Permit must be purchased between 7 and 30 days in advance of check-in date. This infrequently maintained, 4WD public access route passes through Kapapala Ranch for 5.7 miles before entering Kapapala Forest Reserve and continuing 2.3 miles to the Ainapo Trailhead. The Ainapo trail begins at the 5,650 elevation and ascends 2,100 feet in 2.7 miles to the trail shelter in Halewai. The trail shelter has 6 bunk beds, a 400-gal water catchment tank that provides water for washing, but not recommended for drinking unless it is treated. A composting toilet is provided.
***BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT IMPORTANT SITE DETAILS UNDER THE "BROWSE FOR AVAILABILITY" TAB*** Access to this cabin is across private land - you must contact the landowner beforehand in order to gain access.
See the brochure, Hiking Safely in Hawaii
Kapapala Forest Reserve. Ainapo Road (4WD only) begins at the cattle guard located on the mauka side of Highway 11 in Ka`u at approximately the 40.5 mile point. It is open during daylight hours only.
Campers are required to contact Kapapala Ranch at (808) 928-8403 to obtain the combination for locked gate. This combination is changed on a daily basis. Users are required to call the night before between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to schudle entry. This combination is changed daily and given out at the same phone number from 4:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. on entry day . It is your responsibility to arrange entrance. Ainapo/Mauna Loa trail combination: Hikers who intend to travel through the National Park must regester and obtain a free permit at the backcountry office at (808)985-6178, office hours are from 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m