Chain of Craters Rd, Island of Hawaii

4.8
#2 of 10 in Scenic Drive in Island of Hawaii
Chain of Craters Road is a 19-mile/30-km winding paved road through the East Rift and coastal area of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii, in the state of Hawaii, United States. The original road, built in 1928, connected Crater Rim Drive to Makaopuhi Crater. The road was lengthened to reach the tiny town of Kalapana in 1959. The road has had parts covered by lava several times due to eruptions of the Kīlauea volcano.Route descriptionThe road has paths and road offshoots that allow access to various volcanic views such as pit craters, active and dormant lava flows, plumes from lava tubes and various geographic sites that can be accessed by trails from the road. Caution is urged as these areas are dangerous. There are also scenic views through tropical rainforests, and the seacoast. Next to the park's Visitor Center is the 10mi paved Crater Rim Drive around Kilauea caldera, off which a short paved road leads to a viewpoint overlooking Kīlauea, the origin of the 1995 eruption that closed the Chain of Craters Road.The road begins at, the highest part of the eastern rift zone where frequent rains created a rainforest. 3mi down the road is the vent of Kīlauea volcano. The road goes another 2mi, passing the group of craters for which the road is named and then crosses a narrow flow of pāhoehoe lava that erupted in 1974 before it reaches Lua Manu, the first pit crater. The crater formed through a sinking of the earth surface and not as primarily a vent for lava.
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Chain of Craters Rd Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
234 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Exploring the whole Chain of Craters Road requires a bit more investment than the easily accessible areas at the top. We were in the area for three days, so spent a half day exploring the road. There’...  more »
  • This is a 20 mile drive (one way) from the Visitor Center down to the ocean. There are pullouts and trail heads along the way. The scenery changes a lot. Allow 1 hour for the round trip drive plus sto...  more »
  • This car route follows the story of the recentelijkste volcanic eruptions. A trail of extinct craters, lava fields everywhere, as far you can see. Regularly stop and explore the area is the message, the point of science and enjoy dozens of pictures. Even more beautiful is it when you start to descend by the youngest lava fields which a devastating kilometers wide rail pulling through the landscape to the sea. Desolate, black but oh so fascinating. Don't miss this route. Once arrived to the Board the sea stops the road at a guarded barricade, because further by (4.5 Miles) there is still flowing lava which spits in the ocean. On the way back up you will get a new image on this unrivalled landscape.
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