End of Chain of Craters Road to Active Lava Flow is a 3.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pahoa, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.
The trail starts at the official "End of Trail" sign at the End of Chain of Craters Road in Volcanoes National Park. This is the only legal and authorized route to take to see active lava flows and new land formation. This is the continuation of the end of the Chain of Craters Road, across open lava fields, in hot sunny conditions. The hiking is difficult; the terrain is uneven, brittle areas of lava, wide cracks and partially collapsed lava tubes. Remember, lava is as sharp as broken class. Wear proper hiking boots, plenty of water (double your usually needs), it is hot and sun exposed so sun block and a hat is a must. Be sure to pack flashlights and head lamps if you think you may stay past sunset.
To get to the steam plume you can either bike or walk from the east or hike in from the west. We hiked in from the west. Great hike to the steam plume. Not technical at all, but bring plenty of water. It may be raining and cool on top of the ridge, but sunny and hot on the road. The road/trail is cinder all the way in, with a porta-potty about halfway through. It's about 4 miles in on the road, then you'll hit the NPS roadblock. It's then about a mile over lava field to reach the vent. As of JAN 17, you won't be able to see any lava - either going into the ocean or surface. But you'll see a lot of sulfur vents and be standing right over the lava tube. Check with your wife before exploring. AMAZING ocean and lava views all the way in. HIGHLY recommend the hike. Make a reservation at The Rim, for a phenomenal post-hike dinner! ***Wife's Tip Corner: You can do this trail in anything... technically. But highly recommend sturdy shoes, bandana for the vog, and work gloves as some of the lava is very sharp (my husband took his gloves off for a second and got a lava splinter). Ladies - your man might believe he is a volcanologist and go "exploring" over lava vents. I turned my back for one minute and off he went. Recommend a bell or little kid leash.***
Nice drive but ran into government keep out signs half way down dirt road. Not feeling it, we turned around.
I was the one to submit the trail description and location details. All that I have to say is all in there. For those who take on this hike, enjoy the adventure.