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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is fascinating. Standing before the world's most active volcano and a landscape that tells the story of previous eruptions is a lesson no geology classroom can teach, nor can art express. Viewing billowing steam and a boiling dance of molten rock is a humbling and beautiful experience. Begin at the Kilauea Visitor Center which showcases exhibits on volcanology, flora and fauna, and the island's indigenous people. The film, "Born of Fire, Born of the Sea", is shown on the hour. Get information on choosing a day hike from easy to challenging, or take part in ranger-led programs. Take the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive Tour which skirts around the caldera of the Kilauea volcano, passing highlights that include sulfur banks, steam vents, crater overlooks, the Thomas A. Jagger Museum, and the 600-foot Thurston lava tube. Chain of Craters Road is a 38-mile round trip adventure which descends 3,700-feet to where lava meets the Pacific Ocean. Along the way are trails and overlooks that explore the Pu‘u Huluhulu Cinder Cone, petroglyphs, the Holei Sea Arch and more. Have a full tank of gas water and food before heading out as there are no services along this road. Please stay out of closed areas and be alert for unpredictable eruptions which can happen every day. Plan to watch the orange glow of molten lava at sunset or even later as the park is open 24/7. There is an entrance fee or use your America the Beautiful Pass.
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