View of the Kīlauea Volcano summit caldera from the Jaggar Museum - Curiosity Trek - Hawaii

Jaggar Museum & Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

The Jaggar Museum is only two and a half miles past Kīlauea Visitor Center, but the landscape changes dramatically. We had driven through beautiful, paradise rain forest, then suddenly you are in the Kaū Desert Wilderness.

The Jaggar Museum is right next to the Volcano Observatory. The museum is open to the public, the observatory isn’t. Continue reading

Steam Vents by Kīlauea Visitor Center - Curiosity Trek - Hawaii

Steam Vents by Kīlauea Visitor Center

Volcanic steam vents are just to the left of the Kīlauea Visitor Center.

When rain or ground water seeps into the ground, the hot volcanic rocks heat it into steam.

The ground here is so hot, anything that needs deep roots can’t survive. Only grass and other plants with shallow roots can live here.

There are steam vents all over the park and they can badly hurt you. This is why you really should stay on the trails. Continue reading

Ranger at Kilauea Visitor Center - Curiosity Trek - Hawaii

Kīlauea Visitor Center

We drove through a beautiful, paradise rain forest to the Kīlauea Visitor Center. This is a great place to plan your visit to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. You can also find out where you can safely view the volcanoes both inside and outside the park.

Kileauea Visitor Center
The visitor center presents an informative overview of the environmental, historical, and cultural features of the park. Exhibits give information about island formation, ecosystems, invasive species , and resource protection. A 25-minute film about geology and volcanism, “Born of Fire, Born of Sea”, is shown throughout the day, Trail and lava viewing conditions can change rapidly so check with the park rangers at the center for the latest information. Overnight visitors must register here and permits are issued on a first-come basis.
DK Eyewitness Travel Hawaii

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Mauna Kea and the Observatories

Saturday, our last day in Hawaii. We had already driven every other road except the Saddle Road that goes over the pass between the two huge volcanoes. Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain if you measure from the base, on the floor of the Pacific. Mauna Loa is almost as tall. The road is written up as a “dangerous four-wheel-drive road, marginally paved, check with your rental car contract, etc.” We decided to just check it out. We really wanted to go up to the observatories. I had read that the road was better from Hilo, the town on the other side of the island from us, but very bad on our side, but after the road to Green Sands, what is bad? Continue reading

Last days on Kauai, first day on Hawaii (the Big Island)

Last days on Kauai, first day on Hawaii (the Big Island)

Friday, after I did a little bit of work, we decided to just relax and hang around the resort all day. We just laid by the pool, relaxed in the Jacuzzi. We missed almost the whole Monk marathon on USA. We went back to Paradise Grill, the closest restaurant to the resort and so far my favorite place we have eaten. Had fresh grilled Ahi with this cold slaw they make that has a mild ginger background flavor. The seasoned fries are great, too. Continue reading