Hawaii March 10, 2017
These 8 Ancient Lava Tubes In Hawaii Will Bring Out The Explorer In You
approximately 20 volcanoes ranging in age from 400,000 years to 5.1 million years, the Hawaiian archipelago is the youngest section of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain of volcanoes and seamounts extending across the Pacific Ocean. With Hawaii’s incredible volcanic history comes plenty of incredible lava formations, including lava trees, crazy geological wonders, and these eight ancient lava tubes sure to bring out your inner adventurer.
1. Thurston Lava Tube
This 500-year-old lava cave within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a stunning geographic feature formed when a river of lava gradually forms walls and a ceiling. When the lava flow stops, the remaining lava flows downhill, and you are left with a tunnel. The 20-minute walk to Thurston Lava Tube is definitely easy, but the 500-foot cave-like tunnel is one of the most unique experiences you'll have in Hawaii.
2. Hana Lava Tube
While the Big Island’s Thurston Lava Tube gets all the glory, the Hana Lava Tube is just as magical - and far less crowded. Also known as Ka’eleku Cave, the lava tube is the most accessible formation of its kind on Maui, and visitors are able to explore approximately ⅓ mile of the large cave.
3. Kazmura Cave
This lava tube surveyed at approximately 40 miles long and 3,614 feet deep, making it the longest and deepest continuous lava tube in the entire world. You'll have to book an expensive tour to check out Kazmura Cave, but I'm almost positive that it's worth it.
4. Lava Tube at Halona Cove
Situated between Halona Point and the Halona Blowhole, this small rocky cove is perfectly picturesque, and has been featured in films like Pirates of the Caribbean and 50 First Dates. Though not known for its picturesque lava tube, Halona Cove is the perfect spot for an easy introduction to the wonderful world of lava tubes.
5. Kaumana Caves
Found just miles from downtown Hilo, in a relatively small park without any formal supervision, open 24 hours a day, Kaumana Caves is relatively unknown. The incredible formation was created during a 1881 lava flow from Mauna Loa, and is 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.
6. Spouting Horn Blowhole
Believe it or not, Spouting Horn Blowhole is actually a lava tube, though you obviously can’t enter. From the photographer: "With every wave, water shoots upward when it is forced through an opening and creates a hissing sound. The spray can shoot as high as 50 feet in the air."
7. Lava Tube at Waianapanapa State Park
This cave carved into the sea by flowing lava is positively enchanting. Located on Maui’s Road to Hana within Waianapanapa State Park, are these magnificent lava tubes and sea caves with a sinister past – it is the site of the ancient murder of Popu’alaea by her husband, King Ka’akea.
8. Pua Po'o Lava Tube
While there is no way to currently check out this lava tube for yourself, we're hoping the tours open up at some point again. To enter the lava tube, hikers must climb down a fifteen-foot ladder, scramble across large, loose and slippery rocks, walk over uneven terrain with minimal light, and crouch down for more than 25 feet due to the cave's height.
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