Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Chain of Craters

IMG_5004

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

IMG_5006

Chain of Craters Road is a 19-mile road through the East Rift and coastal area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the big island of Hawaii.

IMG_4996

Our tour stopped at the Lua Manu crater on this drive. It is the first crater on the Chain of Craters Road and was formed when, about 200 years ago, the lava beneath it drained leaving an empty chamber. The surface collapsed into the chamber, forming a 125 foot deep pit.

IMG_5002

We walked around on the surrounding lava fields, marveling at the plants growing right up out of the rocks and taking photos by interesting formations.

IMG_4999

Hilo Posts:

  • Volcano House
  • Steam Vents
  •  Kīlauea Iki
  • Chain of Craters Road
  • Big Island Candies (Coming Soon)
  • Rainbow Falls (Coming Soon)
  • Richardson’s Black Sand Beach (Coming Soon)
  • Mokuola (Coming Soon)

IMG_5009

Location: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Volcano, HI 96718

Designation: National Park

Date established/designated: August 1, 1916

Date of my visit: April 16, 2019

IMG_5019

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Kīlauea Iki

IMG_5024Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

Kīlauea Iki is a crater next to the main summit caldera of Kīlauea in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the big island of Hawaii. This crater was a lava lake in 1959 with fountains spewing molten lava up to 1900 feet in the air. This activity lasted for several months until the fountains fizzled out in November of 1959.
IMG_5023
Today, visitors can view the crater from the Kīlauea Iki Overlook. There is no longer molten lava here and the crater is vast (though compared to the main crater, it’s small or ‘Iki’.) It’s a mile long and 400 feet deep.
IMG_5021
The 2018 eruption and its accompanying earthquakes damaged the Kīlauea Iki Trail. It was still closed when we visited, but partially re-opened the week after we were there. Hikers can now descend to the crater floor, parts of which are still warm to the touch.
IMG_5022

Hilo Posts:

  • Volcano House
  • Steam Vents
  •  Kīlauea Iki
  • 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

IMG_5025

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Steam Vents

IMG_4970

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

IMG_4980

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.

IMG_4973

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.

IMG_4971

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.

IMG_4966

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.

IMG_4981

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.

IMG_4964

After we’d seen our fill of smoldering fields, we headed back to the bus for our next destination in the park.

IMG_4963

Hilo Posts:

  • 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)

IMG_4958

Location: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Volcano, HI 96718

Designation: National Park

Date established/designated: August 1, 1916

Date of my visit: April 16, 2019

IMG_4957

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Volcano House

IMG_4942

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

20190416_092940

Volcano House is a historic lodge in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the rim of Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u crater. The hotel began as a simple shelter in 1846, 30 years after the park was established.

IMG_4935

In 1866, the shelter was replaced with a four bedroom hotel and hosted famous guests, including Mark Twain. Twain wrote about it in his autobiographical travelogue of some of his ealry adventures.

IMG_4936

The hotel burned down in 1940 and was rebuilt as a 24-room lodge a year later.

IMG_4940

When our cruise ship docked in Hilo, we took an excursion with Robert’s Hawaii to the National Park. Our fist stop was to the visitor center. After looking at the displays there, we walked across the street to Volcano House.

IMG_4925

From the veranda in back of the hotel, we had our first glimpse of the massive crater. Native Hawaiians believe the volcano to be the home of Pelehonuamea, the fire goddess. Legend has it that Pele fled to Kilauea from her home after angering her sister, the goddess of the sea.

IMG_4948

Visitors are prohibited from taking the lava rocks, lest they anger Pele. When I visited here in the 80’s, before the 2018 eruption closed the Jaggar Museum, I’d seen a display of letters to Pele from around the world, apologizing for taking her rocks after experiencing a string of bad luck. This rule is enforced more seriously today..a man in front of us in dock security was stopped from boarding the ship because he was caught with rocks in his pockets.

IMG_4950

In 2018, Kilauea erupted explosively, destroyed over 700 homes and extended the island a mile further into the sea as the lava lake in Halema’uma’u crater drained and flowed to the ocean.This was the culmination of a 35-year-long eruption that began in 1983. There is currently no molten lava to be seen here, but there is steam rising from the volcano which is still considered active.

IMG_4945

Hilo Posts:

  • Volcano House
  • Steam Vents (Coming Soon)
  •  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)

IMG_4941

Location: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Volcano, HI 96718

Designation: National Park

Date established/designated: August 1, 1916

Date of my visit: April 16, 2019

IMG_4938