"Outside of the Volcanoes..." Volcano Things to Do Tip by kahiwa

Volcano Things to Do: 13 reviews and 21 photos

Outside of the Volcanoes National Park, don't forget to visit the Volcano Winery, where they make their own unique wines.

Inside the Volcanoes National Park, there is a multitude of things to do. First, visit the Visitor Center. Find out about the park, and heed their warnings about current conditions. If you're going hiking to the current lava flow, make sure you have water, long pants (the lava is very sharp), and that you don't get too close.

You can drive down the Chain of Craters Road, which, as its name implies, drives past a number of large and small volcanic craters. The road skirts the rim of the very large Kilauea Crater, then winds its way down the mountain to the ocean. At one point, you can look back up at the mountain and see where the most recent lava flows cascaded down the mountainside to the ocean. The most recent lava flows are the darkest. You can park your car at the end of the road (where the lava has crossed it and made it impassable), and hike to near where the lava is currently entering the sea. Great steam clouds are rising from this point. Don't get too close because sections of land may break off without warning and slide into the sea, and the steam from the lava is toxic. Still on the low lands, you can stop and walk about 2 miles inland to see some ancient petroglyphs left by the Hawaiians.

Nearer to the Volcano Center, you can walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, a 'structure' created when the lava exposed to the surface cooled, but the lava underneath was still hot and molten and continued to travel. When the lava ceased and hardened, a tube was created, sometimes going for miles. You can also walk the Devastation Trail. a boardwalk created through an old lava flow. You can see petrified tree stumps and the total devastation that a lava flow can leave behind. There are several hiking trails you can take, including a short 2 mile hike through a tropical rain forest, or a longer 8 mile hike across the floor of Kilauea Crater, on barren lava rocks. Also in the park are steam vents (don't get too close or you'll get scalded), sulphur banks (that smell like rotten eggs), and lots of local plants, such as ginger flowers and ferns.
You have to see it to believe it. The Volcanoes National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. It is a great place to gain respect for the forces of nature, and to gain great respect for the land.

The greatest thing about the Volcano Winery is their bumper sticker, which reads, 'Stomp Me, Squeeze Me, Make Me Wine'.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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