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After visiting Volcano House and the park’s visitor center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, our tour continued on to the Steam Vents parking lot. We walked through a grassy meadow to the caldera’s edge.
From this paved path, we could see steam billowing out of the earth in places. A few feet down, the ground is so hot that trees can’t take root here, but the tall grasses thrive.
The steam vents are caused by groundwater seeping through to the hot volcanic rock below. When it makes contact with the hot rocks, it is expelled back up through fractures in the earth as steam.
At Steaming Bluff, a cliff overlooking the caldera, we paused for some photos of the crater. Then we walked a short way on the trail leading away from the overlook along the rim.
You can’t go very far on the rim trail because the 2018 eruption destabilized parts of it. The Jaggar museum still sits on this trail, a little further down, but it is no longer structurally sound and so is closed to visitors.
After we’d seen our fill of smoldering fields, we headed back to the bus for our next destination in the park.
- Volcano House
- Steam Vents
- Kīlauea Iki (Coming Soon)
- Chain of Craters Road (Coming Soon)
- Big Island Candies (Coming Soon)
- Rainbow Falls (Coming Soon)
- Richardson’s Black Sand Beach (Coming Soon)
- Mokuola (Coming Soon)
Location: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Volcano, HI 96718
Designation: National Park
Date established/designated: August 1, 1916
Date of my visit: April 16, 2019