Where: Kilaeuea, Big Hawai’i island, Hawai’i
When: Pleasant temperatures year round
Best Sights: Pink and purple magma and steam
Remember to Bring: A good local guide
Watch out for: Taking her terminal tumble into the steamy crater
The islands of Hawai’i were all formed by volcanic activity during the course of millions of years. Kilauea is said to be the home of Pelli the fire godess, who created Hawai’i by amassing layer upon layer of lava. The story goes that her sister chased her all over the island. Pelli took refuge in the Halimaumau crater, from where she continues her monumental task to this day.
A night-time hike up to the crater’s edge is an unforgettable experience. Jets of magma spurt high into the air, and crimson rivers flow down the side of the volcano, forming new land with each eruption. The sky is turned pink by thick, billowing steam clouds.
For up to date information on whether it’s safe to hike to the crater’s edge call the Eruption Hotline. Details are posted in phone booths in the vicinity.
– Park rangers don’t encourage hikers to go without a guide, because every so often an over eager tourist gets too close to the edge, and take a fatal tumble into the crater.
– Because of the danger of being overwhelmed by toxic fumes it’s not advisable to hike through the steam clouds.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Weekly web newsletter written by the scientists at the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Hawaii – The Islands of Aloha
Official Visitors guide to the islands of Hawaii.
By Jess Halliday