Visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is usually the first item on the “to see” list when planning a trip to Big Island, HI. Here are just a few quick tips on making the most of the trip.
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When you go to the Volcano National Park in Hawaii you expect to see grand vistas of spewing lava and flying rocks of a very alive volcano. What you don’t expect is one of the most memorable hiking trails inside the caldera of a sleeping volcano. Kilauea Iki Trail is about four miles of some of the most unusual places you get to see. The trail begins with a descend through a lush tropical forest into a vast bowl of wastelands.
A long and very steep trail through the forest with enormous palm fronds reminds you that this is exactly how you have always imagined a tropical forest to look like. After a while the trail opens into the caldera. When you take that first step onto the lava field two things pop into your mind: first, you are happy you have followed the park brochure’s instruction and put those hiking boots on; and second, who would have thought that walking on lava sounds like walking on shards of broken glass. And surprises don’t stop there. You feel the heat coming from the ground and realize that the volcano underneath this thin glassy cover is not really dead, steam vents are all around you, and deep fissures crisscross the surface. But even in this devastated land you see the reminders that life will find its way with tiny shrubs and trees that someday will turn this place into a forest it was meant to be.