Big Island of Hawaii Sight
The parking lot for the Kilauea Caldera Overlook is on the left side of Crater Rim Drive about .7 miles past the Steam Vents. From this vantage point, you can truly appreciate the magnitude of the Kilauea Caldera which spans two miles and drops several hundred feet.
Imagine this vast space oozing with molten rock. A frightening and awe-inspiring thought for sure. Geologists now believe that the bubbling lake of lava exists 2 miles below the floor. They also think the caldera was formed during the 1790 explosion which provided the ash that paves the walkway. In the distance to the right is a large depression. This is the famous Halema'uma'u Crater or firepit.
According to Hawaiian legends, Hawaii's Big Island is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire. For many years Pele shaped and formed her new abode, using red-hot lava to create her unique fortress. Early Hawaiians respected and honored Pele, and made offerings to please her or placate her wrath. Today Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) is the country's 13th National Park and our state's #1 visitor attraction. It was created to preserve the regions unique volcanic features, its early human history and the plant and animal life that is part of this special bioregion.