This 4 mile loop took us about 2.5 hours. Beginning part of the trail took us through the lush rain forest at the top of the crater. Then, we descended all the way to the bottom and walked on the floor of the frozen, but still steaming Kilauea Iki crater lava lake. We passed lots of cracks and steams coming from underneath. In one place you felt like you were in the sauna room... that's how steamy it was there. The air was chilly, but once you were crossing the steam, you felt a rush of hot air blowing across your face. Walking on lava in the crater was an experience that you don't come across every day. It was incredible to see how nature struggles to get through anything just to get closer to the sun. Keep in mind that this lava lake was formed after the 1959 eruption. At the end, we had to ascend again from the lava lake into the rain forest. After this trail we walked through the Thurston Lava Tube which was kind of cool but nothing too spectacular. It was a bare tube with no living plants inside.
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