GO TO WWW.BIGISLAND.ORG FOR INFORMATION on everything, starting with how to get there. I took Aloha Airlines directly from Oakland, California, to the Big Island, in part because its coach seats really do offer more legroom (800-367-5250). As for accommodations, the Big Island has plenty in all price ranges. Three superb resorts close to not only trails but major petroglyph fields are the Orchid at Mauna Lani (808-885-2000), the Outrigger Waikoloa (808-886-6789), both on the Kohala Coast, and the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in KailuaKona (808-325-8000), on the Kona Coast. On the other side of the island, near Volcanoes National Park, I like to stay at the Kilauea Lodge in Volcanoes Village, which has a good dining room (808-967-7366).
Great books to accompany your trip are Hawaiian Petroglyphs by J. Halley Cox and Edward Stasack, available in many of the National Park shops on the island, Roughing It , by Mark Twain, and Hawaii Trails , by Kathy Morey, which includes every one of the hikes I took. Last and perhaps most important, pick up a full-color topographical reference map of the Big Island, published by the University of Hawaii Press and available in most shops. It will keep you safely on the trails.—S.S.