28 November 2015

Lava Tube Exploring

We were able to go exploring in three separate lava tubes.  We killed some time in the Thurston Lava Tube at the Volcano National Park and weren't really impressed.  It was short and very well taken care of so most people would be able to go inside and explore.  It was significantly shorter than I expected, but still fun!

The other two caves we went into were outside of the National Park and are the Kaumana Caves.  These are in Hilo, so if you find yourself on the Big Island these act as a great stop on a day of driving.  We made these a pit stop on our way from Kona back to Hilo to catch our flight back home.  The Kaumana Caves were created in the 1881 lava flow from Mauna Loa, and are almost entirely different than the Thurston Lava Tubes.  You won't find any lights here and if you don't bring a flash light (or two) you won't be able to go far.  Once you descend the stairs you will find a cave on your left and right.  In order to keep exploring in both caves you have to duck and shimmy past a little ledge.  The pass is closer to the front in the cave on the left.  If you only have time to do one, I would suggest the left.  It was easier to walk in, and once you passed the ledge it really opens up.  The Kaumana Caves had roots growing in from above and water dripping down.  It truly was a step back in time.

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