Hilo Journals

Hilo - The Other Side of the Big Island

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A December 2005 trip to Hilo by MilwVon

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Most folks vacation and tour the Kona Coast when on the Big Island. This journal covers some of the sites on the Hilo side.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
You can drive the loop roads around the park, but you shouldn't! Be sure to get out and experience the park. There is so much to see and do, we actually suggest you plan on two trips to this incredible marvel. You'll want one day to drive and walk around the various volcano craters and lava flows and another to take in the park AFTER DARK to see the lava flow at night. On this trip we only did the later. Arriving at the visitor center at 3:30pm, we got a briefing from the park rangers regarding watching the lava flows that evening. As you drive down the Chain of Craters Road, take time to stop and hike to the Mauna Ulu Crater. Plan on it taking around an hour each way. We arrived a bit too l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Highway 11
Hilo, Hawaii 96718
(808) 985-6000

Exploring the Puna Volcano Region

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Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Just south of Hilo on the easternmost area of the Big Island is Puna. No area has been affected more by the volcanic activity of recent years. Entire towns have been buried by flowing lava, lives lost and property forever taken away. Plan on this being a long day if you are staying over in the Kailua-Kona area.For us, we made it a fuller day by starting with the Saddle Road ride from Kona to Hilo! (We do not suggest that.) Going south from Hilo, take Highway 130 to 132 and then on to 137. This will put you right along the ocean, driving through lush forest and some rather amazing homes. You will also see some of the poorest areas of the Big Island. Be careful, as there are a lot of throwback h...Read More

Hilo-to-Honomu Road Trip

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Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
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The drive along this stretch of Highway 19 can be very long and boring. Don't let that frustrate you or cause you to lull yourself into missing what sights there are along your journey. Going north away from Hilo, there are several places to pull off to see beautiful waterfalls. Be sure to take the side-road trip up to Akaka Falls. The turnoff is between mile markers 13 and 14.This state park is beautiful and offers two hikes that are fairly easy. The large waterfall here plummets a whopping 420 feet. The walk is very beautiful, through a very thick forest of bamboo and other rainforest-type vegetation. Be sure to take advantage of the decent restrooms here (not porta-potties), as you won't ...Read More

State Parks Near Hilo

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Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
There are a lot of nice state parks throughout the Big Island. There are two that bear mentioning, due to their unique natural features created by lava (Lava Tree State Park) and water (Akaka Falls State Park). They are on opposite sides of Hilo, one about 30 minutes north and the other about 45 minutes south, but they are well worth the excursion if you are out enjoying a leisurely day trip around Hilo. Lava Tree State ParkHighway 132, South of HiloNear Pahoa, Puna RegionAs with most of the region around Hilo, this is a very dense forest with a lot of thick brush and large trees. Lava Tree State Park is a preserved area that shows you what happens to the trees after lava runs ...Read More

A Mother & Her Son

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Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
This was a very special trip for us. My mother-in-law is getting older (aren't we all) and lives pretty far from us. We had a great time. As you can see from these photos, they are both very happy!! There is another reason for my posting this particular journal. As you can see from the variety of activities we did here, Hawaii is a place where families can vacation together. In spite of the nearly 30 years difference in ages, we were able to do a lot. Of course, everyone must pace themselves and not do more than physically they feel comfortable with. For instance, she didn't hike the Volcano NP with us after dark, but she enjoyed the trip and was able to stop at the end of the Chain of Crate...Read More