Greetings from Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

We love this park & visit every time we are in Hawaii. The views are spectacular & ever changing. On our last 2 visits in 2023 & 2024, however, we were very disappointed. After carefully monitoring the weather for a week, which is very different from that on the dry side of the island, we decided to make the two hour drive from our condo. Despite consistent reports of “dry & sunny from 2 p.m. on”, we arrived to 57 degrees & a light sprinkle, which soon turned to intermittent rain. Everything was socked in by fog & it was almost impossible to see anything, let alone take pictures. We were there right before the Kilauea eruption in 2018 & have terrific pictures of the lava bubbling, “burping” & sometimes shooting small red hot rocks into the air, taken from the observatory destroyed when the eruption occurred, but the eruption(s) & subsequent quakes completely changed the “face” of the park. We have not yet been able to get a good “handle” on how the park now looks. In 2021, we were able to see the lava lake (now dry) & some trickles of liquid lava breaking through the surface but since then nada. Very frustrating to spend 4 hours of precious vacation time driving only to not be able to see much of anything. Both times, when we returned to ocean level, the forecast for the day for the park was still “dry & sunny”. From now on, I think we will call the ranger station before heading up to the park for the day to find out, first-hand from the rangers, what the weather is like there that day &, based on their experience, how it looks like the day will proceed. If it doesn’t look good, we will change our plans. We can always go to the beach. We did see a wild pig this time - probably about 200-300 pounds, complete with tusks! Glad we were in the car. Although they are supposedly shy & avoid human contact, it would be my luck to run into an aggressive one on the trails.


Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

This park preserves the natural setting of two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the most active in the world, and Mauna Loa, one of the largest in the world. Visitors can hike across the floor of a dormant crater, view ancient petroglyphs and steam vents, and stroll through a primeval rain forest to an ancient lava tube. Wildlife include endangered endemic species like the Hawaii honeycreeper and the nēnē (Hawaiian goose).

State(s): Hawaii

Established: 1916

“They are a national treasure. If they are not supported & maintained, they will cease to exist. You can only draw so much from pictures. You have to be there & be able to take in the entire panorama to truly appreciate the breadth & magnificence of the parks. We are fortunate to live on the outskirts of the Cuyahoga Valley National Forest &, while the deer are destroying the ecosystem due to a lack of predators, we do enjoy seeing the red fox & bald eagles that populate our area. The coyotes are a little scary. You can sometimes hear them howling at night.”

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