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Our Volcano Activities - An Adventure in Volcanoes National Park

Our adventure in Volcanoes National Park took place on day two of our Pride of Hawaii Cruise. Continued from our visit to the Volcano in Hawaii.

After the rain set in we decided, with the Big Island Revealed Guide, we decided that our next volcano activities would be on the Chain of Craters Road.


We decided to drive the 19 miles down the chain of craters road to avoid the rain (since we were at the top in the rain forest) - it was the right decision as we had SO much fun!


Every time there was an eruption and lava flow, they marked it with the date. So essentially, in places, we were standing on land that was younger than us. It was surreal to think that this land was younger than us!


Volcano Activities


The landscape changed gradually from lush to hardened lava flow and rock. There are some amazing lookouts over the ocean, and all the black lava rock. It really is a site to see. With gorgeous lookouts over the water and the really wild and fun road to drive down.


Around the 16 mile marker we could see the signs for the the Pu'u Loa Petro glyph Trail - We didn't have time to do the 15-20 min walk on the trail but many people on our ship did. Apparently there are hundreds of rock carvings and is the largest petro glyph field in Hawaii.


We went all the way to the bottom and then parked and walked the rest of the way. Make sure you have water and or food before taking this walk as it is hotter and longer than it looks. - there is a snack bar here.


Volcano Activities



This area was incredible! The lava flow made it all the way to the ocean, covering the road it it's path. This was some of the newest land on earth! It was awesome to see. There are many areas where they marked it off so that you didn't fall in a hole, or step on it and it would give way. You could hike up the hardened lava flow but I think you had to get special permission and by law you had to be back by dark - I would also recommend a guide as it can be very dangerous. Talk about some adventurous Volcano activities.


Check out some of our photos on com with descriptions of our trip down the road.


We visited in July of 2007 and the lava had stopped flowing a few months before. It started up again about 4 weeks before we got there. However the only way to see it was by helicopter. At the end of our trip to Hawaii we stayed on the Kona side of the Big Island for a few days. We took a helicopter tour from the Kona side so we could see the lava flow - It was spectacular!


Another note - We were told over and over not to take lava rock off of the Hawaiian Islands. Madame Pele (Hawaii's Fire Goddess) would be angered and we would have bad luck. The Park Rangers all have stories of how people have taken lava rock home, and then sent it back by mail as they had nothing but bad luck once they got home! So we took their advice and advised others too.


Next was the trip back up the road - not as exciting as on the way down! Overall this was our favorite of the volcano activities we did.


On the way back we stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube.

End of our Volcano Activities in Volcanoes National Park

Once we were finished at the Thurston Lava Tube we returned to Volcano House for a late lunch. (We wouldn't recommend this as it was expensive and not very good - although they are doing renovations on the hotel/restaurant so it might be better now).


Volcano Activities
Volcano House


Then made our way out of the park and down the mountain into Hilo. A quick stop at Hilo Hatties (an overpriced but cute souvenir shop) and Walmart (better prices for similar souvenirs) to stock up on supplies, and made our way back to the airport to drop off our car - then took the shuttle back to the ship.


There is NO doubt that we will bring Montana back to Volcanoes National Park one day. There is so many volcano activities and so much to learn, see and do both for kids and adults. We are looking forward to spending much more time there.

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