Where To See Lava Flow In Hawaii

08/16/2017 | by Conrad O'Connell | Big Island Local Tips

When you think of Hawaii, several things come to mind about the natural beauty that is present here. You can picture the beautiful beaches with their sparkling, dark sand. You might imagine the lush rainforests with colorful flowers and waterfalls. But Hawaii is also known for its incredible rugged beauty. The very basis for the island’s existence is the line of volcanoes that brought about the land masses from the bottom of the ocean floor. They formed the island chains through eruptions that cooled and hardened in the surf. Once the islands were formed, the volcanoes continued to be active in certain areas.

There are four active volcanoes located on the Big Island. They are Hualalai, Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Loihi. Although it is definitely still active, Loihi is still under water at the present time. Kilauea has a reputation for being one of the volcanoes in the world that is most active. It has been constantly erupting since the year 1983. It developed a second lava vent recently, making it the only volcano in the world that has two lava vents simultaneously. It is hard to anticipate what the lava flow will look like when you arrive to view it. At times the lava is bright red with crackles and hissing as it meets with the ocean. Other times, it is just the quiet crater in all its rugged beauty.

How To Get Close To The Lava Flow

Photo credit: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm
Photo credit: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm

If you are planning on a trip to Hawaii and would like to visit the lava flow on the Big Island, there are several ways to enjoy it. In order to have an enjoyable and safe experience, it is a good idea to book a guided tour. Tour guides are familiar with the current status of the volcano and will have visitor’s safety as their top priority. There are several ways to see the lava on the Big Island. You can fly, bike, walk or go by boat to see the lava. It all depends on what kind of experience you would like to have and how comfortable you feel with close proximity to the lava. The caldera rim of Kilauea has scenic overlooks and other vantage points where lava can be viewed. Crater Rim Trail also provides views of the caldera lake. Kilauea’s new vent is called the Pu’u’O’o vent. This is located in the East Rift Zone and you can fly over it in a sight-seeing airplane or helicopter. There are also boat tours that take people to see the eruption. Bikers are able to now bike an eight mile path around the lake to see the lava. There are several companies that rent bikes and have organized tours for these paths including Bike Volcano and Kalapana Cultural Tours.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a standard place for seeing the lava on the Big Island. This park is open 24 hours away, but the area for lava viewing is open between the hours of 3:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Local experts advise that the best time to see Hawaii lava flow is in the late night or early morning. Hotels are also offering lava viewing tour packages as a part of their services. One exciting excursion is the Ultimate Pop-Up Volcano Adventure that is offered by the Four Seasons in Hualalai. This package offers a helicopter tour over the landscape in the daylight hours. There is a night hike later with a cottage tucked away in the rainforest for sleeping accommodations afterward. Other accommodations include Grand Naniloa Hilo Hotel and Volcano House. These are both located very near the lava flow as well as the airport. This will be a welcome convenience if you would like to book a lava fly-over package.

One thing is certain, and that is the beauty of the volcano. It is rare that you can see land being formed while it happens. It is a revered part of Hawaiian culture and respect should always be shown to the volcanoes. They are very important to the Hawaiian people, as is Madame Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of the volcano. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, there are many ways for you to also enjoy this beautiful natural phenomenon.

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