Loess and dune sands that mantle volcanic rocks on the northwest flank of Mauna Kea volcano consist predominantly of fine-grained pyroclasts of the alkalic Laupahoehoe Volcanics produced by explosive eruptions. The loess is divided into lower and upper units, separated by a well-developed paleosol, while older and younger dune sands are separated by loess. Four interstratified tephra marker horizons aid in regional stratigraphic correlation. Radiocarbon ages of charcoal fragments within the loess, U-series ages of rhizoliths in the dune sand, and K/Ar ages and relative stratigraphic positions of lava flows provide a stratigraphic and temporal framework. The lower loess overlies lava flows less than 103,000 ± 10,000 K/Ar yr old, and14C dates from the paleosol developed at its top average ca. 48,000 yr. Loess separating the dune sand units ranges from ca. 38,000 to 25,00014C yr old; the youngest ages from the upper loess are 17,000–18,00014C yr B.P. Dips of sand-dune foreset strata, isopachs on the upper loess, and reconstructed isopachs representing cumulative thickness of tephra associated with late-Pleistocene pyroclastic eruptions suggest that vents upslope (upwind) from the sand dunes were the primary source of the eolian sediments. Average paleowind directions during the eruptive interval (ca. 50,000–15,000 yr B.P.), inferred from cinder-cone asymmetry, distribution of tephra units, orientation of dune foreset strata, and the regional pattern of loess isopachs, suggest that Mauna Kea has remained within the trade-wind belt since before the last glaciation.