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Lava Viewing Tim

yan19454

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I will arrive HILO HAWAII (ITO) 6:16PM on Sept 17. Do you think it would be too late to go to Lava Viewing ? How diffficult of hike for the lava viewing ?

Thanks.
 

DeniseM

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This is a day-to-day thing - you can't always hike out to the lava. When you can hike out to the lava flow you are hiking over new lava beds that are rolling and rough and sharp as broken glass if you fall down. There aren't any real trails - just markers over the rolling rock. You need to dress appropriately for hiking - we saw a lot of bloody knees and hands out there. I know the night hikes are popular, but I'm not sure I'd do it in the dark.

 
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T_R_Oglodyte

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It depends on what is going on with the lava.

In 2003 when we viewed the lava, we hiked for almost over an hour across the lava fields, starting from the end of Craters road in Volcano National Park. With that hike you could get up close and personal with the lava. I got to within about 50 feet - close enough that I didn't want to get any closer because of the heat.

This year when we were there in August, the active lava flow had shifted far to the east, so the viewing access was at a site outside the park, set up by the County of Hawaii at the end of the road that comes from Puna. At that area you couldn't hike to the lave; instead the viewing area was about a 15-minute hike from the parking area.

The county viewing area closes at 10 pm. So it's likely that you wouldn't have enough time to see lava that night. And that's assuming that there is lava to see - when we were there the lava had gone into a tube and was no longer visible at all.

*****

If yoiu do have time to get to the county viewing area, there are vendors there selling flashlights, ponchos, water, etc. Of course it's more expensive to buy from them, but if you're in a hurry you can get supplied. Flashlights are absolutely essential.
 
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charford

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Sunset will likely be approximately 6:40, so you will likely just be picking up your luggage as it gets dark. And it gets DARK on the Big Island. I would recommend checking into your hotel instead. Also, there are plenty of breakins of cars at tourist spots on the B.I. Don't stop at a tourist spot with your luggage in the car.
 

falmouth3

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If you plan to go, bring one flashlight per person, maybe a second as a backup. And fresh batteries. You will need the flashlight on for your return trip, and if you go on your first night, it sounds like you will also need it for your trip out to tthe viewing area. Wear closed toe shoes. It isn't the easiest walk - particularly in the dark. But we loved seeing the lava hit the ocean at night. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Sue
 

yan19454

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I will go with my parents. My mom does not like to hiking. I just plan to stay in HILO for a night. I will check with the B&B owner after I check in or I can only do in the day time.
 

falmouth3

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If it's still like it was in early June, all you will see during the day is a steam plume.

Sue
 
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