Monday, April 28, 2014

Things to Do: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii

ceremonial offering to Pele at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park  On Hwy. 11, 30 mi. SW of Hilo, (808) 985-600.  The Visitor Center schedules informative ranger-led nature walks that will teach you about the legend of Pele, the beautiful fire goddess whose anger is said to cause the island’s volcanoes to erupt (you’ll also learn how to avoid the bad luck believed to be attached to volcanic rocks).  The Junior Ranger program operates here for children ages 5 through 12.  Don’t miss the 11.3-mile Loop Drive along Crater Rim Road around the huge, otherworldly Kilauea Caldera (descriptive maps are available at the Visitor Center).  Several stops along this road are particularly worthwhile and fun with kids--Kipuka Puaulu Bird Park has a pleasant 1-mile nature trail that leads past an extensive collection of labeled native plants, and Devastation Trail offers a half-mile boardwalk path through a skeleton forest created by a prior eruption.  The Thurston Lava Tube, a naturally formed tunnel, measures an extraordinary 450 feet long and is located in a lush tropical rain forest known as the Fern Jungle.  Also within this park, the 13,680-foot-high Mauna Loa volacano, measuring 75 miles by 64 miles, is the largest mountain on Earth. 

More things to do on the Big Island.

More things to do in Hawaii.

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image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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