Kilauea Lava Flow
* End of Highway 130 on the east side not far from Kalapana, Big Island, Hawaii *
Flowing out of the active volcano K?lauea on the Big Island, comes one of the world’s most frequent outpouring of lava. Lava has been issuing continuously at Pu?u ???? since January 1983. In 1998 K?lauea was said to be the most active volcano on the Earth, whose volume of erupted material could pave a road across the world 3 times (according to wikipedia). This is one of the most recent volcanoes in the world. This is also the legendary home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano Goddess, whom when angry, erupts. Since the 1983 eruiption along the East rift zone from the Pu?u ???? vent and also the K?pa?ianah? vent, Kilauea continues to produce lava flows that travel 11 to 12 km from these vents through tube networks that discharge into the sea to two sites, Wahaula and Kamokuna. In the early to middle 1980s K?lauea was known as “The Drive-By Volcano” because anyone could ride by and see the lava fountains — some as much as 1,000 feet in the air — from their car. In 1987, the flows destroyed the Royal Gardens Subdivision and now is one of the cheapest subdivision of lots – some of which sell for approximately $500, and is the newest real estate in the world, but there is little chance of ever rebuilding on them. More destructive flows hit in 1990, destroying the towns of Kalapana, Kaim?, Kaim? Bay, Kalapana Black Sand Beach, and a large section of State Rte. 130, which now abruptly dead-ends at the lava flow. More flows in 2008 destroyed an abandoned neighbourhood. At the end of Highway 130, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials setup a viewing center where people can come view the active flows daily. As of my visit on August 7, 2009 – these viewings are still active. When we went, we were very under-equipt, as it is very important to listen to their advice of good shoes/boots, flashlights, and clothing. We had one flashlight amongst three of us running at different paces, and had poor shoes, so it was quite a treacherous 1/2 mile hike into the the viewing area on sharp brutal lava rock fields with holes, pits, crevaches, and stumbling zones. Highly recommended to wear comfortable socks, walking shoes, hiking boots, and clothing prepared for the various climates of hot, damp, or cold. Daytime bring sunscreen, shades, and a hat. Night-time were jackets and/or sweatshirts, windbreakers, raincoats, or hoodies. (watch the weather and prepare) Bring water! Its still quite a distance from the active area where it flows into the ocean, so sometimes is hard to see, though best seen at night. This is for safety. As you can tell from the night photos, its hard to see more than a leaping glowing haze, other than the daytime pics shown here that where purchased from one of the many vendors in the parking lot. Thousands of visitors come here daily. It can get quite crowded. Try to get to the area by sunset and stick around for dark viewing. Viewing point doesn’t open until 2 pm and closes at 10 pm. Cars are not allowed to enter past 8 pm. Gloves are recommended in case you fall so you don’t tear up your hands. Binoculars are a bonus. Follow the rules at the Park, listen to the Rangers, keep your car locked and valuables out of sight. It was a fun experience. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Kilauea Lava Flow