Seeing the lava flow on the Big Island was at the top of our list of things to do and see in Hawaii. Unfortunately we were 4 months late for this phenomenon. Nonetheless we had an amazing and educational time exploring the are devastated by the hot lava.
Searching for the lava flow on the Big Island
While in Hawaii, Charlie was always fascinated by driving to the end of the road. It’s because in Hawaii, there is always something spectacular at the end. And so we reached the end of the road once again in search of lava flow.
According to the map, this is where we were suppose to find it, in Kalapana, not too far from Kaimu Beach. We parked our car in a rather deserted space and set off on foot for a little walk.
The lava viewing activity and location change daily so it’s really hard to catch it. Check the map to see the current lava flow, you can also check the lava flow updates at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
It is not advisable to explore the lava flow area on your own as it can be dangerous. You should also wear hiking boots to protect your feet.
Later in our travels around the Big Island, we were lucky to see the lava glow in one of the youngest and the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea. It was completely breathtaking.
The lava flow changed its direction
Each time, seeing land covered in lava rocks felt devastating, but this area seemed different. Houses popping out and occasional cars passing by got us wondering what’s happening here.
Later we met a ranger who explained to us that, to our disappointment, the lava flow changed its direction. So if we wanted to see it, there was a 8 hour organised and challenging hike into the forest.
We also found out that the land we are standing on has been covered by lava 24 years ago and the other bit- as little as 3 years ago! Now that the lava changed its direction, people are coming back, reclaiming their land and rebuilding their homes and so is he!
Before coming to Hawaii, we were excited to see the lava flowing into the ocean. The view must be incredible and so we were going to do a helicopter flight. However, the ranger told us that the lava stopped flowing into the sea about 4 months ago… This saved us some pennies, but also left us wanting to come back to the Big Island.
Hawaiians became very good with controlling the damage and they regularly mark maps with road closures, but still, it can change its direction in the blink of an eye!
Have you seen the lava flow? Where did you see it? Let us know in the comments below…
Kalapana area on Google Maps:
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