This is a unique experience and hike not many are fortunate enough to experience. If you are there and among the few blessed to be surrounded by this amazing natural feat, try your best to do this hike.
Ok, so it's a 4 mile trail, starting with either a relative steep descent to the lava crater or a less strenuous descent though tropical woods. We did the latter and reached the hardened lava that way. The walk down was beautiful, with view of the volcano and the lava crater through the green of the trees. The walk through the lava sea can get hot -- but it's so freaking amazing that you tend to forget about such discomforts. It's like walking on an alien planet surface.
Take enough water and don't sweat it too much. It's a very well traveled hike.
We ended up on the other side, going up and reaching the lava tubes after about an hour and a half (maybe less, I forget). After the lava tubes there's still a bit of a hike to get back to the trail head parking lot.
Even if you're not in the best of shape, do this hike slowly and pace yourself, but really try to do it. It's an experience you won't forget.
Best to start this one early cause of the heat.
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