Kilauea Iki Hike
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was visit the Kilauea Iki hike. I wanted to see what does cold lava looked like and what it feels to walk inside a crater of a volcano. This hike is one of the things that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I arrived in the Big Island of Hawaii. The hike didn’t have a lot of views but the trail was very different than what I’ve been experiencing. The rocks and their formation was surprisingly entertaining. I could not wait to get down to the crater and see the hot vapors from the rocks go up to the air.
There was steam coming out of the rocks and they were definitely hot. Perhaps ‘hot’ is not the correct word but rather warm. I do not believe I would get burns from the vapors. I’m glad that they allowed us to experience the vapors since I was not able to do it when I went to the Yellowstone park. A lot of people were taking pictures of the steam as it looked surprisingly cool being enveloped by it.
Kilauea Iki Hike Volcano Crater
The Kilauea Iki hike crater was enormous. This massive crater was pretty amazing to walk into. In it were rocks that I have never seen before. The crater was just black with a few plants growing. It was surprising to see plant life growing from the rocks too. However, one of the main things that I like was the hot vapors or steam coming out of the rocks. This was the first time I’ve seen anything like it. I was glad that the park let people experience the heat rather than putting them off limits to the public.
Kilauea Iki Hike Forest
After going through the Kilauea Iki crater, I was surprisingly greeted by a lush green environment. There were plants every where. Although I was following a path, it was still kind of strange that plant life could grow near the volcano. Going back up top proved to be a little difficult as I wasn’t physically fit at that time. It was February when I went to this place and I have been hibernating all winter time. I was huffing and puffing. The stairs kept going up and not down. But I made it and had a great time. The trail was different and it was worth going to.
Kilauea Iki Hike – Thurston Lava Tube
The Thurston lava tube was near the Kilauea Iki trail. You can even go there after the hike with your car or during the hike. The Thurston lava tube wasn’t exceptionally amazing. It is nothing more than a tunnel. However, if you imagine that lava flows through this tunnel at one point in time then it is pretty spectacular. The tunnel entrance was pretty awesome as it had plants, branches and other things hanging on the top. For some reason, the parking for this place was huge. There were a lot of spots. The lava tube looked good but at the same time, it was very quick. There were a lot of people who were enjoying walking through it. A lot of kids and families visited this place. You can get to the opening to the end in very little time.
The Kilauea volcano can be see when you enter the Kilauea Iki trail. However, it is way too far. You can get a closer look if you go to the observatory. In there, you can clearly see smoke coming out of the volcano crater. When I was looking at it during the afternoon, a part of me wanted to climb down and go to the crater itself to take a look at it. But I know better not to do that as guards may take me for trespassing or worst, the ground may cave in and I would swim in lava.
It looked rather amazing at night as the smoke turns into red because it is reflecting the light emanating from the lava. Be warned though as this is a very popular attraction. You will see a lot of tourists taking pictures on the edge of the observatory. The crowd didn’t disperse until 9 PM. Night time starts at 6 PM. So that is 3 hours of waiting to be alone to get a good shot. You may get lucky as people come and go. You should prepare your camera since taking pictures in low light can be pretty challenging.
Would I Hike This Again
While I did have a great time on this place, I most likely will not hike it again. It was interesting and very new but I think it is one of those one time things. I only want to do it one time in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the experience was worth it. I had a lot of fun and a great time doing hiking it also. But I think I would rather spend my days in Hawaii doing something else rather than going a second time in here.