We journey to see both ends of a cooled lava flow
Ever held a rock that is only 4 years old? Here, that's first on the agenda! We begin in Pahoa, where in 2014 a lava flow entombed part of the Transfer Station as it crept to within ¼ mile of this rural town. Let the stories guide your imagination to envision a glowing orange sky, lava swelling & bursting forth, folds of liquid rock hardening into pahoehoe lava, like elephant skin, now directly under your feet.
Next, listen to legends of Hawaiian folklore as we take the back roads up the mountain. Learn about the unusual geological history that makes our Hawaiian volcanoes unique.
Inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we will visit the renowned Jagger museum with its stunning caldera overlook, hike along the volcano's edge, stand next to natural steam vents, eat our picnic lunch, & complete our loop by walking through the Nahuku (Thurston) Lava tube.
As we return to Hilo, we stop at the lovely Rainbow Falls, minutes from downtown, then end our tour at the delightful and serene Queen Lilio'ukalani Park.
Please note: We will not be seeing hot, flowing lava on this tour.
Pickup at prearranged location
Drive directly to Pahoa
Backroads to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (About 45 minutes)
Pick up our fresh picnic lunch (for later)
Quick orientation at Visitor Center
Jagger Museum and Kilauea overlook. (This is a popular stop with all buses and tour companies, so can get quite crowded. We will stay here as long as you would like, but then sidestep the crowds off the beaten path, choosing from several options of short hikes and striking vistas. )
Steam vents- steam rising through cracks in the earth from the hot molten magma below
Kilauea Iki crater overlook- site of the amazing 1959 eruption, with lava fountaining 1900 ft high!
Nahaku (Thurston) Lava Tube- - walking inside the tube. (Note: There are stairs with safety rails. )
Drive back to Hilo
(Optional stop at a wonderful, small local farmer's market)
Stop at Rainbow Falls- minutes from downtown Hilo
End of day at Queen Lili'oukalani Park
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: I will meet you at a place of your choosing in the Hilo area, (including the Puna District). For cruise ship passengers, I will meet you outside the Port's security gate at the end of the green fence. Look for me smiling and waving my black, Jolly Roger (pirate) flag.
End location: I will drop you off at your Hilo/ Puna District accommodations, or a place of your choosing. For cruise ship passengers, I will drop you just outside the Port's security gate.
Duration: 4 hours
Sometimes weather & traffic may be a factor in tour duration but I will be alert to such circumstances and arrange time accordingly. If you are a cruise ship passenger, I will get you back to your ship in plenty of time, so there will be no stress for you.
You will be escorted in a very comfortable, clean, well-maintained, air-conditioned 2000 Honda Odyssey Passenger van. Please note that although we list the maximum passengers as 5, there are seatbelts for 6. (A "co-pilot" seat, 2 captain's chairs, and a back, bench-style seat, which holds 3, but is more comfortable with 2.)
All transportation, park fees, a delicious locally made lunch, light snacks & beverages, ponchos & umbrellas (if needed), your own photo folder in the "Cloud", stories, jokes, and a knowledgeable, enthusiastic guide.
The price of this tour does not include the purchase of items of a personal nature such as: souvenirs, "adult" beverages, any fruits or veggies purchased at the local market, etc.