The trail from Mount Alava down to the village of Vatia is within the boundaries of the United States National Park of American Samoa.
There are educational signs and the trail is well marked and maintained. The steeper portion have ropes to help climb up and down.
At the top, the rainforest is in a cloud. Dense, moss covered trees form the canopy. After about an hour of hiking down the rainforest is dominated by tall hardwood trees. This is the ridge rainforest. Even closer to sea level the rainforest has lower level single canopy trees.
Finally, near the sea, visitors see the low, salt resistant brush, sedges and creepers that dominate the coast.
These regimes of the rainforest can be experienced in about five hours of moderate hiking. Probably nowhere else in the world has that kind of rainforest diversity in such a short space.
We arrived in Vatia, bought a bottle of water for 50 cents and took the bus back into town to our hotel ($45 a night double share). The bus ride was fantastic and only cost $ 2 dollars. Total for the day; $2.50.