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Make Kilauea Volcano and Volcanoes National Park your destination, and stay past sunset on this fully narrated adventure from Waikoloa/Kohala that includes coffee and more.
EXPLORE KILAUEA’S MOST RECENT ERUPTION AND HISTORIC LAVA FLOWS
Hike Kilauea lava flows dating back to 1881 up to the historic changes of 2018. First, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth.
Your National Park Service certified guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by. Next explore Kaumana Caves, part of the lava tube system that brought lava as close as 1.5 miles from downtown Hilo in 1881. Take a peek inside the dramatic cathedral-like space, before taking a quick drive through quaint Hilo town where you’ll drive along the historic waterfront before stopping at KapohoKine Adventures store to pick up supplies. You’re headed to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where you’ll see the destruction done by the 2018 eruption! After a picnic lunch inside the National Park listening to the native bird calls, you’ll head off along the Halema’uma’u trail to start your longest hike of approximately three miles. The trail starts behind the historic Volcano House and switches back down to the caldera floor that changed drastically during the 2018 eruption. This trail has been used to hike into the caldera since being established in 1846. Mark Twain was once rescued by native guide Alex Lancaster using this trail. It’s only about half a mile through ancient forests of tree ferns, some as old as 1,000 years. Look for native birds, such as the yellow ‘amakihi and the red ‘apapane. Huge boulders came to rest along the trail during ancient rock slides and eruptions. Look for marks left by previous visitors such as Benjamin Boyd, a Scot, and John Webster, a California artist, from back in 1851. Reaching the floor of Kilauea Caldera there is an incredible rock slide to your left, evidence of the 2018 eruption, and Halema’uma’u Crater before you. The Crater increased in size during the eruption with the lava lake draining out of it leaving behind an enormous 1,000- foot-deep pit.
Skirt the edge of the caldera over one of the previous lava lakes and see the native ʻōhiʻa lehua trees slowly claiming the area as their own. Take your time coming up to Byron Ledge as you will be climbing roughly 400 ft of elevation in half a mile, but will also have sweeping views of the 1000 ft. pit that has been filling up with lava as Kilauea Volcano continues to erupt off and on. The beautiful photo opportunities along the way allow you to take a breather, along with a bench at the top of the climb with a bird’s eye view of the caldera floor you were just on.
The rest of the trail leading over to Waldron Overlook is a more gradual incline through the forest with sneak peaks of Pu’u Pua’i and Kilauea Iki. End the hike along old crater rim drive, which is now slowly being consumed by vegetation and end back at Volcano House where you can sit and enjoy the view some more. The adventure doesn’t stop there! After a short break, your guide will take you to some of the other amazing locations Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park has to offer, including the lava flow of Mauna Ulu where you’ll look for Pele’s tears and lava trees. You’ll also see the older Nahuku lava tube hidden in the rainforest. For all your hard work, you’ll end with a filling dinner at one of the locals’ favorite restaurants in Volcano Village, just outside the National Park. “Lava glow viewing if weather and lava conditions permit”