Photos 8, page 7
Photos 8 -
Photos 8 -
Crater Rim Trail & Kilauea Iki
August 6, 2011
Another beautiful day in paradise, I couldn't stay home.  The temperature wasn't more than 70, a pretty brisk wind blowing
in the cleared areas.  In the trees, it was quiet.  I got a relatively early start (10:00 AM) and headed over to
the Park (white line).  I parked at the beginning of
Desolation Trail (more on that later). This turned out to be a pretty
good hike.  4.5 miles out (green line), and 6.9 miles back (I was wondering why I was so tired!).  A little less than 6 hours.  It
was a fairly level hike, except my brief detour through
Kilauea Caldera, and the trails were in excellent shape.  I didn't
realize what a big loop around
Kilauea Iki it was heading back until I mapped it later.  I could have gone the other way
Iki and it would have been a much shorter walk.  But then I would end up coming back the same way I left and that's
a no-no whenever possible.  (Napau Crater Trail, for example, requires you to come back the same way you came in.  Well,
there is a way to hike through (the
Kahauale'a Trail) but its over very rough terrain and then you're 20 miles from the car
and it's all uphill on the way back!
10:34 AM @ *978
Starting out.  
Desolation Trail is so named
annihilated this area of the rain forest.  Anything
Before we start, I thought I'd give you a
little homework!  There will be a quiz at
the end of the page...!

Here are a couple of excellent
brochures put out by The Park.  They
are simple yet surprisingly informative
hiking (and living) and how it got that
10:37 AM @ *979
Mauna Kea over there...
In the foreground, you see the desolation, already coming back to life, from the 1959 eruption of
Kilauea Iki.  Must have
been a hell of a show...
10:59 AM @ *997
A gate.  There are fences like this all
over, trying to keep the feral pigs out.  
A big and serious problem...
10:40 AM @ *983
Mauna Loa is so damned big that it took three pictures even though my camera was set to
wide-angle.  I wasn't able to stitch them together so I just overlapped them here...
Mauna Kea is in the distance, some 30 miles away, just to right of Mauna Loa.
10:40 AM @ *987
Make note of that hump of cinder.  It's
Pu'u Pua'i (gushing hill).
Kilauea Iki
is on the other side and up
in 1959.
10:43 AM @ *987
Mauna Kea again for no particular
Because it's there...!
10:53 AM @ *992
A peek at
Halema'uma'u with Mauna
looming in the background
11:00 AM @ *997
Go left...
11:00 AM @ *997
Looking back
11:32 AM @ *005
Now isn't this just incredibly beautiful?  
Coming back up out of
12:06 PM @ *012
Looking back across the caldera.  See
Pu'u Pua'i?  Kilauea Iki is on the left
of it.  I came down on the right of that
cleared area, then hiked along the
(Byron) Ledge, down into the caldera
and up again.
12:16 PM @ *021
Mauna Loa again.  All the people you
see are coming from the right where
park road.  On the left is the
Another look at the desolation in the
Desolation Trail area.  That's
downwind of
Kilauea Iki
12:45 PM @ *027
Halema'uma'u Crater
The lava is hundreds of feet down...
12:46 PM
Well isn't this just peachy?  A paved
trail.  This is the "civilized" part of the
park where most of the people go...
1:02 PM @ Jaggar
You can't see it but there's a 500-foot diameter hole inside that crater you see.  
Inside the hole, some hundreds of feet down, is boiling lava...
1:24 PM @ *036
Looking across the caldera at
(where that cliff is), Pu'u Pua'i, and
Desolation Trail area.
1:24 PM @ *036
Starting my return trip...
2:30 PM @ 054
This is interesting...  The "trail" follows
this piece of road, long abandoned.
2:34 PM @ *056
End of the road, as they say...
2:34 PM @ *056
And the trail dives back into the
2:39 PM @ *061
Looking across
Kilauea Iki at Pu'u
2:44 PM @ *063
where it all happened, geysers of hot
lava and ash shot hundreds of feet in
the air and filled the crater.
2:44 PM
And there's people down there...
3:40 PM just past Thurston Lava Tube
Another pig fence.  This is called the
"Escape Road".
3:44 PM @ *071
Hiking at it's best:  Downhill and shady.
I'm very tired...
3:54 PM @ *074
Now on Crater Rim Trail...
3:55 PM after *074
Nice trail:  fairly level, shaded and cool,
soft footing...
3:59 PM @ 078
I planned it this way...
4:02 PM
The easy part at the end...
4:32 PM approaching "Road"
It says,
Back to the beginning and my lonely