you can either follow Emerald Pools Trail back the way you came, or take the Southwestern Spur Trail (if its open) south from Middle Pool to complete a loop and see some different scenery.

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Emerald Pools adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 

Angels Landing is the top attraction in Zion National Park and one of the most famous hikes in any US National Park. The first three quarters of this hike follow a paved trail to a scenic lookout point. The final portion of this daring hike traverses a narrow trail, with steep drop-offs on either side, to a lofty perch that provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of Zion Canyon.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-4 Hours

Trailhead: Grotto Picnic Area

Distance: 8km (5 miles)  round trip

Highest Elevation: 1767m (5797ft)

Elevation Gain: 463m (1519ft)

Difficulty: 8/10 – Strenuous switchbacks, exposure to steep drop-offs

Season: Year round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and winter can be icy and dangerous.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 4-6 hours of physical exertion in the hot sun.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Falls from cliffs along the trail have resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Starting at the Grotto Picnic Area you’ll follow the West Rim Trail along the Virgin River and then up long steep switchbacks into Refrigerator Canyon. You’ll then enjoy a nice cool walk through Refrigerator Canyon before a strenuous climb up the Walter’s Wiggles Switchbacks to Scout’s Lookout. At Scout’s Lookout, the real adventure begins. To reach Angels Landing, you must scramble along a very exposed narrow ridge that feeds into the middle of Zion National Park. The summit offers an amazing view of the Canyon, and is aptly described by Frederick Fisher who discovered it: “Only an angel could land on it”.

 

Angels Landing Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Angels Landing Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Depending on if the shuttles are running, either take the shuttle to, or park at the Grotto Picnic Area (Route marker #1 on the map). This is the sixth stop from the Visitors Center on the Zion Canyon Shuttle. From the parking lot, head west and cross the bridge over the Virgin River. Just past the bridge the trail veers right. This is the West Rim Trail.

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Crossing the Virgin River on West Rim Trail

 

Follow the West Rim Trail along the canyon wall as it gains elevation. This path is quite steep but is paved and well maintained. As you climb along the trail, you are given a taste of the spectacular views of the canyon to come.

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Anderson following the West Rim Trail
Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Gaining elevation on the West Rim Trail

 

After following the West Rim Trail for about a mile, you’ll take a left into Refrigerator Canyon (Route marker #2 on the map). This is a great spot for a break to take some pictures looking back at the canyon. The path through Refrigerator Canyon is cool and shaded with cliff walls rising hundreds of feet on your left and right. The incline lets up for this leg of the hike and on a warm day, the walk through Refrigerator Canyon can be exceptionally refreshing.

At the end of the canyon, you’ll turn around and begin climbing the Walter’s Wiggles Switchbacks (Route marker #3 on the map). These are a series of 21 steep and compact switchbacks that lead to the top of Refrigerator Canyon and out to Scout’s Lookout (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson climbing the Walter’s Wiggles Switchbacks

 

At Scout’s Lookout, the West Rim Trail heads north through Cabin Spring and on to Lava Point while the trail to Angels Landing heads south. At this point you are only about a half-mile from the summit, but the trail gets much more challenging and adventurous. If you don’t have much scrambling experience or are afraid of heights, do not travel further than Scout’s lookout.

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The view from Scout’s Lookout

 

The trail from Scout’s Lookout to Angels Landing will get your adrenaline pumping. You have another 150m (500ft) of elevation to gain and the terrain gets more difficult. You will be walking along a narrow, rocky ridge to the summit. At some points you can look hundreds of feet to the canyon floor below on either side of the trail. If at any moment you start to panic or feel uncomfortable, turn back because it doesn’t get any easier. There are chains and guard rails bolted into the rock to help provide some extra stability and security. There are also natural steps formed into the rock that assist with the climb. Follow the chains to the summit.

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Following the trail towards the summit
Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Chains assist you along the narrow trail

 

Follow the ridge until you reach the final viewpoint. From here you have one of the most incredible 360-degree views right from the center of Zion National Park. Although it isn’t as high in elevation as some of the rim trails, the view from Angels Landing is like no other. Take a break, have a snack, beware of chipmunks and enjoy the views!

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: We made it!

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Angels Landing adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 

Mount Norquay is an iconic mountain in the Banff National Park. It has everything from wedding venues and events to outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. The Mount Norquay Via Ferrata is one of the many activities that can be experienced on the mountain. It’s the perfect summer outdoor activity for a group of adventurous friends. We ended up doing this hike for Mattson’s birthday and were able to get 8 friends all together in one group. We chose to challenge the Summiteer route which was a 6-hour tour.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 6 Hours

Location: Just north of Banff

Distance: 3.2km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2450m

Elevation Gain: 360m

Difficulty: 5/10 – Heights and exposure

Season: June to mid-October

Additional Requirements: A tour reservation

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west to Banff, take the second Banff exit onto Mt Norquay Road and turn right (away from Banff) and follow Mt Norquay Road until you reach the resort.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes with good grip and lots of support.  If you don’t have a good pair they can supply hiking boots. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters.
  • Water: This hike has lots of elevation gain to reach the summit.  Be sure to bring enough water.
  • Snacks: A bag lunch is provided with the 6-hour tour but if you have specific diet needs or wants bring your own snacks!
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike.  Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Every tour is guided so you don’t have to worry about taking the right route or getting lost. The guides a Mt Norquay are fantastic and made sure we were 100% prepared to take on the mountain.

Via Ferrata is Italian for “Iron path” which is the perfect way to describe this adventure. A Via Ferrata is a climbing route up a mountain that has been made easier, and safe, with the use of carabiners, harnesses, cables and iron hand/foot holds that have been mounted into the mountain itself.

Mt Norquay Via Ferrata - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Anderson crossing a 3 cable bridge
Mt Norquay Via Ferrata - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Mattson crossing a 2 cable bridge

 

Mt Norquay has 4 options for routes:

  • Explorer – 2-2.5 hour hike
  • Ridgewalker – 3.5-4 hour hike
  • Skyline – 4.5-5 hour hike
  • Summiteer – 5-6 hour hike

Each hike has its own highlights and attractions from ladders to suspension bridges. This adventure requires a reservation so be sure to call or book online.

https://banffnorquay.com/summer/via-ferrata/routes/

 

Mt Norquay Via Ferrata - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Hanging out on the Via Ferrata
Mt Norquay Via Ferrata - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The suspension bridge

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Via Ferrata adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

The rope swing west of Calgary is an awesome place to spend a day. Just 25 minutes from downtown is a swimming hole plenty deep to swing or jump into. There is a platform roughly 30ft high and a long rope connected to a tree that you can swing off into the water. Lots of people will take floaty rafts and hang around in the calm refreshing Bow River water.

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2 Hours

Location: 10 km west of Calgary

Distance: 2 km round trip

Elevation Gain: 100m

Difficulty: 3/10 – Easy trail to follow with minimal elevation gain.

Season: June to September

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) approximately 4km west of Stoney Trail and take the Old Banff Coach Road exit north. Keep following that road until a T intersection and turn right onto Township Rd 250. Follow that road till it ends and park there.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: A pair of sneakers is all you’ll need for the walk to the rope swing.
  • Water: Always good to bring water on a hot day.
  • Swim suit: You’ll want a swim suit if you plan on jumping into the refreshing water.
  • Towel: The water is cold. You will want to dry off after your swim.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks and refreshments to enjoy at the Rope Swing. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Camera: The rope swing is a great place to take photos.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Rope Swing: Know your limits. The rope can be slippery to hang on. Be sure your swing trajectory is clear and hang on tight!

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The hike to the rope swing is a relatively easy 1 km walk.  There are two fences you will need to jump along the way but otherwise the trail is straightforward and easy to follow.

Calgary Rope Swing Adventure Map - Calgary - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Calgary Rope Swing Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the parking area (Route marker #1 on the map), the trail begins off to the left (heading north) over a barbed wire fence. The trail should be pretty easy to follow from then on. There are a few forks in the trail but if you stay left you are going the correct way. Eventually you will come to another fence you need to hop.

Calgary Rope Swing Trail - Calgary - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The trail to the rope swing
Calgary Rope Swing Trail - Calgary - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The second fence along the trail

 

As you follow the trail you will have very nice view to the north across the river. Not too much further and you will decline in elevation to the swimming hole where the rope swing is located (Route marker #2 on the map). Enjoy and be safe!

 

Calgary Rope Swing Trail - Calgary - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Views of the river from the trail
Calgary Rope Swing - Calgary - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The rope swing

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Rope Swing adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 

White Road hike is one of the most adventurous hikes we’ve done. The hike is located on the north side of the Big Island at the back end of the Waipio Valley. The hike takes you through irrigation tunnels, includes spectacular views of the valley below and finishes off with a natural waterslide at the end.

NOTE: THIS HIKE INVOLVES TRESPASSING ON PRIVATE LAND. IN RECENT YEARS DNLR OFFICERS HAVE STOPPED AND CITED HIKERS

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3 Hours

Trailhead: 3.5 miles east of Waimea

Distance: 8km round trip

Highest Elevation: 800m

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding/slippery trail with exposure

Season: Year round.

Additional Requirements: Headlamps, inflatable tubes, swimsuit

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Waimea: Head East on Hawaii Belt Road (Hwy 19) for 3.5 miles, turn left onto White Road and go north for a half mile where you’ll come to a gate. This is the start of the hike.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. A pair of water shoes might come in handy as your feet will get very wet when walking through the tunnels.
  • Water: Always bring water.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Be sure to bring a swimsuit! Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Inflatable tube: If you want to try the slide bring an inflatable tube to sit on.
  • Headlamp: The irrigation tunnels are dark. A headlamp will make them easier to navigate.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Trespassing: This hike is illegal. The route passes through private property. Hikers have been fined by DNLR officers!

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The starting point is at the end of White Road. The trail continues through a gate and along some irrigation water channels to Waipio Valley. From there the trail follows the edge of the valley to a mile-long irrigation tunnel. This tunnel will lead you to the slide.

 

White Road Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: White Road Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There is a gate at the end of White Road (Route marker #1 on the map) that you will have to hop over to start the hike. The road still continues along the same path, it just changes from paved to dirt. The path will zig zag around a large circular pond and then into the forest. The trail is well tracked and pretty easy to follow. You will come to a gate, go through the gate, and close it behind you.

 

White Road trailhead - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The dirt road to the gate

 

From there the trail follows along an irrigation ditch. Water may or may not be flowing through it depending on the rainfall in the last few days. The trail is full of lush, dense jungle but is pretty easy to follow. It will stray from the irrigation ditch to a lookout point of Waipio Valley (Route marker #2 on the map). The views from the lookout are stunning!

White Road trail - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The irrigation ditch
White Road Waipio Lookout - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Waipio Valley Lookout

 

Turn left and take the trail along the edge of the drop off to the valley below. Be careful on this trail, it follows the edge of the valley and one wrong step and you could fall off a cliff. Keep walking on the trail until you reach a black irrigation tube (these act as bridges for the water to run over the valley). You will have to either cross over the tube or go through it. Water levels through the irrigation tube vary. Both climbing through and climbing on top of the tube present risks. If the water flow is too high it may be dangerous to enter the tunnel but falling from on top of the tube could be fatal. Use your judgement on what the best option to get across is at the time you are there.

 

White Road Hike - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson crossing the tube
White Road Hike - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson crossing the tube

 

From here the most straight forward route to the slide is through the irrigation tunnel. There is also a trail to the slide that continues to the right and goes back along the valley to the waterfall. If the waterflow is high it may be easier to follow the trail along the valley instead of goiing through the tunnel.

 

White Road Hike - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Anderson entering the irrigation tunnel
White Road Hike - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson following the trail along the valley

If you choose the irrigation tunnel hopefully you have a headlamp with you! The tunnel is dark and has fast flowing water in places. The tunnel is about a mile long and will open up a  couple times before you make it to the waterslide. If you follow the tunnel you will eventually reach the waterslide (Route marker #3 on the map)! The alternative route is along the valley and can be slippery with a steep drop into the valley. Be careful of your footing if you take this route.

 

White Road Waterslide - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The Waterslide

 

After enjoying the slide head back to White Road by heading back on the route you came.

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your White Road adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

At 10,023 feet above sea level, Haleakala towers over the island of Maui. Haleakala is a dormant shield volcano known for its unique landscape and beautiful views. On a layover back to Canada we were able explore Haleakala Crater as a day trip!

 

 

Hiking Guide Coming Soon!

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Swimming with manta rays is a once in a lifetime experience that can be had right offshore on the big island of Hawaii. Diving with manta rays can also be experienced in other parts of the world, but Hawaii is one of the best spots! Every trip out usually delivers at LEAST a few mantas and having the dive site right in Kona makes it extra convenient.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-4Hours

Location: Kaeuhou Bay

Difficulty: 4/10 – Must be comfortable in the water at night

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: Kayak, underwater flashlight, snorkel gear, or a booking on one of the many snorkel/dive tours.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kona: From Ali Hwy, head south onto Kaleiopapa Street until you reach the end. There is a boat launch there and some spots for parking.

WHAT TO BRING

If doing a self-guided tour:

  • Kayak/paddles: You will need to paddle out to the Mantas
  • Lifejacket: A lifejacket will keep you safe and is nice to float with when viewing the mantas.
  • SUV/Truck: You will need to transport the kayak to the boat launch.
  • Lights/Glow sticks: It is important to strap lights to your boat and yourself so other boats can see you.
  • Waterproof headlamp: It is nice to have a headlamp so you can paddle out without having to hold a light.
  • Underwater flashlight: Lights attract the plankton that the mantas eat. Bring a flashlight so that you can see underwater.
  • Swimsuit: You will be jumping in the water
  • Warm Clothes: It will be chilly when you get out of the water.
  • Towel: You will want to dry off after swimming.
  • Snorkel Gear: Fins, mask and goggles.
  • Gopro/underwater camera: This is an amazing experience and you will want pictures and videos from your adventure.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

If going on a guided tour:

  • Swimsuit: You will be jumping in the water
  • Warm Clothes: It will be chilly when you get out of the water.
  • Towel: You will want to dry off after swimming.
  • Seasickness medication: The water can be choppy and you will be on the boat for a while. If you get seasickness we recommend bringing seasickness medication.
  • Gopro/underwater camera: This is an amazing experience and you will want pictures and videos from your adventure.
  • Other: Anything else your tour guide company recommends.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Safety: It is a popular tour and there are many boats in the area.  Make sure you and your boat is well lit so other boat drivers can see you. Always be aware of your surroundings and where the shore and other boats are.  You will need to have someone in the kayak at all times to make sure it doesn’t drift away.

Mantas: Don’t touch the mantas! Mantas are not dangerous and may swim very close to you but be careful not to touch them. They have a protective mucus that protects them and if you touch them you may harm the manta.

 

** If you are unfamiliar with the area we highly recommend booking a tour.  All the tour companies in Kona are great and they will take care of the entire excursion. They are pros at this are will make sure you stay safe.

ADVENTURE DIRECTIONS

Summary: This is one of the best tours on the Big Island. We highly recommend booking a tour as professional dive/snorkel companies will give you the best and safest Manta Ray experience. We’ve done this tour with Jack’s Diving Locker and had a great time. If you want to have this experience without a tour company read our tips below.

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Note: We did our snorkel in Keauhou Bay but there is a smaller site at Mauna Kea Beach where you can sometimes see mantas. They turn on a small light on the North side of the bay that attracts the mantas. This is an easier excursion as it is possible to snorkel right from the beach.

 

One of the main places to see mantas is right in front of the Sheraton Kona Resort. The Boat launch is just north east of the hotel. There is parking nearby but you will need to drop off your kayak at the boat launch and then park. It is about a 500m paddle to the site.  At dusk, there will be a bunch of tour boats in front of the Sheraton. Once you have paddled out, there will be clusters of snorkelers with glow sticks and lights.  This is where you want to be to see the mantas!

 

Anderson getting ready to snorkel with the Mantas - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Anderson getting his gear ready
Paddling to the Mantas - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Paddling to the mantas

 

Once you reach the boats, jump in! Have someone stay with the boats so they don’t float away too far. Once in the water, you should be able to see the main spotlight at the bottom of the ocean with some divers down there waiting as well. Try not to get in the way of the bigger boats and don’t touch the mantas.

 

Snorkeling with the Mantas - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Two manta rays
Snorkeling with the Mantas - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Snorkeling with the mantas

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Manta Ray adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

Have fun out there!

– ETA

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

This is less of a hike and more of a cliff jumping activity. To be more realistic, it is 100% about the cliff jumping! The hike itself is only about 0.3 miles from where you park. At the end of the trail is a 30-40ft cliff that stands above the big blue water of the pacific. The conditions here can be dicey, but if the ocean is calm End Of The World is a great place to cliff jump.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1 Hours

Location: 8 miles south of Kona

Distance: 0.6 miles round trip

Highest Elevation: 30-40ft

Difficulty: 2/10 for the hike to the cliff, 8/10 for the cliff jumping (depending on conditions)

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: N/A

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kona: Head South on Hawaii Belt Rd until you reach Kamehameha III Rd and take a right. Follow Kamehameha III Rd to Alii Hwy and take a left and continue for exactly 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Keauhou Kainaliu Beach Rd and continue for 0.7 miles until you reach the end of the road. Park your car and continue by foot.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Water:Even though the hike is very short, Hawaii is hot. Bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
  • Swimsuit:If you are going to cliff jump, bring your trunks.
  • Towel:Always nice to have a towel when you get out of the water.
  • Water Shoes:to get out of the water you have to climb up lava rock. Water Shoes will protect your feet from sharp rocks.
  • Sunscreen:If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera:The waves crashing upon the black lava rock make for some great photo opportunities.
  • This Guide:Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Ocean Conditions: This area is not for beginner or even intermediate swimmers. Depending on the time of year (December – March being especially dangerous) the swells coming into the End Of The World are extremely dangerous. When climbing up onto the rocks, be very careful, and be honest with your swimming skills. If you have any doubts, DO NOT JUMP!

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The hike to End Of The World is very straight forward. If the swells are too large to jump it is a great place to visit to see the waves crash against the lava rock cliffs.

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

This hike starts at the end of Keauhou Kainaliu Beach Rd. It is such a short hike you can basically see the cliff from where you park. Follow the trail along the coast to the south. This trail is well defined and easy to follow. When the rocky path ends you must traverse some lava rock to get to the jump site.

 

The trail to End Of The World - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: The trail to End Of The World
End Of The World - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Looking out over End Of The World

 

There are a couple ledges to jump from. One is roughly 30ft, the other is roughly 40ft. It’s always a good idea to check the water level for yourself at any cliff jumping site. Watch the ocean before jumping to get a sense of the timing of the swells coming in and how large they are.

 

Cliff jumping at End Of The World - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Anderson jumping off End Of The World
Cliff jumping at End Of The World - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Jumping off End Of The World

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your End Of The World adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

Have fun out there!

– ETA

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Hiking to Kiholo Bay is a nice short walk along the Kohala Coast. Kiholo Bay is a tide pool known for having uniquely turquoise water. The turquoise water is a result of ocean saltwater meeting and mixing with fresh water. The hike follows the beach over black lava rock, passing a flooded lava tube known as the Queen’s Bath.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Location: 17 miles north of Kona

Distance: 5km round trip

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: 4/10 – Traversing sharp lava rock and enduring the hot Hawaiian sun with minimal shade.

Season: Year round… it’s Hawaii

Additional Requirements: N/A

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kona: Head North on the HI 19 for roughly 17 miles and then turn left onto the unmarked road adjacent to mile marker 82. If you hit the scenic overlook you’ve gone too far. Follow the unmarked road towards the ocean to the Kiholo Bay parking area.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Running shoes or hikers. If you wear flip flops and they get wet it can be very slippery on the sharp lava rock.
  • Water: This side of the island gets lots of sun! Be sure to bring lots of water.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the bay. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Swimsuit: You will want to swim in the lava tube and probably take a dip when you get to the bay so bring your trunks.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Sea Turtles: Kiholo Bay is a great place to spot Sea Turtles. Keep in mind that Sea Turtles in Hawaii are protected by law and should not be touched.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: This hike will start at the Kiholo Bay parking lot and follow the coast northeast to the bay. It’s a very simple hike as far as directions go. Keep the water in sight and you’ll make it to the bay.

Kiholo Bay Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Kiholo Bay Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

The hike starts from the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) and heads west into the trees. Before too long you’ll reach the ocean. From there it’s a straightforward hike along the coast to the northeast. About half a kilometer into the hike you’ll come across a flooded lava tube known as the Queen’s Bath (Route marker #2 on the map).  The lava tube is usually full of fresh water so it’s a great place for a refreshing swim.

 

Kiholo Bay - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Anderson following the coastal trail
The Queen's Bath - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson swimming in the flooded lava tube

After cooling off in the lava tube, continue on your way along the coast. You will cross over black lava rock and soon enough the bright blue water of Kiholo Bay will be in your sights (Route marker #3 on the map). Walk over and around the black sand beach, cross a small bridge, and find a nice spot to swim in the Bay. Hope you enjoy! Take lots of pictures!

 

Kiholo Bay - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail to Kiholo Bay
Kiholo Bay - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Traversing sharp lava rock (flip flops not recommended)
Kiholo Bay - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Kiholo Bay

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Kiholo Bay adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

Have fun out there!

– ETA

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

The “Jello Mold” is an ancient cinder cone between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa with a stunning view of the Kona Coast. It is known as the Jello Mold due to its resemblance to an upside-down mold. The hike to the summit requires a relatively high level of fitness as the elevation gain is constant. A bike makes the first half of the hike much faster and the way down a lot easier.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-4 hours

Location: 29 miles northeast of Kona

Distance: 12km round trip

Elevation Gain: 620m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Constant elevation gain

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: A bike is nice to have but not required.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kona: Take Hwy 190 North East and take the turnoff between mile markers 21 and 22. Stay left and pass through a metal gate to the parking area at the check in station.  You won’t be able to drive further up the road as there is a metal cable blocking vehicle access.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected
  • Water: This hike hike has lots of elevation gain and there is no shade along the way. Bring lots of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the summit.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Weather: The highlight of this hike is the view from the top. We recommend saving this hike for a clear day and getting an early start to avoid getting stuck in the clouds.

Bikes: The first half of this hike is up a road with steady elevation gain. This is an out and back hike so if you bike up this section you will thank yourself as biking down is much easier than hiking all the way out.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: From the parking area you will follow the road to its end and then head left along a trail to a gate where you can lock your bike up. From here the grassy trail winds to the east side of the Jello Mold and then climbs to the summit. The directions for this hike are relatively simple but the constant elevation gain will challenge any hiker.

The Jello Mold Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: The Jello Mold Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the parking area (Route marker #1 on the map) grab your bike (or walk if you don’t have one) and follow the road about 2.5 km uphill until the road ends at an old house.

 

The Jello Mold - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Mattson biking up the road

 

From here the trail heads left and follows the side of the mold up to an old gate (Route marker #2 on the map). We recommend locking your bikes up at the gate and then continuing on foot from this point. Be sure to close the gate behind you asranchers use this land and there was plenty of cattle roaming around when we did this hike.

 

The Jello Mold - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson locking up his bike at the gate
The Jello Mold - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The grassy trail

 

From here the trail is grassy and easy to follow. You will circle around to the west side of the Jello Mold and then hike the final elevation to the summit (Route marker #3 on the map).

Once you reach the summit there’s a bench to relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the West Coast of the Big Island! The great thing about this hike is its all downhill to return to your vehicle and if you brought a bike the last half should be an easy cruise downhill.

 

The Jello Mold - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The Summit of the Jello Mold

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Jello Mold adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

Have fun out there!

– ETA