Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is full of beauty and geological wonders. It is home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world. Those two volcanoes are Mauna Loa and Kilauea. While Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984, Kilauea has been erupting almost continuously since 1983. The last major eruption though was in 2018.
If you are one of the people who would love to see the landscape that has been created by erupting volcanoes, you must add this national park to your list of places to see during a vacation in Hawaii. There is so much you can do inside this park. Things such as getting a glimpse of what molten lava looks like months after a major volcano eruption.
A smoking and smoldering Halema’uma’u crater can be seen from the Jagger Museum overlook. The drive over to the crater is quite popular because of this. Currently, you cannot drive as far as this overlook on the road due to extensive damage done during the last major eruption. It is uncertain if this area of the park will ever reopen. However, you can still enjoy the views along the portions that are still open.
There are a few different places to see steam vents inside this park. The best ones can be experienced as you hike along the Sulphur Banks Trail. This trail is only a mile long and can be reached from the Kilauea Visitor Center parking lot.
One of the best hikes inside the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Iki Trail. This four-mile hike will take you directly down to the crater floor. Make sure you take lots of pictures as you imagine what it looked like years ago covered in red hot lava.
Old lava is everywhere on the Chain of Craters Road. It will all lead you directly down to the ocean. As you are driving along the nineteen miles of this road, you can stop to see the views from many different lookouts. However, your favorite part will be stopping to look at the lava from the years you were all born, if a lava field was created during those years. You may also want to consider stopping at the Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs. They share some of what you must know about ancient Hawaiian culture and you will see why this is considered a sacred site.
The damage that has been caused by Kilauea has been devastating. But it is important to note you can still do incredible things when visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While you may miss out on a few things, there are still amazing views and opportunities to get up close to old lava and craters.
These are just a few of the things you can do when visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park during a vacation in Hawaii.
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