HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii - The entire 11.2-mile Mauna Loa Road is back open after improvements to make the Mauna Loa Lookout wheelchair-friendly were completed, according to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park officials.

The parking area and path to the Mauna Lookout shelter were reconstructed and repaved, and a new accessible vault toilet was installed. Visitors will also find a new wheelchair-friendly picnic table and accessible parking stall.

The Mauna Loa Lookout is at an altitude of 6,662 feet, and provides panoramic views of Kilauea volcano, old lava flows, and the ocean on clear days. The subalpine woodland includes koa, mamane and 'ohi'a trees, and endemic bird species, including  'i'iwi. The octagonal shelter at the Lookout was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937, and is an excellent example of the National Park Service rustic architectural style. 

Backcountry hikers utilize Mauna Loa Road and Lookout to access Pu'u'ula'ula (Red Hill) and its cabin, Mauna Loa summit and cabin, and other sections of the challenging Mauna Loa Trail.  Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays.

Workers will begin to fix pot holes along Mauna Loa Road next week, but no closures are necessary.