I felt a little bad about this but the day we went to Volcanoes National Park I kind of forced everyone to get up and get going early. I wanted to do the Kīlauea Iki hike early in the day before it got too hot and the park got crowded.

This was one of my favorite things the last time I visited and thankfully it was everything I had promised. It’s a “short” four miles in that it’s mostly flat and the views are so good you lose track of your distance. From up on the crater rim you can see how small the people in the crater look and then, after hiking down through the “bathtub ring” high lava mark, you’re down in the bowl and it’s like you’re in a different world.

There was a nice breeze blowing across the crater, the early morning lava hadn’t yet had a chance to absorb the Sun’s heat, and the hiking groups were spaced out enough so that we frequenty felt like we had the place to ourselves.

After that we drove to the trailhead for the Halema‘uma‘u eruption viewing. It’s not much of a hike—maybe a mile along a hot paved road—but the view is more than worth it. Multiple vents steaming and that palpable sense of power which changes your understanding of how the world works.


Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

3 thoughts on “Volcanoes”

  1. Haven’t been to the Big Island since I was a teen… but I’d like to one day make it back there. Especially after seeing all of these gorgeous photos.

  2. I couldn’t tell you what it was called, but I vaguely remember watching a program on the Discovery Channel back in 90’s that was about the lava fields. The two things that I remember from it were the little jungle oasis’ that sometimes sprung up in the middle of what was otherwise a barren area, and then the old lava tubes, some of which were like their own little underground world. The imagery from inside those particular tubes has stuck with me for all of these years.

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