Address: Hawaii 96718, USA

Latitude: 19.4215921

Longitude: -155.2762985

Time Zone: Hawaii Standard Time

Categories: Activities

Tags: Outdoors


This is why you came to the middle of the ocean. You could have gone to a beach on the mainland, and yes there are lots of beaches on the island. You could have stayed in Honolulu and saved yourself some money. Instead, you took an extra flight and came to the Big Island.

And this is why when you are planning your trip to Hawaii, at least one night in Volcano is such a good idea.

What you are looking at is Halema'uma'u, the House of Everlasting Fire, home of the Goddess Pele. It is a full moon just after the summer solstice, so the plume is lit from above as well as below. Even with a full moon, you can see the stars - imagine the sight during new moon, with the Milky Way spread out before you like a celestial blanket.

The glow in the plume is caused by the rising and falling lava lake in the crater within a crater within a crater below. There are maybe 7 craters, each inside the other. Will the lava eventually rise and fill each crater successively, forming a molten oozing glowing lake? Perhaps, and maybe soon, and then again, maybe not. No one can know, and anyone can guess.

It is so easy to see this if you spend the night nearby. At dusk, drive into the park. Or anytime after dark. Dusk any day will give way to this view as darkness falls. Drive into the park a couple of miles to Jaggar Museum. Park in the lot. Walk over to the viewing area. If it is not full moon, bring a flashlight so you can be confident in your footing. Or if you are adventurous, you can hike under a full moon such as this from the road on the marked path to Kilauea and be stunned as this glow grows before your eyes.

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