Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Monday, October 9th 2000

Two hikers are barely visible just to the left of the rift in the lava field.
We are now on the south side of the caldera on Crater Rim Drive. We have stopped to investigate a 1982 lava flow that destroyed the road. It has, of course, been rebuilt since then. Notice Mauna Loa rising to the right in the distance.

It is a moonscape! Actually the astronauts trained here before they walked on the moon.

P„hoehoe or Smooth Lava

This is a desert, and this means it only gets about 4" of rain a year. In spite of that fact, plants are already getting a toehold in the cracks in the lava. Suprisingly, the plants are ferns! We don't usually associate ferns with desert climates.

Page last updated November 7, 2000.