Results 1-10of 55 Reviews
by Chris & Carinne
January 8, 2012
From journal The Last State
May 7, 2010
From journal More Kona Adventures
July 26, 2007
From journal 11 Day Hawaii Vacation--Maui and the Big Island
April 10, 2007
From journal Aloha
Pompton plains, New Jersey
January 17, 2007
A vast sea of cooled lava flows, some as recent as a few months. Acres and acres of black rock is twisted into bizarre shapes and encompasses surrounding towns, where you can see half-buried stop signs and remainders of houses that were in the path of the lava. You can climb over these flows, but be careful, as the rocks are uneven and bumpy. If you go towards the water, you may see the lava pouring into the ocean. In our case, the lava was rolling down the hillside.
In the park is Devastation Trail, which looks like a nuclear bomb exploded. It is "moon-like" in appearance, with dead trees scattered here and there.
There's also Thurston Lava Tube, an old, cave-like structure that once carried lava underground.
A book I found to be very helpful is the Book for Dummies Hawaii. I read this before going on my trip and it gave me a lot of valuable information.
From journal Big Island Action
by wanderer 2005
January 4, 2007
You can walk for quite a ways and see the sulpher banks and the vegetation that grows in and around them. It smells like rotten eggs, but that’s what sulpher smells like. The sulpher is also very hot. We stood in front of one of the vents for a photo op, (see below) and wow was it hot!
Nature is such a wonder when you see things like this. It just boggles the mind how things like this occur. There are a couple trails here and you can walk out pretty far down into the crater. This is a great place to have lunch, as we did. We packed a cooler with sandwiches we made at the condo, and had a bite to eat on the moons’ surface. NEAT!
If you don’t have all day, to visit, I suggest driving the 11 mile Crater Rim Drive. You’ll see the steam vents, The Jagger Museum, Kilauea lookout, Thurston lava tube, Pu'u Pua'i Overlook and Halema'uma'u crater. This should take roughly 2-3hours, depending on traffic and how long you stay at the points of interest. Just grab a park map at the visitor center and plan your route.
As I said before, PLEASE don’t wear open toe shoes. Wear hiking boots and jeans and make sure you have plenty of water. There are no gas stations or convenience stores anywhere on the drive. Most importantly, have fun!
From journal They Call it the Big Island of Hawaii for a Reason
January 3, 2007
Keep in mind that there are only restroom facilities at the visitors center, Volcano House hotel, Kilauea Overlook, Jaggar Museum, Thurston Lava Tube, Namakani Paio campground, Kipuka Puaulu picnic area, Mauna Ulu, Kulanaokuaiki campground, and the turnaround at the end of Chain of Craters Road and once on that road, there really isn’t any vegetation to hide behind, so ‘going’ outside really isn’t an option.
There is a tiny snack bar at the end of the road, but other than that, the only other place to get food is a the Volcano House Hotel, which is right next to the visitor center. I hear they have a great lunch buffet, but it’s usually over-run with tour bus people.
So other than having to ‘hold it’ for the drive down the crater road, it was a really nice drive. The road does get a little curvy as you come down off Kilauea and head down to the ocean, but it’s no big deal.
Now where the lava crosses the road, was by far my favorite part of the park. In 2003, lava crossed the Chain of Craters Road, making it impassable. They even had to move the ranger station. Parking is about a mile away from the actual site, and parking is along the road. The walk to the end of the road seemed very long to me, but I had my Camelback, which is a backpack that carries water and has a drinking tube attached to it, for easy, hands free access. From the end of the road, we hiked out a little, to the ocean’s edge. Breathtaking! We were about 2 and half miles from the flowing lava and you may hike there of you like, just be prepared with water, etc. We chose to not hike out that far, even though I really wanted to... I knew I couldn’t handle a hike that far, over jagged rocks. The park rangers mark holes in the lava with orange cones, so people don’t stumble into them. There are no ranger guided tours to the flowing lava, but you are free to go as far as you like, just be smart about it.
If you want to see a really cool picture of the lava crossing the road, go to www.nps.gov/archive/havo/home.htm
70 million years of volcanic activity has made the Big Island what it is today. A land that looks at times, like the surface of the moon. We went to the park from the Kona part of the island on Hwy 11. Just follow the road and you’ll run right into it… approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours without stops.
The Kilauea Visitor Center has a plethora of information about the island, its culture and its history. There is a 25 minute movie that plays at the center and there is a small museum and gift shop to walk through. This is the start of the volcano experience.
We drove down to the Thurston lava tube, first. This is exactly what it sounds like, a tube that lava flowed through at one point. It was named after Lorrin Thurston, who was a newspaper publisher who helped create the park. You would never see it from the street, as it’s over 350 years old and covered in vegetation. There is a steep walk down some stairs and the tube is lighted inside, but it’s still very dark and wet. Water drips from the ceiling, so don’t wear your favorite silk jacket in here and there are also small puddles of water that you’ll step in. This was a really cool thing to see. There are so many more lava tubes like this one, they just haven’t been discovered yet.
Next, we got back in our Chrysler 300 and drove down the Chain of Craters Road. This is where things start to look like the moon. Trees sprout up through 100 year old, hardened lava and you can see how the lava rippled as it destroyed and covered everything in its path. Amazing. The first major lookout point, has a raised platform and you can see for miles and miles and even see the ocean. We hiked down a little ways, but be careful! The lava is very jagged in areas and steep. Make sure you have really good, rubber soled, hiking boots to grab the rocks. It was really windy at this spot and I wished I had a jacket and some jeans on. I had long shorts and a tank top on, which made it quite chilly. The temperature definitely dropped when we got to Kilauea. Do not wear flip flops or open toe shoes here. You won’t be able to do any kind of hiking and you will want to, I guarantee it.
December 14, 2006
From journal Big Island 2--Kona to Volcano
August 11, 2006
From journal Hilo - The Other Side of the Big Island