The Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park was originally founded in 1916, and will be celebrating its centennial this year. Located on the island of Hawaii, the park contains two of the most active volcanoes in the world, and this thrilling display of the power of mother nature has made it Hawaii’s most visited attraction.
Volcanoes have played a huge role in the formation of the planet as we know it today, and these eruptions were primarily responsible for the creation of the entire Hawaiian island chain. Mauna Loa and Kilauea are not only two of the most active volcanoes in the world, but also two of the most accessible, with a number of different geological processes occurring at any given time. Mauna Loa, in particular, is the largest mountain on the planet, standing 27,000 feet higher than Mount Everest. Rather than explosively erupting, these two volcanoes produce continuous fiery rivers of molten lava that make the park’s landscape an ever-evolving one.
Since the roads in the park do not require a four-wheel drive, visiting the park by car is easy, with two main roads that take visitors through some of the park’s highlights. If you only have time to take in one drive, the Chain of Craters Road is the one to pick, as this takes you past some of the most active volcanoes in the park, as well as to a river of lava that has literally taken over the road.
With over 150 miles of trails crisscrossing throughout the park, walking and hiking are two of the most popular activities here. All levels of ability are catered to, from paths that are well-maintained with clear signs, making them easy to follow, to trails that take more advanced hikers through the wilderness. There are a number of different day hikes that visitors can take, as well as plenty of backcountry hiking trails where overnight camping is permitted, promising an unforgettable night of sleeping under the stars with a majestic view of streaming lava rivers.
Arts and Culture
As captivating as the park’s natural beauty may be, there are also programs hosted that celebrate and share Hawaii’s culture. The Ike Hana No’eau program showcases the skilled traditional work that the native Hawaiians undertake, giving visitors the opportunity to learn from these local practitioners. From learning how to create stunning designs on a bamboo stamp to making your very own nose flute, this is an unforgettable way to understand more about Hawaii’s unique traditions and culture. The park also hosts the Na Lea Manu program, which is an evening concert series that features some of the finest musicians in Hawaii, sharing the aloha spirit with each visitor.
Boasting two of the most active volcanoes in the world, which continuously produce fiery rivers of lava, it is no surprise that Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is Hawaii’s most visited attraction. Since 2016 is their centennial, you are likely to notice a number of extra special events and activities hosted throughout the year, celebrating the multi-faceted landscape that this park consists of.