Hike Kilauea lava flows dating back to 1881 up to the historic flows of 2018. First, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth. Your National Park Service certified guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by.
You’re headed to Mackenzie State Recreation Area next located along the Puna Coast, location of the historic eruption of 2018. The highway here was closed by the marching 40 foot tall wall of crumbly a’a lava as it continued to the sea.
Take a hike along the now-closed highway, and then follow the lava flow through the pine forest to the altered coastline and cliffs overlooking the new black sand beach. Isaac Hale Beach Park is next. Lava floes encircled this popular Park miraculously sparing the infrastructure while completely destroying everything around it. Be sure to check out the boat launch ramp, now sitting in a pond cut off from the ocean by a natural berm of lava. Don’t forget to look for steam still rising from the cooling lava as you drive across it, along with the infamous “Fissure 8” erupting in the heart of Lelani Estates subdivision..
Next travel to the crown jewel of the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Briefly visit the Kilauea Iki Overlook before heading off on foot down the paved road to Keanakakoi. Check out the activity here from the historic 2018 eruption which buckled the road and caused racks and sinkholes. You’ll get a birds-eye view of the Kilauea Caldera and the enormous Halema’uma’u Crater, along with views of the trail you will take into the Caldera. This trail has been used to hike into the caldera since being established in 1846.