Postcard from Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Hawaii

by SHERRY OTT / Nov 29, 2011 /
SHERRY OTT's picture

Postcard from Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Hawaii

Tourists peer at the Halema’uma’u Crater from the safety of the Jaggar Museum in Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The Big Island is full of diversity and Volcanoes Park is one of the most unique areas of the massive island.  At the Jaggar Museum you can learn about Pele, the volcano goddess whose presence is everywhere in the park, but is said to live in the Halema’uma’u crater.  The crater hasn’t erupted since 2008, but within the last few years it has been more active spewing toxic vog (volcanic smog).  In the picture you can see the vog filling the sky and blowing to the leeward side of the island. 

 

If you go to the Big Island, a visit to Volcanoes Park is a must.  You can see the crater, as well as take a drive down to the coast on the Chain of Craters Road which is a feast for the eyes.  The road winds through the park and various lava fields and pit craters, finally winding down to the abrupt, rocky lava coast.  You will go through dense rain forest, desolate lava fields, vog, rain, and then finally end on the sunny, warm coast where you can go no further thanks to lava engulfing the road back in 1988.  Take a picnic with you and enjoy a snack at the end of the road for sunset, then drive back to the Halema’uma’u overlook once the sun has set and see the red-hot glow of lava in the crater which can only be seen at night. 

 

The park is like nothing I’ve experienced before and I spent 2 days there driving around and taking photos of the varied landscapes.  To learn more about the park and the instability of the Big Island be sure to talk to a Park Ranger or take the Twilight Volcanoes tour from Hawaii Forest and Trail.  This park is a geology lover’s dream!

 

 

Postcard from Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Hawaii

Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer.  She's a co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go!, a website and national event offering career break or sabbatical travel inspiration and advice.  She also runs an around the world travel blog where she writes about her travel and life experiences at Ottsworld.