On of America’s best national parks isn’t found on the mainland—but Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is worth a plane ride. For starters, the park has an active volcano, and you may be able to see surface flowing lava if you come when the volcano is active. See what’s active at the park by checking the National Park Service’s website.
There’s plenty less dangerous things to see here as well. Start off with a trip around Crater Rim Drive, an 11-mile road around the summit of Kilauea volcano. You’ll pass through desert and rain forest all in the same drive! See lava of a cooler kind at the Thurston Lava Tube, leftover from a long ago eruption.
There’s plenty of hikes around the park, for every level of hiker—from short hikes to wilderness jaunts. Or explore the park by bike—there’s a number of designated bike trails throughout the area.
Where Is it? On Hawaii’s big island. Fly to Hilo International Airport (check prices).
Where to Stay? At the Volcano Village Lodge, which is just a mile away from the park.
What Else Should I Know? To check on viewing conditions at Kalapana, call 808-961-8093.
Who’s it for? Hikers and amateur Vulcanologists.
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