Hawaii July 12, 2016
Most People Don’t Know About This Incredible Natural Wonder Hiding In Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Thurston Lava Tube gets all of the credit, we can think of at least one lava tube on Hawaii Island that is just as cool – if not even better – than its lava tube brother. Kaumana Caves, located near Hilo, may not be a tourist destination, but we’d like to think that it’s just because it’s a far trek from all of the luxury resorts of the Kona coast.
Found just miles from downtown Hilo, in a relatively small park without any formal supervision, open 24 hours a day, Kaumana Caves may be relatively unknown, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the trip.
The incredible formation was created during a 1881 lava flow from Mauna Loa, and is, in fact, a 25-mile long lava tube.
The skylight entrance drops into two miles of pitch-black cave, complete with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as vines and roots falling from the cave’s roof.
Unfortunately, exploration within the lava tube is forbidden due to it being on private property, but you can still explore a few hundred yards near the skylight.
Besides, I'm not sure how much exploration you would really want to do, as the cave's floor is covered with sharp rocks and uneven surfaces.
And though the cave is not home to any streams or pools, the cave's extreme humidity makes the ground extremely slippery.
From Hilo, follow Highway 200 (Saddle Road) to the west, and stop between mile markers 4 and 5. Park on the south side of the road, cross the road, and drop into the collapsed skylight of the cave.
There is no admission fee to enter the park, and the park features picnic tables and restrooms.
For more incredible cave adventures in Hawaii, check out Kauai’s
Makauwahi Cave, or this incredible sea cave you can only reach via boat.