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Pictures of Volcano National Park
 
 

The Volcano House Hotel, established in 1846, is perched high above the Kilauea Caldera and is the only lodging available inside the park. It is located on Crater Rim Drive, across the street from park headquarters and visitor center. Crater Rim Drive provides easy access to popular attractions, such as Steaming Bluff, Jaggar Museum, Halema'uma'u Crater, and the Thurston Lava Tube.

The Kilauea Caldera as seen from the Volcano House Lodge.  Notice the stream vents in the background. Val's family and me. Warm your rump next to the hotel fireplace. Legend has it the fire has been burning continuously since 1874. A crater view room.
A crater view room. Steaming Bluff: Volcanic heat produces steam from rain water that drips through openings in the ground. Steaming Bluff: Volcanic heat produces steam from rain water that drips through openings in the ground. Steaming Bluff: Volcanic heat produces steam from rain water that drips through openings in the ground.
A vibrant rainbow over the Kilauea Caldera. A vibrant rainbow over the Kilauea Caldera. A vibrant rainbow over the Kilauea Caldera. Halema'uma'u Crater is the site of the most eruptions at the summit of Kilauea Volcano.  Between 1905 and 1924, a dazzling lake of molten lava circulated within its walls.  Then, in 1924, the lake drained away, allowing groundwater to penetrate deep inside the volcano.  Enormous steam explosions resulted, showering the landscape with rocky debris, still visible around the rim today.
It is believed Halema'uma'u Crater is the home of Pele, the volcano godess.  Pele is both creator and destroyer.  She throws molten fountains into the air, governs the great flows of lava, and sometimes reveals herself, for a few moments, in the fires of Kilauea.  Ferns are left as an offering of respect. Hazardous volcanic fumes condense into yellow sulfur around active vents. The Lava Rock Cafe is one of the few restaurants in the small town of Volcano and offers a great selection at reasonable prices. Mauna Loa

The Thurston Lava Tube provides a short walk (0.3 miles) through one of the park's "must sees." The first half is lighted and many of the loose rocks and stalactites have been removed. A stairway marks the beginning of the second, UNLIGHTED, half of the tube. A good flashlight is a must for those brave enough to venture into the total darkness.

Across the street is a great place to pick up the Kilauea Iki Trail. We highly recommend this 4-mile hike, which takes you from a thick rainforest, across the steaming crater, and up to the Crater Rim Trail.

The tree fern and 'Ohi'a Forest at the enterance to the Thurston Lava Tube. The tree fern and 'Ohi'a Forest at the enterance to the Thurston Lava Tube. The first half of the lava tube is lighted and has been cleared of stalactites. Wow, it looks just like plaque sticking to the inside of my arteries!
These stairs mark the end of the first half of the tube.  Those adventurous few can step behind the gate and explore the DARKER half. Make sure to bring a good flashlight since you'll be in total darkness (except for the annoying guy taking pictures!). Small stalactites can be found forming on the walls. Condensation collects on roots protruding from the ceiling of the lava tube.
Condensation collects on roots protruding from the ceiling of the lava tube. The Kilauea Iki Crater Trail provides a leisurely 4-mile hike that winds down and across the steaming crater. Kilauea Iki Crater Perhaps it wouldn't have rained on us had we offered a gift to the weather gods?
The 1959 Kilauea Iki eruption showered the land with falling lava from 1,900-foot-high fountains. The 1959 Kilauea Iki eruption showered the land with falling lava from 1,900-foot-high fountains. Though the crater resembles the surface of the moon, plant life has prevailed. We begin to ascend the crater walls.
The sky clears long enough for a group photo. Eastward view of the Kilaua Iki Crater. A pair of Kalij Pheasants beg for handouts.  They even offered to squeegee our windshield! Kalij Pheasant, male

 

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