Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fun Hikes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-see destination for visitors of the Big Island. The best way to experience the park is to get out of your car and take a short hike.

One of the easiest hikes in the park is also one of the most fascinating. Located just past Volcano Art Center, the Sulfur Banks trail features a boardwalk that leads to the sulfur bluffs. Like a scene from Jurassic Park, volcanic gases rich in sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide swirl from the bluffs, depositing yellow-colored crystals throughout. Farther down the trail, dozens of steam vents emit white steam from small cracks in the earth. It's fun to sit on the grass next to a steam vent and feel the hot, non-toxic steam swirling around you.

Kilauea Iki trailhead
Situated adjacent to the parking lot at Thurston Lava Tube, the overlook for Kilauea Iki Crater is awe-inspiring. Site of the dramatic 1959 eruption, the crater measures a massive 3,000 feet across and 380 feet in depth. A shady, two-mile trail criss-crosses down to the crater floor. Along the way, visitors can see a variety of birds including the native apapane, plus ohia trees and lehua blossoms. The hike back up is moderate, but worth the effort.

Mauna Ulu Eruption Trail
Another great hike is the Mauna Ulu eruption trail just off Chain of Craters Road. This 2.5-mile round-trip hike takes visitors to the top of a small wooded hill for a panoramic view. Along the way, you can see native ohelo bushes laden with red ohelo berries, and possibly some native Nene geese. The area features a surreal landscape of lava flows — both pahoehoe and a‘a — plus a small oasis of forest that was spared by the relentless flow of lava.

A two-hour drive from Holualoa Inn, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the most popular visitor destination on the Big Island. When you stay at our Hawaii bed and breakfast, our Holualoa Inn ohana will give you insider tips on planning your day-trip getaway to Volcano.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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