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Monday, July 6, 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Driving Tour: Kilauea Overlook


The Need to Knows:
  • The Kilauea Overlook is located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park along Crater Rim Drive in Volcano, HI.  Its exact location can be found here:
  • Since you've already paid to enter the park, it's obviously free to visit here :)
  • The walking path to the overlook is paved, so I would classify it as stroller and wheelchair friendly.  Just watch out for rocks or bumps!
  • There isn't any shade in this area, so make sure you're wearing sunscreen or a hat!
  • There also aren't any restrooms here nor is there water available.
  • I would expect to spend about 15 minutes or so here enjoying the view.
  • For updated information on closures within the park, be sure to visit this NPS page here.  Also keep in mind that any information in these posts is subject to change any time by the National Park Service!
The next stop on our Hawaii Volcanoes Driving Tour is another overlook with a terrific view of the Halemaumau Crater, just like from the Volcano House and the Steaming Bluff Overlook, except this time it's much closer!  

Cannot unsee that spelling error...ack!
Also like the Steaming Bluff Overlook, the Kilauea Overlook is just a short 0.1 mile walk from the parking lot.  It's also paved here, unlike at the Steaming Bluff, so strollers and wheelchairs are definitely welcome!




Mauna Kea
I love how the views of the crater are different at each overlook location.  You are able to kind of ease your way up closer and closer until the final breathtaking reveal at the Jaggar Museum (which I'll cover next week!).  It really helps you appreciate the moment you get as close as you can thanks to all of that buildup!




However, if you are short on time when you're making this drive, you can always just skip right to the Jaggar Museum.  I really did enjoy stopping at each of these locations, though, and I think you would too!  And although we didn't see the lava at night from this vantage point, I think it would be a really great choice, especially if the Jaggar Museum happens to be crowded when you go.


I think the thing I liked most about this stop is getting to see the old fractured lava that flowed in this area.  The cracks were massive -- a lot bigger than I was expecting them to be.  The scale of the entire Kilauea Caldera is pretty overwhelming at times.  It's too bad you can't go hiking down there!  But, you know, lava, toxic fumes, and all that jazz ;)



And although Mr. L and I enjoyed all of the beautiful views Kilauea Overlook had to offer, it was time to move on to our next stop -- the Jaggar Museum!

Click for a larger view
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Catch up on the rest of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Driving Tour below!

Crater Rim Drive
Chain of Craters Road


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