Photo Source: Briana Parish (verbitsky) (Pinterest)
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is situated in Hawaii island, 28 miles from the city of Hilo and 96 miles from the city of Kailua-Kona. This park measures about 333,000 acres, which is very large. It was established in 1916 mainly because of its wonderful geology.
Join Hawaii On The Move Host Ramsay Wharton as she explores Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The Park encompasses the southwest rift and summit of Mauna Loa volcano, at 13,677 feet above sea level and another approximately 15,000 feet below sea level to its base on the ocean floor; it is the largest single mountain mass and the largest volcano on earth. Mauna Loa in Hawaiian means “the long mountain”. At any time during the year weather can be hazardous on the summit. From October through April storms can cover the peak in snow sometimes as low as 9,000 feet in elevation. The Park maintains a trail to the summit which can be climbed in three days. Cabins are available at Red Hill, 10,000 foot elevation and the summit. The Park also includes the summit area and upper rift zone of 4,078 foot high Kilauea volcano. The name Kilauea means something like “spreading, much spewing”. Kilauea is the youngest of the five volcanoes on the island of Hawaii, having been formed over the past 100,000 years.
Tired of the same old tourist traps? Whether you’re a visitor or a local looking for something different, let Hawaii Off the Beaten Path show you the Aloha State you never knew existed. Pay respect to the 700-pound crystal shivalingam and experience a daily puja (purification ritual) at Kauai’s Hindu Monastery.
Hike through the natural splendor of Waipio Valley to reach Hiilawe Falls. Dropping more than 1,200 feet in free fall, the waters of Hiilawe make the longest unbroken descent in Hawaii. Follow Jack London’s trail on Kalae Stables’ “world-famous Moloka`i mule ride” to Kalaupapa Peninsula. Or dine on a “plate lunch,” the quintessential meal of Hilo, at Cafe 100, the city’s first drive-in. So if you’ve “been there, done that” one too many times, get off the main road and venture Off the Beaten Path.
Both Mauna Loa and Kilauea are considered to be the most active volcanoes in the world. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 sending lava flows to within four miles of downtown Hilo before they stopped. Kilauea has been erupting along its east rift zone since 1983 with only a few short pauses. Today, lava flows enter the ocean creating large steam plums visible from many miles along the coast. In the recent past Kilauea has displayed spectacular eruptions in the summit area, both in the caldera and central crater of Halema`uma`u, home of the Hawaiian fire goddess, Pele. Mauna Loa and Kilauea have more to offer than geological wonders. The volcanoes are home to rare and endangered plants, insects, birds, sea turtles, bats, and monk seals, many other species of plants and insects which are found nowhere else in the world due to the extreme remoteness of the Hawaiian Islands.
There are now nearly 300 federally listed endangered and threatened plant species in Hawaii, a total greater than in all other States combined. Of these, one quarter of the species occur at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Park includes examples of seven ecological zones from seacoast, lowland and mid-elevation woodlands, rainforest, upland forest, open sparsely vegetated desert, sub-alpine and alpine zones, all within close proximity. The Crater Rim Drive tour takes the visitor through excellent examples of rain forest, woodland, and desert. In 1980, the Park was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
Pu’u ‘O’o, a volcanic cone on Kilauea, Hawaii. photo by G.E. Ulrich.
There are 66 miles of scenic roads, 155 miles of marked trails, and 120,000 acres of wilderness in the Park. In three to four hours one can drive from sea level to over 6,000 feet elevation. It has been a visitor attraction from the earliest times of discovery and exploration, and remains an important cultural focus for native Hawaiians. Today, nearly two million visitors a year visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Visitor Center is open from 7:45 am to 5:00 pm.
Weather can change quickly in Hawaii, especially on the upper mountain slopes. It is recommended to carry a jacket, sweater, or rain jacket, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Check in with Kilauea Visitor Center if you plan to visit the lava flow or hike in the back country.
All plants, animals, and rock features are protected. Heed ALL warning signs. Volcanic fumes can hazardous to your health. Visitors with heart or breathing problems, and infants, young children, and pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid Halema`uma`u Crater, Sulfur Banks and other areas where volcanic fumes are present.
I’ve visited once but it was so spectacular I would love to visit again!
Photo Source: Ashley Burger (Pinterest)
Denali National Park and Preserve is a national park and preserve located in Interior Alaska, centered on Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The park and contiguous preserve encompasses more than 6 million acres (24,500 km2).
Photo by Akflyer. The Kichatna Mountains in the southwestern portion of the preserve.
The General Sherman, Source: Justin Palmer (Pinterest).
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25, 1890. The park spans 404,064 acres (631.35 sq miles). Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m), the park contains among its natural resources the highest point in the contiguous 48 United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
The park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park’s General Grant Grove, home to the General Grant tree among other giant sequoias. The park’s giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres (81,921 ha) of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.