Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Address: Pahoa, Hawaii

Latitude: 19.4198830

Longitude: -155.2883230

Time Zone: Hawaii Standard Time

Categories: Activities

Tags: Cultural, Family


Since Halema'uma'u blew chunks of lava all over Crater Rim Road over a year ago, Jaggar Museum is the end of the road as you attempt to drive around the crater ay Kilauea. But do not be disappointed - park in the lot and look off to your right at the plume of smoke swirling and churning out of the hole in the volcano caldera. Rising and falling beneath the plume is a lava lake. No one knows if or when it will bubble to the surface and form a visible lake of red hot lava visible from the overlook at the museum. For the last several months, as the lava rises closer to the surface, the plume glows brilliant orange-red in the dusk and through the night. When you visit the volcano, be sure to drive back into the park at night to view the glow.

Night viewing of the glow from the volcano and the flowing lava are the most basic reasons it is worth it to spend at least one night in Volcano when you visit the Big Island. If one night is all you can spare, browse vacation rentals for a place you can rent for only one night. And don't miss ours - the treehouse! It is listed here on this site, and in Homeaway and VRBO.

Back to Jaggar Museum. To learn more about the volcano you are looking at, enter the museum. There are exhibits that explain the lava flow, historically and currently. There are stories from ancient Hawaii of the culture and myth of Pele, the Volcano Goddess. You can purchase books and DVDs. Back at the visitor center you can watch the films in the comforts of a theater - all for no charge beyond your park entrance fee.

At Jaggar, rangers are often at the viewing platform to answer your questions about the volcano, and there is a telescope set up for close up viewing. Jaggar is not to be missed on your tour of the Big Island.

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