Just your casual, ordinary, every day hike this past Monday. We were vacationing on the Big Island of Hawai’i, and had booked a guide to take us to the active lava flows of Kilauea. We arose before 3:00 AM, met our guide at 4:00AM, and drove as close as you can get to the active flows. That’s a minimum of 3 to 4 miles away from either the surface flows or the lava’s entry point into the ocean, which meant a early morning hike was in order. It’s not the easiest hike in the world! For the first 2 miles, you’re following a gravel road and it’s easy, but to get to the active surface flows, we had to hike a good 1 1/2 to 2 miles across the rough, older flows from Kilauea.
A tiring hike, particularly on the way back when the sun starts beating down on you, but SO worth it! It was the hike of a lifetime, as we were able to experience active, flowing lava from as close as we could physically tolerate. 10 feet was about the limit for me, as any closer and the heat from the lava was overwhelming. An incredible experience for our little family! Here are some photos from the day…click on each photo for a larger view. When I have time to process video I’ll post out here as well.