FKT: Warren Hollinger - Kilauea Sea-to-Summit (HI) - 2019-05-26

Route Variation
Finish Date
Time (duration)
4h 55m 43s

Well, I managed to do what I will call the Sea to Summit of Kīlauea. The real summit is next to the Jaggar Museum with that whole area closed since last year because of the eruptions. So I went to 3 potential spots that could count as the new summit for this Sea to Summit challenge before stopping my watch. But honestly, the most natural finish could be at the sulphuric vent area looking over the Kīlauea Summit Caldera and Halema’uma’u. You're basically looking over at the closed-off area and the real summit 1.6 miles away. Ultimately you're 80 feet under the actual summit. As a climber that’s hard for me to swallow but you literally will be arrested for trying to get to it (since it could fall into the caldera at any moment - haa). What made the most logical sense to me was since the “True” summit is 1.6 miles away from the overlook mentioned above I just ran to a high contour point that would still be Kilauea and was 4040+ feet. I then stopped my watch.

The ocean start was awesome but wow was it hard navigating the almost 3 miles round trip of lava flows by headlamp at 4 am. A short bit of trail and then just dead reckoning haaa. And trying to "Run" random flows by headlamp is not for the faint of heart. Evidently, I worry a little too much about my ankles to really go for it.

Overall this Strava file shows 26 more minutes and 1.5 extra miles. I pressed start at the car on the way out to the ocean and I went to a couple of extra possible summit points to just cover my bases after going to the Summit Caldera. The exact time can be found at: . This is my TrainingPeaks account and I bracket off the actual Sea to Summit part. The actual distance was 22 miles and the time was 4:55:43.

Note: This run can be done so much faster and there are some locals in Volcano that could smoke this time and run this approximate route. I just wanted to create an official route that actually starts at the ocean and that others can come and run against. Feel free to do whatever variant seems good to you. I started this run as a much bigger 34 mile run to the top of the Mauna Loa Strip Road while training to run from the Sea to Summit of Mauna Loa. But like I explain in the article, this volcano needed it's own run designated to it since you understand when you run it that you are truly on Kilauea and not on Mauna Loa. So you don't really need such an early start and you barely need any supplies to run it. It's the easiest of the 5 Volcanoes to run a Sea to Summit on. But beware that the shoulder is small and when the traffic builds up by 9am it will be less fun to run on. Start at the crack of dawn and if you are fast enough you may have the whole road to yourself.

Trip report: