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The Volcano, worth the drive?

Vancouver
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The Volcano, worth the drive?

I have been told a few times that you can drive all this way to the Volacano National Park and may not even get to see a whole lot depending on how safe it is for the that particular day or how the volcano is acting. Is it true that you sometimes don't get to see the lava flowing? You can really get close to it at all?

Thank you

Palm Springs...
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1. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

you are correct you wont see any flowing lava unless you take a helicopter....however there are a few little things besides... just a few

Have you looked at the National Parks web site? The park is open 364 days a year.....

Pahoa. HI
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2. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

Actually, most of the time you DO see red lava flowing, but it's from more than half a mile away and it is NOT in HVNP (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park). You drive Highway 130 south from Kea'au (junction with Highway 11) to Kalapana and proceed on the rough road over the lava after Hwy 130 ends. Walk out to the viewing area. 15 minute walk or so. Every time I've been down there I've been able to see red lava. Most recently last week with some mainland friends. They were thrilled, even though the lava was half a mile away!

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

Volcano National Park is about an hour drive from Kalapana where you can hike to see the lavaflow two miles away on a lucky day.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

I have been many times and never gone to see the flowing lava at night. I go for the nice hikes. If you want to see flowing lava, check if it is on the surface and take a helicopter tour.

If you are interested in geology, a mix of forest and bare lava, differnet ecosystems, etc; then VNP is worth it, worth it, worth it.

If you want red lava then do not go to VNP, take a heli tour or go to the Kalapana viewing area.

Look at the VNP web site to get more info.

http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

washington
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for Maui
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5. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

The only way, at this point, you will see flowing lava, maybe, is on a Helio tour...well worth the bucks! However VNP is a fascinating place without that...eery and geologically amazing! Our first trip was in 1975...the changes that lava has made to the island are always worth a look. Stark and surreal.

Birmingham, Alabama
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6. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

You will see a whole lot even without the lava. Really, if you've never seen a volcano (or the type of volcanoes that they have in Hawaii) you really shouldn't miss it -- it's really wild, like the moon, for miles and miles. Lava tubes, neat vegetation, massive craters (through which you can hike if you wish). There are plenty of things worth seeing there.

That said, seeing the lava is awesome. I have seen it twice -- once when it was flowing near the end of Chain of Craters Rd in VNP and another time where I had to walk two miles out -- that time I could stand right next to it -- wow. Awesome photos. It's just amazing to see the lava oozing out of the rock ... wild. I would definitely try and see that too -- but don't miss the park.

Vancouver
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7. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

Thank you for the info. I was just a little concerned for my 8 year old. Some parents have been saying on here, that as soon as they got there, their kids would say this is boring and want to get back into the car and go back to the Hotel Pool! I would love to do the Helicopter tour, but $350.00 each is way too much for us. Are the lava tubes like walking in caves?

Thank you

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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8. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

Aloha,

You need to look at either Sunshine Helicopters or Blue Hawaiian's trips out of Hilo---not Kona. That will be a shorter tour but about half the price you're quoting.

Make a day of it-drive over early in the morning, do the 45 minute heli, and then drive to VNP and explore. Kids have more fun this way too, because they've seen it from the air and now they get to see things on the ground.

Vancouver
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9. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

Thank you, that is what I was thinking I might try. The drive to Hilo would be about an hour and half correct? Then how far from Hilo to the Park? It might be the only time we go to the Big Island so I think we might have to shell out the money to see what the main attraction is.

nwf
NSW Australia
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10. Re: The Volcano, worth the drive?

Hi there,

The only experience of really seeing the Volcanoe is definitely the

helicopter flight. It does cost more but then you see the real thing.

All the best from NWF in OZ