January 13, 2017

Must Do 4 Quick Stops at Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is a must do on the Big Island Hawaii. The park is not that big and therefore if you only have half a day, it's still a doable trip. One thing to keep in mind though if you stay far from the national park, there'll be some driving to do on the island. Make sure to check out the article 3 Places To Stay On The Big Island Hawaii so that you can base yourself for a visit to the Volcanoes National Park.

If you only half a day, here are some suggestion stops:

Stop #1 Steam Vents

From the KÄ«lauea Visitor Center via the Crater Rim Drive, on the left are the Steam Vents. The steam is the result of the ground water flows on the hot volcano rocks. While there, make sure to look around and there's a short trail that you can walk to see more steam and the active Kilauea Volcano from afar.

Steam Vents

Stop #2 Jaggar Museum

Going to the Volcanoes National Park, you sure want to see volcanoes, right? Continue driving on the Crater Rim Drive from the Steam Vents, you absolutely want to stop at the Jaggar Museum. This is the best place to see the Volcano! There's an overlook that you can see the active Kilauea Volcano. The sight will blow you away! While there, make sure to check out the museum if you are interested in learning about volcanoes.

Still Active Kilauea Volcano

Stop #3 Kilauea Overlook

Jaggar Museum is the end of the Crater Rim Drive road. So turning around, you can stop at the Kilauea Overlook to take in the sight of the Kilauea Volcano once again.

Stop #4 Thurston Lava Tube

Once you pass the Visitor Center, turn the other way towards the Chains of Craters Road. Given this is a half day suggestion, I would not recommend any long hiking itinerary. There's an area that you can park and then hike to the Thurston Lava Tube. It's a little bit of hiking or you can just keep on driving until you see the Thurston Lava Tube sign. Parking there is very limited, so you may need to drive back and forth little bit; however, do not drive all the way to the Chains of Crater Road as you will not have time. The distance to there is not bad, but the road is windy and low speed limit. Thus, it takes time to drive there and then you have to drive back the same way. It takes around 20 minutes one way.

Anyway, the Lava Tube is super awesome to check out. The cave-like/tunnel is the result of the flowing lava that created this natural wonder. It is one of my favorite things to see at the Volcanoes National Park.

Thurston Lava Tube

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