Yay, I got to spend a whole day in the Valcanoes National Park. It was great!!! From Kona it was a 2 1/2 hour drive in the speed limit is low between 25 to 40 all the way there, and the road is really curvey. You go from sea level to around 4,000 feet.
If you visit I suggest you stop at the Visitor center - there they have maps based on how much time you want to spend in the park. We spent all day - which I thought would be enough to see everything and do a nice long hike, but it wasn't. We just had enough time to drive around to all the sites.
There was a community event at the park it was great lots of local people and crafts!!! We didn't stay long, but did get to see everything.
Then we followed our handy dandy map and went to the Sulpher Banks:
But because of High amounts of Sulphur dioxide gas in the air - we had to back track as half of the circular road that goes around the park was closed.
The coolest part for me was the Thurston Lava Tube! When you start driving to this area it looks like you are driving in one of the scenes of Jurasic park! My daughter kept saying it would be cool to prank someone with a life size T-Rex and I must admit that would be funny!
Once you get there you have a nice hike ahead of you and it's a bit steep. There is a good long part of the Lava Tube that is lit and has a walk way, then there is a part where you can either get out of it or keep going to a not developed part of it. We had our flashlights an were prepared so off we went Spelunking again!!! It was really really dark, we were able to get some cool pictures by shining both flashlights onto the surface we wanted to photograph.
We then got back in the car for another long drive to the 'End of The Road', This is a spot where Lava flowed over the road and consumed the whole area on it's way to the Ocean. It was wonderful a really amazing site!
On our way there we stopped at a few of the 'craters' on Craters Road but they weren't to exciting they are now filled with foliage. We had hoped to be able to hike to the Petroglyph's but it was .7 miles in and out and we were running out of Sun Light. We did see a few Petrogyph's (I know I have pictures but can't find them, sorry)
I was so glad that we didn't hike the Petroglyph's Trail - or there was no way we would have been able to see the Holei Sea Arch and enjoy it in the Dark.
That was the Day - My Day!
Warning: Come prepared! You need sturdy shoes, Long pants if you don't like funny things touching your legs, Lots of water, and Flashlights, it gets dark out there, really dark way up in the mountains with no city lights anywhere to be found!!