Lava Tree State Monument

big island/puna
Adventure/Public Recreational

Pāhoa, 96778

State Park, Hiking


Hours of Operation:

    7 AM – 6:45 PM
State Park, Hiking

Lava Tree State Monument

The Big Island's Lava Forest

When leaving Pahoa, make sure to take a left onto Highway 132, also known as Pahoa-Kapoho Road, to embark on an enchanting journey to our next destination. As you approach the park, you'll find the road gradually enveloped by a majestic tree tunnel, casting a soothing shade of jungle beauty. Here, we explore the captivating Lava Trees State Monument.

Upon passing mile marker two, take a left into the park. You'll discover a parking lot conveniently located on your right. The Lava Trees Loop Trail, spanning a mere 0.7 miles, offers a brief yet mesmerizing adventure. While it may be a short trek, it's worth noting that parts of the path are divided by uprooted trees, making it a bit challenging for young children and the elderly. The loop trail meanders through a lush jungle adorned with an array of vining plants, orchids, and bamboo. Along this trail, you'll encounter bulbous black stumps adorned with small green plants - these are the remnants of the lava trees. In 1790, a relentless lava flow from Kilauea surged through this rainforest, layering it with pahoehoe, a smooth, billowy lava, reaching depths of over 10 feet. As this molten river coursed through the forest, it encased the thriving ohia trees entirely. The outer layers of lava cooled and solidified, preserving the shapes of the engulfed trees, while the trees themselves were reduced to ashes. This unique phenomenon gave rise to the lava trees, some of which stand several feet high, while others appear as mere stumps or depressions.

While exploring this natural wonder, you'll find restroom facilities and a rustic picnic pavilion within the park. Be prepared for the local mosquito population by generously applying bug spray to ensure a more comfortable visit.

Lava Trees State Monument is a captivating testament to the extraordinary forces of nature, providing visitors with a glimpse of the stunning interplay between lava and lush rainforests, making it a must-visit destination on your Big Island adventure.

Lava Tree State MonumentThe Big Island's Lava ForestWhen leaving Pahoa, make sure to take a left ont ....

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