• Halema`uma`u Just Before Dawn

    Hawai'i Volcanoes

    National Park Hawai'i

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    The recent wind advisory has been lifted and Mauna Loa has reopened for backcountry hiking and camping at Red Hill and the Summit.  However, More »

Caves

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Nahuku - Thurston Lava Tube

NPS Photo

Caves within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park are predominately lava tubes, although there are other types of subterranean voids including sea caves, earth cracks, pit craters, volcanic vents, rift magma chambers, caves caused by inflation of lava sheets, and tree casts. Associated with many of these features are sensitive resources that include invertebrates, cultural remains, paleontological deposits, and unusual geologic formations. Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) is open every day to the public.

Due to the sensitive and fragile nature of cave resources all other caves within the Park are closed to the general public as well as Park staff not involved in the direct management of the caves. Approved research permits are required for those interested in doing research in caves as well as for interpretive or educational purposes.

Did You Know?

`a`a flowing over an older flow of pahoehoe.

The two types of Hawaiian lava differ in appearance but are chemically alike. Pahoehoe has a smoother and ropey surface where a`a is jagged and clinkery.