1 ) Our Kilauea volcano eco hike begins in the high Hawaiian rainforest at Kilauea
Iki look-out, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where, just 50 years ago, the
highest and hottest lava fountain ever recorded in Hawaiian history, 1900 feet!, spewed
spectacular fireworks like never seen before, creating a wide, flat lake of black lava
414 feet deep. Looking down 500 feet onto the congealed lava, which appears as a
sea of black waves, people appear as ants traversing the caldera floor, which is still
steaming through cracks and rifts in the earth's crust. As we traverse the lush tropical
jungle, we will meet the "King and Queen" of the rainforest and their minions, the
native plants and animals of the islands, of which more than 90% are endemic,
found nowhere else on planet Earth!
Descending into Kilauea Iki crater via switchback trails, you will experience the surreal,
thrilling one-mile trek across what once was a molten lava lake, now hardened
ropey pahoehoe and sharp, treacherous, clinkery a'a lava, surrounded by 500 foot
cliffs. Where else in the world can you walk on lava in the caldera of
a volcano active only 50 years ago? Hawks, koa'e kea (white-tailed
tropic birds) and clouds soar high overhead, as we pass Pu'u Pua'i cinder cone,
Eruption Hill. Kilauea Iki caldera may be hot and windy, cold and rainy, misty or
foggy - whatever! And conditions may change in a moment! Often, ethereal rainbows
appear like magic through the steaming vents on the caldera floor, which sparkles with
millions of glittery green crystals of olivine and titanium rainbow lava.
Truly an alien landscape, you may feel as if you are on the moon!
2) Carefully ascending the steep trail out of the crater and back into the Hawaiian
rainforest, we will head for our next destination, Devastation Trail. Along the way,
we encounter stunning views of the huge Kilauea Caldera and Halema'uma'u,
home of Goddess Pele, from which a lovely snow-white plume, appearing like a
cloud-maker, has been issuing since 2008. We stop on Byron's Ledge for great
photographs, and continue on through a lovely forest path carpeted with gold moss
which I call "the yellow-brick road," passing a bright green grove of what appear to be
giant Boston Ferns. We stop again at a cliff-hanger among the giant ferns for another
spectacular view and photographs of Halema'uma'u.
The terrain changes as we approach Kilauea volcano Devastation Trail, becoming drier
and warmer, until the path itself becomes pure cinder. Pu'u Pua'i comes again into
sight, but from this vantage point, appears as a perfect curve of blondish-reddish earth,
Pele's Breast. Above us is the ghostly Devastation Peak, and all around us are
bleached white tree bones, the macabre skeletons of trees, in all their ghostly beauty,
and the landscape dotted with cinder pit craters, just as they were left by Kilauea Iki's
eruption of 1959. As we climb Devastation Hill, through Ohia trees usually loaded with
crimson-red lehua blossoms, the food of 90% of Hawaii's native birds, superb views of
Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea arise before our eyes; that is, weather permitting, for
sometimes the mountains are blanketed by eerie fog and mist.
This is the best place on the island to see and photograph Mauna Loa, the biggest
mountain on Earth, the second largest in the solar system, in its entirety--in winter,
it may by draped by a majestic mantle of gleaming snow. We pause on Kilauea
volcano Devastation Peak and just breathe in the vision of the tropical mountains, the
unbelievably huge hole in the ground below us, Kilauea Crater, and the Ka'u Desert
in the distance. We then continue on the cinder trail, passing charred remains of Ohia
trees, the famous "volcano tree molds."
3) Pele's Playground! The Place of the Guardians! This is a place few people know
about! It defies description, an eerie lava landscape, where lava monsters and other
whimsical, fantastic creatures play in a totally surreal fantasy land. A place that bears
the echoes of childhood dreams and nightmares! This place is so special, to protect it,
I am not going to post a photo here. Suffice it to say, seeing is believing!
4) A real treat: a two-mile silent retreat walk through an old growth Kilauea
volcano rainforest. Why silent? So that you may experience the rainforest in all of its
mystery and magic. I call this the "Enchanted Forest," and enchanting it is.
Creaking limbs, whispering and sighing breezes, chirping, trilling, rare songbirds, the
gurgling of shy Kalij fowls, and the mesmerizing om of swordtail crickets delight the
ears. The giant tree ferns, many 30 feet tall, wave their delicate, feathery fronds in
the breezes, touching us gently as if blessing us as we pass along the path beside them.
Rare endemic plants surround us at every turn in the trail --stag's tongue ferns, wild
orchids... thimble berry and wild strawberry abound. This is the gentle woodland
garden realm of Laka, the beautiful goddess of the forest.
Nature spirits are alive and well here! We will walk in silence and awe through a forest
which once only bird catchers and sacred herb gatherers walked in solitude, and if we
are attuned, we may feel how the ancients must have felt walking through this sacred
ground -- respectful, appreciative and with wonder. We will take our time to enjoy
and drink in the magic and mystery of this pristine rainforest.
5) Leaving the Enchanted Forest, we hike along a portion of Escape Road and arrive
at our last stop, Nahuku Crater, with its 1500 foot long lava tube cave,
Thurston Lava Tube. With its gaping dark entrance, it looks foreboding. No
worries, however! I furnish flashlights, and we will carefully walk through the
cavernous tunnel with puddles of watter and roots hanging eerily from the ceiling.
After Thurston lava tube cave, we climb the slope of Nahuku crater and hit the trail
again. One-half mile back to our starting point, Kilauea Iki overlook.
A truly magical, mystical tour through eons of evolutionary time!
|A hale and hearty Kilauea volcano nature hike for the adventurous!
An exhilarating, inspiring trek through the tropical Hawaiian rainforest,
across a still-steaming caldera, over a ghostly cinder-cone,
to a near-secret lava landscape that defies description,
through a magical old growth forest
and into a giant lava tube cave...
|Currently suspended until Kilauea Iki reopens!
But...you can still read about it here:
|Hiking Kilauea Volcano
|Kilauea Volcano Sightseeing at its best!
You can choose from guided group tours to see what Kilauea has to offer. You can listen
to everyone yakking their heads off while the rare forest birds are singing, you can look
longingly over the crater wall when you would love to be hiking down into it, you can be
herded like sheeple through noisy parking lots, etc....
Volcano Village Hawaii
Images may not be used
if you want to have an authentic nature experience,
if you are an experienced hiker,
if you are a bird watcher,
if you are a photographer,
if you want to explore the paths less traveled
and experience the beauty and mystery of Kilauea
with just the sounds of nature in your ears,
you want this:
|The ancient Hawaiians regarded Kilauea as the naval of the world, and it is considered the
most sacred place in Hawaii.
I can help you experience it the way the ancients revered it.
I take individuals or a party of no larger than four people. meeting at 7:30 in the morning,
when the day is just beginning, the air is crisp, the caldera floor is still cool, the birds are just
getting their day started, and swarms of loud tourists have not arrived. I love the volcano and
hike it 29 days a month, rain or shine, with others or alone. I really enjoy turning others on
to one of the most beautiful places on Earth!
|For more information,
|Learn about native
the geology of
on this most
only to the wind,
and the songs of
rare tropical birds
as you hike
in the Hawaiian
Some of the
rarest birds in the
world live on
You are may see
or the magnificent
Hawaiian hawk, the
A great Hawaii
giant lava cave,
which a river of
rushed on its way
to the sea.
|My guided hiking tour fills way in advance!
Here are the details:
Our hike begins at 7:30 a.m., where we meet in the Park, rain or shine.
(It's wonderful to hike in the rain, imho!)
This hike is limited to four people over the age of 18, unless we arrange
otherwise. This is NOT a hike for children.
You bring water, a snack, sunscreen, a hat, sturdy walking shoes and sunglasses.
We will be hiking on a'a lava, that's the rough kind, so you might want to wear
I bring rain parkas for everyone, a first aid kit, flashlightes for the lava cave,
and my extensive knowledge and contagious enthusiasm!
P.S. If you are a birdwatcher, we can begin even earlier! By as much as one
hour. Let me know!
**Also, I can arrange a gourmet sandwich picnic lunch, for parties of three or
for an additional $30.00 per person. Ask!
|We will hike to five main places, two of which no other tour guide
Rated moderate in difficulty.
Interested? Read on!
|If you are interested in hiking with me,
send me an email here:
|An approximately 5 hour, 6 mile Kilauea volcano eco hiking tour through dreamy woodlands,
congealed lava wastelands, desolated forests, eerie lava tube caves...
I came to Hawaii 35 years ago as an art and horticulture student at the University of
Hawaii. Just couldn't ever leave again! I am a multi-media artist, avid naturalist, and
meditation teacher. I am the author of several books, including Bones of Love, Stories
of Old Hawaii and two travel guides to the Big Island:
The New Insider’s Guide to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: After
The New Insider’s Guide to the Best Beaches
The Big Island Hawaii
My artwork is available in fine Big Island Galleries,
including Volcano Art Center within the Park
On the steaming floor of the
frozen lava lake of Kilaluea I'ki in
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Kilauea is the most active volcano
on Earth! This is raw
footage--please excuse the
camera shake. The sound in the
background is the wind!
on a misty day
with a rainbow!
|The New Insider's Guide to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: After the
Update weekly as new areas of the Park opens!
|On the other hand, interested in a self-guided tour?
This is the guidebook you need!
Plan before you come!
|A great guide!
Ainahou Ranch, Chain of Craters, Devastation Trail and Desolation Peak, Holei Sea Arch, Ka’u Desert
Footprints, Kipuka Puaulu (Bird Park), Namakani Paio (Place of the Conflicting Winds), and the unbelievable
Place of the Guardians (Pele’s Playground). Other incredible sights include Pu’u Huluhulu (Shaggy Hill), Pua Po’
o (Cock’s Comb Cave, Wild Cave), Steaming Bluff, Sulfur Banks, Sandalwood Trail, The Enchanted Forest, and
Tree Molds. These are only some of the places
you’ll love exploring!
Also, the best of Volcano Village, the storybook pretty hamlet just outside of the Park, and the place where you
will want to stay during your visit to Kilauea, is included.
This is the Kilauea guide for both families on vacation and adventurers extraordinaire!
You won't be able to wait to get there!
|Halema'uma'u Crater, Kilauea
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
|Are you a
We will hike to places
where you can get
The New Insider's Guide to the Best Beaches
of the Big Island Hawaii:
Newly Revised 2018 with Maps and Complete Directions!
|Planning to beach it while you're on the Big Island?
You'll want this great guide too!
|Here you'll find the top 22 beaches on the Big Island, ranked by a beach lover,
a beach connoisseur, who knows intimately the beaches of this magical isle.
From a secluded beach at the bottom of the world's most active volcano,
accessed only by hiking a desolate frozen lava trail, to a white sand crescent
moon beach with a 5-star hotel, designated one of the five most beautiful
beaches in the world, you'll find the beach of your dreams here.
Plan before you come!
|From a secluded beach at the bottom of the world's most active volcano, accessed only
by hiking a desolate frozen lava trail, to a white sand crescent moon beach with a 5-
star hotel, designated one of the five most beautiful beaches in the world, you'll find
the beach of your dreams here!
Want to camp on a rugged beach in an uninhabited valley, and sleep to the sound of
wild surf? Want to sit atop a sugary white sand dune and watch silvery dolphins leap
from turquoise waters into the golden sky in the diamond sunshine? Or maybe you
want to swim in an emerald-green bay so close to spinner dolphins that you can hear
them joyfully singing to one another?
What about finding the best body and boogie-boarding beach in the Islands, where the
surf never stops rolling, and whose white sands magically disappear and then
reappear? Want to go where wild horses run up and down a black sand beach in a
valley of waterfalls? Or would you like to leave your footprints on a bejeweled green
sand beach, sparkling with semiprecious stones, on a windswept, steep-cliffed bay,
with nothing between you and Antarctica, but the deep blue sea?
This guide, written by a beach lover and naturalist will take you to these astounding
places, and more.
They're all waiting for you here, in "The New Insider’s Guide to the Best Beaches of the
|Nowhere else on Earth is there a place like Kilauea! Here is the fiery
pit of Kilauea, the most active volcano on the planet, home to goddess
Pele, with her congealed lava wastelands, roiling lava lake, eerie
frozen lava tubes, fire and smoke--all set within the emerald jewel
rainforest of dreamy woodlands, lush tropical jungle and exotic birds
An incredible juxtaposition of extremes!
|Ho ‘ola ‘manu i ke aheahe.
The birds poise quietly in the gentle breezes.
Pause to enjoy the beauty all around you.
Be at peace in the world.
Mahalo and aloha!
|Back to the main page
for all the information on
Volcano Village and Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park,
|Back to the main page
for all the information on
Volcano Village and Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park,