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Hiking in Kilauea Iki Crater

Hiking in Kilauea Iki Crater

Shadow portrait in the middle of the Kilauea Iki Trail (Crater National Park, Big Island, Hawaii)

We didn’t plan much on our trip to Hawaii last month, but every day was fantastic. One day we woke up and decided to drive to Crater National Park. It’s a long drive from Kona, but there were some adventures along the way. We were disappointed to learn at the park that there was no lava flow that could be observed at the time. We were told that the only lava to be seen would be the glow from the main crater of the Kilauea Volcano after the sun went down. We had hours to kill and no idea how to spend them. We asked a ranger what we could do to pass the time. She gave us a trail map and said we had just enough time to walk the Kilauea Iki Trail.

Amazingly enough, even though we hadn’t planned this hike, it ended up being one of the best hikes we’ve ever been on. You pass through lush forests, walk on smooth lava rock, and finish in a lava tube. Highly recommended.

The best time of day to do this hike in the late afternoon, counterclockwise. Not only will it be much cooler (Kona was in the 90s; this walk was in the 70s), but you will get some beautiful shadows and a sunset view beyond the crater at the end.

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