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There are some pretty good reasons that this moderately challenging 3.3-mile loop is among the most popular hikes in Volcanoes National Park. With a descent through rain forest, it takes you down to a solidified lava lake in the Kīlauea Iki crater. And with a series of switchbacks, it brings you back up to several scenic overlooks. But we recommend getting an early start, because the parking lot tends to fill up fast.
With National Parks Certified guides, Hawai’i Forrest & Trail will give you a daylong, in-depth look at the natural and cultural history of Volcanoes National Park. With two to three miles of hiking, your guide will give you a taste of the park’s terrain and an overview of its leafy and feathery residents. And with a little luck, they’ll give you a nighttime view of a caldera’s glowing lava too.
The Lili House Farm is a family-owned farm that raises a wide range of well-loved animals, like pigs, tortoises and goats. With their Deluxe Farm Tour, you’ll get a country-style tea—complete with homemade bread, scones, tea and espresso—followed by a VIP tour of the farm and access to their petting zoo. So if you’re in the mood for a selfie with a donkey, this is the place to be.
With a remarkably manageable 1.5-mile hike, you can find yourself at a mind-blowing wonderland of 23,000 petroglyphs carved into hardened lava. There, a series of elevated boardwalks will guide you over the largest concentration of rock art in the entire Hawaiian island chain. But the petroglyphs are very fragile, so please stay on the boardwalks. And the hike is entirely exposed, so we recommend starting late in the day too.
Kipukapuaulu commonly known as Bird Park, offers a beautiful glimpse into the area’s birdlife. Located in an old koa tree grove, Kīpuka Puaulu is home to some of the rarest plants and animals in Hawai’i. And with its easy 1.2-mile loop, you can hear a whole lot of its avian residents sing. You might even find yourself sharing the trail with a few red-faced kalij pheasants along the way.
Papakōlea Beach is one of only two green beaches in the U.S., and when you stay at Kilauea Lodge, you’re just an hour’s drive from its trailhead. You won’t find lifeguards or concessions on this beach, but you will find incredible green crystal sand and stunning turquois water. We recommend visiting on weekdays to avoid crowds and wearing athletic shoes for the 2.5-mile hike out to the beach.
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