Scenes from the amazing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is worth the trip to Hawaii, the Big Island alone. My goodness, this park is amazing! Ah-maz-ing!

I want to attempt to illustrate what a fascinating site Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is with photos we’ve taken over several different trips.

Our first stop is a Halemaumau crater where a lava lake churns, vents and glows. This vent has been active since March 2008.

halemaumau at hawaii volcanoes national park

Halemaumau is not the only place within the park that you will see a smoky plume lifting from the ground. You can see many places where cracks in the ground create steam vents.

steam vent

Our next scene is from the Puu Loa petroglyph field, where the lava rocks can practically talk. These etchings recorded significant events in the lives of Hawaiians from centuries ago.

petroglyphs at Hawaii volcanoes national park

The different textures of lava can be quite interesting. The following photo shows jagged a’a lava on the left beside of a smooth pahoehoe flow.


Now for a reminder that it’s a good idea to park only in designated places.

In contrast to the nearly barren fields of lava, you can see thriving forests from Crater Rim Drive.

crater rim drive in hawaii volcanoes national park

The following photo from the Thurston Lava Tube path provides a better illustration of the beautiful tropical forest.

thurston lava tube on Hawaii volcanoes national park

At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can walk through Thurston Lava Tube where lava once flowed – a very unique opportunity.

thurston lava tube

One of the most fascinating hikes we’ve ever taken was across the crater floor at Kilauea Iki. The trail starts above the crater, then descends through a rainforest. The trail cuts across the crater floor where steam vents remind you that you’re near volcano activity. The loop trail then climbs back up the rim forests. It is definitely one of the top hikes in all of Hawaii.

kilauea iki trail across crater floor

And, last but certainly not least, we take a look at lava flowing into the ocean. It’s a sight that had me saying wow over and over again. See our post with advice on viewing the Big Island lava flow.

lava flowing into the ocean

I hope this collection of photos has shown that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is well worth visiting. There’s really so much to see and explore in this park. In fact there’s so much to see that we recommend staying two or three nights in the Volcano area. (Read more advice on where to stay on the Big Island.)

See our tips for visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

  1. We are very excited to be leaving for a trip to Hawaii (from Philadelphia) on Thursday. We visited the Big Island and Volcanoes National Park on a prior trip and I heartily endorse your advice that it is a “must see” place to visit. This time, we are taking the 7 day cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America and we’ll make our first visits to Maui and Kauai.

  2. Where is the last photo in this post from? The one with the lava entering the sea. I’ve been to the park a few times, hiked kileaua iki, seen the thurston lava tube, steam vents, halemaumau… but never have been able to see lava like that. We will be back on the big island in just over 3 weeks so I’m hoping the ocean entry will continue ’till then. but you never know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like