The Island of Hawaii

In early December of 2013, I spent 8 days on the Big Island. For most part, I stayed at three places: Volcano Village (near Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park), Hilo, and the town of Honoka'a (near the Waipio Valley.

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park

A place where Hawaiians historically went for penance.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - The end of the Road

The Chain of Craters road goes from the national park headquarters east to the coast for 18 miles, until it runs into lava flows from about a decade ago.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Pictographs

Three quarter mile hike from the road is this collection of pictographs. The signs said that most of these were made for newborns to bring a good life.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Thurston Lava Tube

Napau Crater hike

A 14 mile roundtrip hike across the lava and through the rainforest.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Kilauea Iki

This volcano, which is right next to the main Kilaeua, erupted in 1959. The 4 mile loop along the rim and then down and across the crater floor is a popular moderate hike.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Crater Rim

There is a trail along the Kilaeua Crater for many miles, and there are many places to join it. This section is between the Visitor Center and the Jaggar Meusem

Hilo

After the park, I spent a couple of days in Hilo at a B&B and wandering around town

Onomea Drive

Just north of Hilo is a 4 mile windy scenic drive. This short walk descends down to the water's edge

Hawaii Botannic Gardens

On Onomea Drive is this fantastic place. $15 entry and a trail that winds down to the coast with tropical plants from all over the world

Hamakua Coast

This was the route from Hilo to the north where I stayed in Honokaa

Waipio Valley

This is a famous valley. Not a park but the beach is public. A 4WD paved road with a 25% grade drops down into the valley. From the other side the Muliwai Trail goes up and over for 8 miles to the Waimanu Valley, where you can camp. I only went up to the top.