Woman seeking in Hawaii national park

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A trip to the largest of Hawaii Island's five national and historic parks is a step back in time, a place where two active volcanoes have long altered the landscape. From tolava poured into the Pacific Ocean, as it pounded and shaped the craggy shoreline. Today, endangered birds and rare orchids fill the rainforest and grasslands, geological wonders dot the terrain, and sacred cultural sites speak to the park's mythic roots.

Kilauea has experienced destructive eruptions throughout the decades, like Kalapana in the late eighties and Kapoho in This national park is dynamic and diverse. It stretches from sea level to the summit of 13,foot Mauna Loathe largest volcano in the world, and boasts rugged coastlines, lava fields, lush rainforests, sacred cultural sites, barren desert landscapes, and alpine tundra.

There are plenty of places where you can still be alone, despite the more than 1. Kilauea is not erupting—at least not right now. This is the most asked question by visitors, and for good reason. The park recently experienced one of the longest continuous eruptions ever recorded, and for those 35 years, people could witness the marvels of volcanism up close—hiking to vents where steam rose from groundwater hitting hot volcanic rock, flying over active lava flows in helicopters, even taking boat tours to watch molten lava seep into the ocean.

It will be colder and wetter than you think. The islands average 17 inches of rain annually. And with an elevation of 4, feet above sea level, temperatures here are substantially lower than at an oceanfront resort. Lows are in the forties and highs are in the sixties, regardless of the time of year.

Layers and rainjackets.

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Avoid Tuesdays. This is the day when Pride of Americaa cruise ship that sails around Hawaii, docks in the eastern town of Hilo and lets out hundreds of passengers who head straight to the national park for the day. Parts of the park are still closed. In Maythe summit area of the park was severely impacted by thousands of earthquakes, which caused rockfalls and damaged buildings, ro, and trails. The park reopened in Septemberand most of its most popular spots, including the recent reopening of Nahukuare up and running, but a handful of sites remain closed, including the overlook at the Holei Sea Archparts of Crater Rim Driveand Iliahi Trail, a 1.

A short section of Crater Rim Drive, near the museum, is still closed because the ading overlook and parking lot were swallowed up by the crater.

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The closure of certain areas has also reduced the of parking spaces in the park—finding an open spot midday can be tough, so plan to arrive early at popular sites. If you are coming from this direction, though, you can make a pit stop at Ka Lae, also known as South Point, the southernmost point of the 50 states. Looking directly south, out at the Pacific, the nearest landmass is Antarctica. Unlike other U. There are really only two seasons in Hawaii: wet and dry. November to March is the rainy season, with higher precipitation on the north and east shores. Winter is a peak season for travel in Hawaii, though, with mainland visitors escaping to the islands from colder climes.

This spectacle boosts the of cruise ships docking on Hawaii Island, and, according to Hayes, these passengers are likely to visit the national park. The park does get a surge Woman seeking in Hawaii national park visitors during spring break ; around the weekend of the annual Merrie Monarch Festivala weeklong hula competition in Hilo, in April; and during Golden Week, a stretch of Japanese holidays that run from late April through early May, which brings an influx of Japanese visitors to the islands.

June and July are exceptionally busy at the park, with families on vacation and gorgeous warm weather luring folks outdoors. Due to its altitude, the area around Kilauea tends to be about 15 degrees cooler than along the coast, which averages 85 degrees, making for great hiking and camping weather. But June through November is also hurricane season in the islands, when tropical storms can bring torrential rain and whipping winds. To avoid the crowds, plan to arrive at the park by sunup, hitting the more popular trails early.

Other pathways in the park, like the easy 1. This ,acre former ranchland was acquired by the park in and is open to the public five days a week. Hike to the top of a cinder cone, walk along a historic ranch road to see tree molds and lava flows fromor bike through scenic pastures for some of the best panoramic views of the area. You can also book ranger-guided hikes. Originally built inthis historic retreat has since been restored and has 33 guest rooms and ten cabins.

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It also houses a popular restaurant, the Rim, with live music every night. You can walk to the Kilauea Visitor Center from here. The park also features two drive-in campgrounds: Namakanipaio and Kulanaokuaiki. Both operate on a first-come, first served basis. Halapeon the southern coast of the park, is one of the more popular backcountry sites and can be accessed via the The site sits on a small, secluded sandy beach dotted with coconut trees.

There are even more options in Hilo, about 30 miles northeast of the park. With more than miles of trails, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is best explored on foot. One of the most popular options—and my personal favorite—is the four-mile Kilauea Iki Trailwhich reopened in its entirety in September it was damaged by earthquakes during the Kilauea eruption. The terrain varies, starting in a forest of native ohia trees and endemic hapuu Hawaiian tree ferns and ending with a walk across the massive Kilauea Iki Crater, which was a seething lava lake spewing lava fountains of up to 1, feet and now looks like the surface of another planet.

For an easier trek, check out the one-mile stroll along the paved Devastation Trailwhich meanders through a stark landscape buried by falling cinder from the lava fountains of the Kilauea Iki eruption. More experienced hikers—and those looking for some solitude—can tackle the backcountry Maunaiki Trail, which traverses the harsh Kau Desert for two miles to the barren summit of 3,foot Maunaiki and offers sweeping views of the park. You can continue beyond the summit for another seven miles to Hilina Pali Road, past craggy cinder cones and fissures and across fields of broken, jagged lava.

Rent a bike from Big Island Bike Tours and ride along the 8. Or book a guided excursion with Bike Volcanowhich has several options, including a full-day, mile tour of the park from Kilauea Crater down Chain of Craters Road to the ocean. Hawaii is a great destination for bird-watching, primarily because of its collection of unique and rare species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

More than one-third of Woman seeking in Hawaii national park U. Endemic birds such as the iiwi scarlet honeycreeperamakihi Hawaiian honeycreeperelepaio monarch flycatchernene Hawaiian gooseand io Hawaiian hawk can all be spotted at the park. Its specialty, though, is wood-fired pizzas, best paired with the local beers on draft.

Portions are big, and prices are great.

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Here you can visit the lively Hilo Farmers Market ; I recommend Wednesdays and Saturdays, when the daily market swells to more than vendors selling everything from seasonal fruits to Hawaiian-grown coffee. For poke, a dish made with cubed raw fish, visit the no-frills Suisan Fish Marketan iconic fish auction and market right on Hilo Bay. Locals hit up Two Ladies Kitchen for its speciality: strawberry mochi—a large strawberry encased in pillowy-soft, sweet Japanese rice cake. You need to order ahead for these treats, but you can also just pop in and grab a variety of other mochi filled with sweet adzuki Japanese red-bean pastepeanut butter, or chocolate brownies.

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Cash only, FYI. A short half-mile hike wanders through a lush rainforest before reaching the first waterfall, the foot Kahuna Falls. Just around the bend is the star attraction: foot Akaka Falls, which cascades into a stream-eroded gorge.

Park staff often use ahu stacked rocks to mark trails. This is not an invitation to do the same. And taking lava rocks is believed to bring bad luck; hundreds of people return them to the park every year.

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Hawaii was the first state in the U. Plastic goods are next—the state is gearing up for a massive ban on single-use plastics, to include disposable plates, utensils, and straws, starting in It has also banned the sale of sunscreen containing reef-harming chemicals, a law that will go into effect in Search Search. Kilauea Volcano in The Ultimate Volcanoes National Park Travel Guide A trip to the largest of Hawaii Island's five national and historic parks is a step back in time, a place where two active volcanoes have long altered the landscape.

Twitter Icon. How to Get There A sunset drive. The park's grasslands with cones of volcanoes in the distance. Winter There are really only two seasons in Hawaii: wet and dry.

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Summer and Fall June and July are exceptionally busy at the park, with families on vacation and gorgeous warm weather luring folks outdoors. Bird-Watching Hawaii is a great destination for bird-watching, primarily because of its collection of unique and rare species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Read this next. By: Jonathan Olivier. By: Megan Michelson. By: Virginia M. By: Graham Averill.

Woman seeking in Hawaii national park

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The Ultimate Volcanoes National Park Travel Guide