Thurston Lava Tube Trail

Hilo, Hawaii

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This mini-adventure through a huge lava tube and its surrounding rainforest is both pretty and geologically interesting. Better still, it’s not much longer than its name. Walk across the parking lot toward the bare hump of Puu Puai to a superb viewpoint high on Kilauea Iki’s south rim. (If you go no farther than this, it’s still worthwhile!) Now backtrack a little to pick up the boardwalk of the Devastation Trail. On the boardwalk, you pass through a seemingly unscathed ohia forest and then abruptly enter a world of cinders. Where all was death and destruction over 30 years ago, a new forest now grows, and the dead-white remains of the old one lie on the ground, furred with moss. Descending gently, you pass through the still-bare area. It is distressing to see that aliens like blackberry and a redand- pink ground cover have established themselves so firmly.
Hawaii Trails: Walks, Strolls and Treks on the Big Island

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hawaii Trails: Walks, Strolls and Treks on the Big Island

by Kathy Morey (Wilderness Press)

This mini-adventure through a huge lava tube and its surrounding rainforest is both pretty and geologically interesting. Better still, it’s not much longer than its name. Walk across the parking lot toward the bare hump of Puu Puai to a superb viewpoint high on Kilauea Iki’s south rim. (If you go no farther than this, it’s still worthwhile!)

Now backtrack a little to pick up the boardwalk of the Devastation Trail. On the boardwalk, you pass through a seemingly unscathed ohia forest and then abruptly enter a world of cinders. Where all was death and destruction over 30 years ago, a new forest now grows, and the dead-white remains of the old one lie on the ground, furred with moss. Descending gently, you pass through the still-bare area. It is distressing to see that aliens like blackberry and a redand- pink ground cover have established themselves so firmly.

©  Kathy Morey/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hilo
Length: 0.33
Elevation Gain: 50 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Local Contacts: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Local Maps: USGS Volcano
Topo Map: Thurston Lava Tube Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Hawaii Trails: Walks, Strolls and Treks on the Big Island Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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