Thurston Lava Tube

Pahoa, Hawaii

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This is a very popular (and safe) way to explore a potentially dangerous volcanic phenomenon. A lava tube forms when hot liquid rock is flowing at just the right rate of speed beneath the surface to allow the crust to cool while the still molten lava river. Stop for a look over the railing at the start of the trail down onto a dense tree fern forest, where interpretive panels provide information about rain forests and birdlife. Another panel to the right of the trail shows how a lava tube is formed. Start walking to the right (counterclockwise) downhill into the forest, where you might almost expect to see a velociraptor peeking out from behind one of the trunks.

Thurston Lava Tube Professional Review and Guide

"This is a very popular (and safe) way to explore a potentially dangerous volcanic phenomenon. A lava tube forms when hot liquid rock is flowing at just the right rate of speed beneath the surface to allow the crust to cool while the still molten lava river.

Stop for a look over the railing at the start of the trail down onto a dense tree fern forest, where interpretive panels provide information about rain forests and birdlife. Another panel to the right of the trail shows how a lava tube is formed. Start walking to the right (counterclockwise) downhill into the forest, where you might almost expect to see a velociraptor peeking out from behind one of the trunks."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Pahoa
Distance: 0.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Local Maps: USGS Volcanoes
Driving Directions: Directions to Thurston Lava Tube

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May 2018