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Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
 Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
The Resilience of Life
Wild Orchids in the Park
Quiet
Rare Volcanic Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii
At the Edge of Chain of Craters Road, a Surprise
Blowin' off some Steam on the Big Island
Live Lava
The End of the Road
The Goddess Pele Stirs up her Cauldron
Hiking Kilauea Iki's Crater Floor
Ferns with Flourishes
Colorful Foliage at the Volcanoes
Ohelo Berries
An Offering of Flowers to a Volcano
Pretty Yellow Ginger Flowers
Pink Shell Ginger Flower
Observing Kilauea
The Wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii volcano national park
Hawaii volcano national park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
The Glowing Spectacle of Kilauea
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
 Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
The Resilience of Life
Wild Orchids in the Park
Quiet
Rare Volcanic Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii
At the Edge of Chain of Craters Road, a Surprise
Blowin' off some Steam on the Big Island
Live Lava
The End of the Road
The Goddess Pele Stirs up her Cauldron
Hiking Kilauea Iki's Crater Floor
Ferns with Flourishes
Colorful Foliage at the Volcanoes
Ohelo Berries
An Offering of Flowers to a Volcano
Pretty Yellow Ginger Flowers
Pink Shell Ginger Flower
Observing Kilauea
The Wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii volcano national park
Hawaii volcano national park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
The Glowing Spectacle of Kilauea
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
The ire of Mount Kīlauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the world's only drive-in volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here, according to Hawaiian lore—is on a roll. Occasionally the lava flows spill into the sea, making the Big Island even bigger and releasing stunning plumes of steam. Don't miss the petroglyphs, lava tube, lush rainforest and 150 miles of trail, including the four-mile Kīlauea Iki loop. The drive here from Kona or Kohala can take four hours; consider reserving accommodations in the town of Volcano, so you have plenty of time to explore this otherworldly landscape and hopefully see the lava after dark!
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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Depending on whether you cruise past by day or night, your experience of Kilauea’s Puu Oo vent—the most active fissure in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, which sends molten lava toward the coast and into the sea—will be quite different. During daylight, you’ll see plumes of acrid white steam as the 1,150°C (2,100°F) lava hits the water, and on a clear day you may see the crimson streams themselves; after sunset, the drama intensifies as the sea cliffs sometimes appear to be laced with fiery red-orange lava waterfalls.

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The Resilience of Life
The Hawaiian Islands are relatively new pieces of land on the globe, and nothing reminds people of this more than a visit to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, where new land is being formed every day by the very active Kilauea Volcano. Even in lava flows formed in the last 20 years, plants begin to take root wherever they can find proper nutrients and a little bit of water. This is how the islands were populated with life from their beginning—seeds were brought by the waves or by birds flying from far-off lands and some found places to be nurtured and grow. If you get a chance, drive down Chain of Craters Road and note the changing landscapes of different lava flows and how much vegetation has been able to thrive over the years on different flows.
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Wild Orchids in the Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a fascinating place made more beautiful by the flowers that take root in the mineral-rich soil. Hawaii is home to a variety of orchids that can be found at markets and shops throughout the Island, but I always appreciate seeing them in the wild where nature curates their color and blossoms are free to show their pretty faces as the seasons permit! Keep an eye out for wild orchids around the Steam Vents, Steaming Bluff, and Ha‘akulamanu area of the Park.
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Quiet
Silence is priceless. Standing at the edge and looking down at the caldera, I felt I could understand why native Hawaiians viewed the volcano goddess with such respect.
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Rare Volcanic Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii
How do I attempt to describe a totally unexpected, rare experience that will forever remain a precious memory? I'm not sure but I'll venture to give it a try. I just returned from the Big Island of Hawaii, where I spent a week attending conferences, inspecting resorts, and networking with suppliers. We were also treated to a few special activities like Ziplining over Akaka Falls and a Twilight Volcano Tour. Our Volcano Tour was hosted by Hawaii Forest and Trail. Our spectacular guide, Mark, generously shared his love and passion for the Big Island with our group. We learned about Hawaiian culture and myths, the diversity of the islands, and so much more. When it came time to finally experience our Twilight Volcano Tour, Mark went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable (yes, those warm jackets made a huge difference) and had everything we needed, hot chocolate included. His offer to me of a tripod for my camera was more prescient than any of us could have realized at the time! We were cautioned not to get our hopes up too high, as the volcano had last erupted in 2008. At best, we might see a light red glow. At worst, we might not see anything but cloud cover. We arrived early enough to find our ideal viewing spot, and were excited to glimpse the red glow, brightening by the minute. Without any warning, however, we were shocked when the volcano began to erupt! It was a rare and beautiful moment, captured here forever. What a memory!
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At the Edge of Chain of Craters Road, a Surprise
The Chain of Craters Road was itself a series of surprises: moon-like terrain, cooled lava, fossil-like ropes and desert vegetation peeping its head everywhere. It wasn't enough to look at one crater, of course: we stopped at several. Our car loved the switchback zig zag through several climate zones until we got to nearly sea level, and when we peered over the edge, we saw a slender Natural Arch being pounded on by waves. A magical moment.
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Blowin' off some Steam on the Big Island
We took a little hike through Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and were treated to views like this the whole time. Never have I seen a more alien landscape.
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Live Lava
This is the view from the visitor center at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii. During the day you will see an endless plume of steam rising from the crater. But if you return at night, you will be pleased to see the red-orange glow of molten lava as it rolls beneath the rim of the crater. This is one view definitely worth sticking around for. Dress warm, for while it's hot in the crater, it can get very cold after the sun dips below the horizon.
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The End of the Road
If you have the time, and can stand the heat, I suggest a visit to the very end of the Chain of Craters Road within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. With the every-changing landscape along the way, you will be enthralled with the visuals as you take your journey to the very end of the line. However, in order to reach this exact spot, you must leave your car at the final roadblock and hoof it for about another 3/4 of a mile or so. Prior to your desert-like walk, there is a restroom and a small stand selling drinks and snacks. If you are really ambitious, you may continue your trek along the ancient lava field, which goes on for many more miles.
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The Goddess Pele Stirs up her Cauldron
"The tides swirl, Pele o’ermounts them; The god rides the waves... Who shall sit astern, be steersman, O, princes? Pele of the yellow earth." – A verse from the first song of the hula to Pele. And a quick way to loosen up the hips for a hike around Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
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Hiking Kilauea Iki's Crater Floor
In 1959, a massive fountain eruption created a huge lava lake in Kilauea Iki on the Big Island of Hawaii. Slowly, over the next three decades, the lake solidified all the way through, but the center of this lake still registers warmer temperatures. The Kilauea Iki Crater Trail is a path that Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park visitors can take across the vast empty crater floor where steam still rises in places. The National Park Service offers a helpful trail guide (linked below) so hikers can learn about the historic explosion and some of the flora and fauna in the area.
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Ferns with Flourishes
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is home to a variety of ferns that grow in the rich soil. These uluhe ferns unfurl in a fashion that makes them look like manmade metal rods with flourished tops stuck in the ground. The peculiar fern initially grows in shades of pinkish purple to steel blue before unfurling into green fronds. The fern is unusual and eye-catching—gorgeous decor for the outdoor environment of the Park.
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Colorful Foliage at the Volcanoes
Along the Kilauea Iki Crater rim ferns grow thick and flowers can blossom in beautiful colors. These buds were in various forms of opening on my hike around the top of the crater. With stunning variegated petals from yellow to red, each one caught my eye in the midst of so much green. Regardless what time of year you visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, inevitably some floral color will spill into the tropical forests around the steam vents and craters.
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Ohelo Berries
Although ohelo berries are edible, it is not allowed in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, where the endangered Hawaiian Nene Goose (similar to a chicken) also dines on them regularly. The berries are said to appease Pele (the volcano goddess) and grow around the park seemingly in tribute to her. They add quite a bit of color to volcanic soil, and if the berries are growing, you will not miss them when you walk by.
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An Offering of Flowers to a Volcano
Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, is still actively destroying and creating land on the Island of Hawaii and in the ocean to the south of the Island. To appease her, some people of Hawaii bring her flowers and fruit to be laid on the Halemaumau Crater. Though the caldera has been active and the crater rim is closed off, if you see cut flowers placed in the area, you will know they are meant for Pele.
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Pretty Yellow Ginger Flowers
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is full of flowers that captivate hikers and sightseers with their color and variety of blossoms. The wild kahili ginger is an invasive species in Hawaii. As such, it is locally more of a weed than a flower, but the spindly flowers with pretty blossoms at the end are curious and carry their own beauty in the forests around the Park.
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Pink Shell Ginger Flower
Known to grow in rich, well-drained, but moderately wet soil, the shell ginger flower grows perfectly in the ground at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the windward (and rainier) side of the Big Island. The flowers open up to look like a hungry mouth with bright red and orange blossom interiors. The plants leaves have medicinal properties and are used in teas and even the mochi dessert that is commonly served in Hawaii.
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Observing Kilauea
The very active Kilauea volcano spews magma temperamentally. Before arriving on the Big Island with expectations of seeing a massive lava fountain, check out the latest status on the volcano at the USGS website. Most often, a gray crust covers the Halemaumau Crater, and the lava lake in the crater can only be observed by air at night when the hot magma glows through the cooled shell. Alternatively, visitors to the Jaggar Museum at night will see a glow hovering over the crater. At times, lava flows can be found down the flanks of the volcano and even into the Pacific Ocean. The best way to observe these is at night with a guided tour company like Poke-a-Stick Lava Tours.
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The Wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Just a 45-minute drive south of Hilo, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park sprawls across more than 500 square miles of geothermal marvels. The still-active volcanoes of Kilauea and Maunaloa get most of the hype, but the park offers many other attractions, too—like 150 miles of hiking trails that skirt volcanic craters, deserts, and rainforests; a walk-in lava tube; a museum; and centuries-old petroglyphs etched into lava rock by ancient Hawaiians. The biodiversity here, particularly of indigenous plant and bird life, has designated it both a UNESCO World Heritage site and an International Biosphere Reserve. To learn more about the natural wonders of Hawaii, the Big Island, visit gohawaii.com/hawaii-island.
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Hawaii volcano national park
If you want to see an active volcano you can wait after Sunset in kilahea cráter to see the color of the lava Pool
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Hawaii volcano national park
If you want to see an active volcano you can wait after Sunset in kilahea cráter to see the color of the lava Pool
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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Two of the world's most active and accessible volcanoes dominate this national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which swoops down to the sea from Mauna Loa's summit at 4,170 meters (13,681 feet). A wilderness area stretches beyond the road's end, filled with cinder cones and rough lava trails that attract serious backpackers. Day-trippers usually hit the slopes of Kilauea (1,250 meters, or 4,101 feet) instead. Its name means "spreading" or "much spewing"—and the mountain delivers with lava flows through lush rain forests. Since its 1983 eruption, Kilauea's east rift zone has continued oozing liquid rock, sometimes as much as 5,000 liters (1,321 gallons) per second, and adding 202 hectares (499 acres) of land to the Big Island.

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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the world's only drive-in volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here, according to Hawaiian lore—is on a roll. Occasionally, like in summer 2016, the lava flows spill into the sea, making the Big Island even bigger and releasing stunning plumes of steam. Don't miss the petroglyphs, lava tube and 241 kilometers (150 miles) of trails at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

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The Glowing Spectacle of Kilauea
One of the most active volcanoes on earth, 4,091-foot Kilauea has been erupting almost continuously since 1983. Its outflow produces enough lava to resurface a 20-mile-long, two-lane road every day; as a result, the island’s size has grown by 491 acres over the past two decades. This place is the legendary home of Pele, the fire goddess. It’s also a must-see for thousands of visitors each year. To learn more about volcanoes on Hawaii, the Big Island, visit gohawaii.com/hawaii-island.
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA
+1 808-985-6000