Volcano Steam Vent.

Volcano Steam Vents

Field review by the editors.

Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii

The Kilauea Caldera still smolders, though the active crater is a good distance from scenic overlooks along the rim. The volcano hasn't thrown a major fit since the 1970s, but is still erupting, evident in the shifting accessibility of roads closed due to lava flow or sulphur dioxide gas. It's one of the most active volcanoes in the world. And so convenient to tourists!

One easy access stop, just up the road from the National Park Visitor Center, are the Steam Vents. Rangers feebly joke this is where visitors go to get a quick steam bath. Rain water trickles down through cracks until it hits rocks heated by the liquid rock below. The hot water rises through fissures and condenses in the air as steam. Just a gentle steam, not a face-scalding blast.

The cracks aren't deep. Guardrails on the high traffic vents near the road discourage tour groups from tumbling in, but there are more wild vents along the rim. If this isn't enough of a vicarious volcanic experience, let your nose guide you to the adjacent Sulphur Banks.

Volcano Steam Vents

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Address:
Crater Rim Rd, Volcano, Big Island, HI
Directions:
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Crater Rim Rd just west of the Visitor Center (where you can pick up a park map).
Hours:
Visitor Center daily 7:45 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
808-985-6000
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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