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Without volcanoes there would be no Hawaii. Fortunately for the world, Hawaii's volcanoes continue to produce their famous molten lava, which results in a growing mass of paradise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. One of the most spectacular spots to witness this natural miracle in action is on the Big Island of Hawaii at Volcanoes National Park, where two active volcanoes (Mauna Loa and Kilauea) regularly spout ash clouds, smoke and hot lava into the sea. Visitors can hike around the park and experience an incredible range of microclimates and sites, from rain forests to eerie lava tubes to spectacular views of the ocean. Volcanic activity is responsible for a new island that is currently being created in Hawaii, which would bring the total number of islands to 9 in the state's chain. Just off the southern coast of the Big Island is Loihi, an underwater volcano that has been erupting since 1996. The new island is scheduled to break the ocean's surface in about 250,000 years, so we have a while before we need to book our reservations.

We hiked this trail in the afternoon on a really rainy day. We had ponchos on and made the most of it! What a beautiful trail. Even though it was raining, there were a lot of people on the trail. It's a popular easy hike- but definitely worth it!

road biking
10 days ago

My husband and I went at 5 am trying to do it before the sun rise. It was raining like crazy that day so we waited out the rain. We probably started biking around sunrise and it takes a good 30 to of bike riding. The bike I rented was terrible, but it just added to the whole experience. What a cool morning . We walked past the ranger sign and towards the beach. We sat down and watched the lava going crazy. Just beware of the plume of smoke. Winds can shift quickly and you need to get out of the way. But even with the sun rising we saw the red lava... rock explosions into the ocean.... walked around and saw Pelle's hair. I highly recommend going to the Observatory before doing this hike if you are a first timer. Gave us a good education for our lava hikes.

My 11 year old son, my husband and I (both in our mid 40s) had the privilege of experiencing the beauty and thrill of this hike walking across the floor of a crater that was once a lava lake with warm steam/vent still coming out of the ground. I was a little nervous reading that this 4mi trail is rated moderate to challenging and that it may take 2-3 hours to complete. Much to my surprise, the hike was fairly easy, even the 400 ft descent was very manageable. We finished the hike in 1.5 hours which included taking pictures and spending some time to ponder and reflect on the wonder of this magnificent crater.

Done this 3 times, with a 4th planned next month. You can rent a bike (there's hundreds of bikes at a dozen or so places), pay for a ride, or hike. I've hiked out every time. Plan a minimum of 4 hours if you hike it - time to get in and out, and time to ooh and ahh at the lava. It is well worth the hot, boring journey, I promise! If you have the energy, all the Rangers and go off the gravel road to wherever the breakouts are happening. You can get up and personal with the lava, it's spectacular. Best is to go in during daytime, watch the sunset, and walk out at night. Bring a flashlight (depending on the moon, you may not even need it, but still very good to have), good shoes (the gravel and lava eat shoes), and water water water! This is my absolute favorite hike, not because of the hike itself but because of the view at the end. I cannot recommend enough.

You can no longer get close to the active crater. With signs posted everywhere to warn you not to go any further. It was still an amazing part of our 13mile hike, and wish that one day we can come back.

We did this loop after hiking 7miles through the volcano and it was the perfect easy walk before we started the 7miles back to our car. Very cool and very wet inside.