Pahoa, Big Island, Hawaii: Lava Tree State Monument
1790 volcanic eruption from Kilauea encased a bunch of trees in molten rock, leaving these craggy nubs and spires.
- Kapoho Rd, Pahoa, Big Island, HI
- Take Hwy 130 to 132 and go 3 miles in. Entrance to parking lot is on the left. 7 mile trail loop, some paved.
Lava Tree State Monument
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I read in a guidebook that in 1790 a volcanic eruption from Kilauea overwhelmed a forest of trees, encasing the trunks in stone when the molten rock hardened. I thought, "Great, a bunch of boring holes in a wasteland."
Au contraire. It was eerie and awe-inspiring; the Pompeii of forests. First off, the forest has regrown and towers above you, dripping with giant vines and flowers. The ferns alone are the size of small sheds. The trees the lava encased must have also been enormous, because the lava shells are still imposing, standing like chimneys after a house fire, all shaped like sculptures. It's free, it's amazing, and it's really by the side of the road.
[Peg Boettcher, 02/20/2010]
Nearby Offbeat Places
- Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center, Keanu, Big Island, HI - 14 mi.
- Raelian UFO Peace Park, Volcano, Big Island, HI - 18 mi.
- Tsunami Clock of Doom, Hilo, Big Island, HI - 20 mi.
- Pele's Cursed Tourist Rocks, Volcano, Big Island, HI - 23 mi.
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