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“Spend some time hiking and enjoying park -- it is worth it!”

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
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Big Island Grand Circle Island Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
179 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Spend some time hiking and enjoying park -- it is worth it!”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

My family loves to hike so we spent a bit more time than some at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and loved it! At the advice of a great Park Ranger we took a 6 mi. loop that combined Halema'uma'u Trail with the Kilauea Iki for a great hike. Start early -- cooler and you hit more traveled parts of the hike while bus groups are still eating breakfast. Get the map but hike was: Behind Crater House pick up Halema'uma'u to stop 10 (trail stops at 10 because of activity at Halema'uma'u vent. Trail takes you to Byron Ledge and you pick up the Kilauea Iki trail down into that crater (go counter clockwise). Then zip over to the lava tube and back to complete Iki trail to Crater Rim trail (and portions of old road -- time warp stuff there) to get back to visitors center. Besides the unique landscape of the crater (you see many various stages/types of lava flow) there were a number of fun, noisy and colorful birds and aromatic flowers!

We also enjoyed the 2.5 mi Mauna Ulu trail (although we got into a rain squall and didn't see much at top) and of course enjoyed all the quick stops at the vents/Crater of Rim Road and even took the Hilina Paili Road (9 mi)(and saw wild pigs) to view the park from many angles.

Don't miss going back at night to see the steam vent glow! We went many times and each night it was quite different based on wind/rain/clear sky.

Visited August 2012
Thank lvvacations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
253 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2012

First, Volcano National Park is HUGE! And, there is something for EVERYONE! I'm so glad I visited. And, although I only had a few hours to see as much as possible, I made the most of my trip and was CERTAINLY impressed with what I was able to see!

Visited June 2012
Thank Thurman M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
564 reviews
190 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 285 helpful votes
“another world”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

Amazing! We visited VNP in June 2012 and spent one full day and another 1/2 day exploring the part, plus a short time in the evening. i highly recommend going on a few of the ranger-led walks. Watched the movie at the visitor center and went on an easy hike with Diane, a park ranger. She was very enthusiastic and talked fast with lots of good info. She explained the three w's of how plants got on the island...wings, wind, and water. Man screwed up the ecosystem by introducing non-native plants and animals. We viewed the smoke coming from the caldera, and were impressed. Then we drove to Jagger museum and saw the caldera even closer, and were more impressed. Had our picnic lunch and then went to Thurston Lava Tube, which was rather disappointing. Apparently the extended portion that the Blue Book talked about (and we brought our flashlights for), was closed. We hiked the Desolation Trail which wasn’t all that interesting. Then returned to the center for another ranger-led hike. This time ranger John, a botanist, took us on a two hour walk concentrating on the steam vents and sulpher vents. It was very interesting and he too was enthusiastic. Then we checked out the art gallery, which had some amazing pieces. While at the art gallery, we discovered that there was a hula demonstration the next day. It featured a very lovely couple who explained the nose flute, chants, stories and preparations of the hula. She actually wove fronds while we watched, and made an offering to Pele. It was very spiritual and interesting. The sun came out when she started dancing. The whole presentation was memorable and one of the highlights of the trip.

Visited June 2012
Thank travellerfromatown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Stunning with empty trails and all for $10.”
Reviewed August 17, 2012

The Park is sensational with access to world class landscapes for $10 for a car for a week. We took an introductory guided tour which was unexpectedly brilliant. Our guide explained flora, tectonic history and Hawaiian mythology and showed us an interesting part of the crater. Go early morning to Chain of Craters road and you can have it pretty much to yourself. It's breathtaking! Car parks get busy later in the day with lazy tourists in cars and tour buses but venture a few feet from the key sites and you literally have the park to yourselves. Halemaumau crater at night is worth a visit after dinner if you stay close enough.

1 Thank njod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nacogdoches, Texas
Level Contributor
52 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Nature at it's best and worst”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

Wife saw it from the sky and the rest of us drove part way around the Crater Circle Drive and stopped at the steam vents and the smoking Kilauea Caldera and the 1979 lava flow site. Incredible! We also stopped at the Visitor's Center and even though it was crowded, got good accurate information from a very informed young Ranger. Great st!

Visited August 2012
Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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