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Lava Viewing Area, Kalapana

(4.6/5 based on 140+ reviews on the web)
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  • There was a bright red lava flows into the sea in the darkness. Lava flows have changed for a while seems to be seen, but also viewed that as. Lava emerges in the dark red and was ever seen, amazing water views.
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  • I was lucky enough to see a glimpse of hot bubbling lava from far far away but do check the website before go. There's a chance of a wasted trip when the lava lake is more or less active.  more »
  • We chose this viewing area (instead of the one at the end of Chain of Craters drive) because it sounded like the hike (or bike ride was more do-able) and can't imagine that the other side was any bett...  more »
  • This is a really cool thing to do while in Hawaii. My family rented bikes there, and it took us about 45 minutes each way to the lava viewing area. The gravel road was very evident, but got a little rocky toward the end, and might not be the best for young children. We got 3 bikes for $40, but there are lots and lots of places to rent bikes, and most run for about $15- $20 each. We might not have had the best bikes, but mine was good for me, and where we got them had children's bikes, which was a plus. We started off on our bikes at about 6:15 pm, which was perfect timing. It got dark just before we reached the lava flow, so we could get a feel for the trail in the light, but also get to see the glow of the lava. Also, most bikes come with lights, so riding in the dark is ok. Seeing the lava was absolutely amazing, and the glowing steam really added effect to the lava flowing into the water.
  • Way cool to see the lava flowing into the ocean, with explosions of rock and steam regularly. It's quite the trek out there. We are fairly fit so chose to rent bikes and ride the 9 mile round trip. The ride out there was on gravel and was easy and quick with the wind at our backs. Short few hundred yard hike over hardened lava to get to the viewing area but not too treacherous. The bike ride back was very difficult because of the strong wind in our faces and spitting rain. There were 2 times I had to get off my bike and walk up some hills (not steep) just because the wind was so strong. That is common in this region. For the same cost, we could have had a Polaris Ranger drive us most of the way and hike the remaining 1.5 miles. That would have been much easier. I would not recommend walking the entire way unless you pack tons of water, it's very hot and dry.
  • Not the same as being able to walk out and play with the lava but a great way to see the awesome process of earth evolving. Bring binoculars for optimal viewing. Best to pack a picnic dinner. Rent a bike (it's about 7 miles round trip from where you park) and ride out in the afternoon so you can view during the day and stay until after dark to see the awesome glow as the ocean boils. Bike rentals are about $20 and include lights and a first aid kit. Don't wear open toed shoes. Bring plenty of water.
  • A total 8 mile hike to see lava meeting the ocean. The hike is on a gravel road with little elevation gain/loss. It takes a total of 3 hours at an easy pace to complete it. You can also rent bikes here which makes the journey quicker. The views along the route are of lava fields and ones you reach the end you will have to walk over the lava fields for 5 min to reach the viewpoint where you can see lava. This viewing spot is far away from the actual action but still has great views. If you want to get closer you need to take boat ride. It gets a bit chilly with the breeze at night in November.
  • Once in a lifetime experience! (But keep in mind the lava conditions are ever changing and therefore so are the viewing conditions.) The bench had fallen 3 days prior to our visit exposing massive lava flow; a park ranger said it was some of the finest he's seen in his entire life on the island. Note: Bikes are available for rent for $20. They advertise the distance at 4.5 miles HOWEVER, I dropped GPS pins that show it to be only 3.5 miles. We walked and it was just fine if you have the time. Go at sunset for the best viewing.