Pauahi Crater

Chain of Craters Road Tour - Stop #3

 
Pauahi Crater
Pauahi Crater - click for full resolution image

NPS / Ed Shiinoki

 
Pauahi Crater
Pauahi Crater - click for full resolution image

NPS / Ed Shiinoki

Pau = finished / destroyed
Ahi = fire
Pauahi = "destroyed by fire"

Pauahi Crater is approximately 1800-2000 ft. (548.6-610 meters) long, 300-500 ft. (90-106.7 meters) deep and 300 ft. (90 meters) wide.

In November of 1973 there was an eruption that lasted 31 days, creating the present crater floor. This eruption also opened a fissure east of the crater towards Puʻuhululu. This fissure eruption became a phase of the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu eruptions. The last eruption of Pauahi occurred in 1979 for 16 days.

There is a short boardwalk for viewing the crater and landscape, a photographic moment. Just left of the boardwalk, you will see a fissure that poured lava in the crater during the 1973 eruption. A rampart (a cinder and ash hill) was also created during that eruption.

Pauahi Crater is culturally significant and religious to many of the Hawaiian people. At times you may view a "Hoʻokupu" (offering wrapped in Tī leaf), which should not be touched or disturbed.

 
Distance From the Beginning of Chain of Craters Road Distance From Kīlauea Visitor Center
Stop #1Lua Manu Crater 0.5 mi / 0.8 km 3.8 mi / 6.1 km
Stop #2Hilina Pali Road 2.3 mi / 3.7 km 5.6 mi / 9.0 km
Stop #3Pauahi Crater 3.3 mi / 5.3 km 6.6 mi / 10.6 km
Stop #4Mauna Ulu 3.7 mi / 6.0 km 7.0 mi / 11.3 km
Stop #5Mauna Ulu Flow Across Chain of Craters Road 4.1 mi / 6.6 km 7.4 mi / 11.9 km
Stop #6Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu 6.4 mi / 10.3 km 9.7 mi / 15.6 km
Stop #7Kealakomo Overlook 9.9 mi / 15.9 km 13.2 mi / 21.2 km
Stop #8Pu‘u Loa Petroglyphs 16.3 mi / 26.2 km 19.6 mi / 31.5 km
Stop #9Hōlei Sea Arch 18.8 mi / 30.3 km 22.1 mi / 35.6 km
Stop #10End of Chain of Craters Road 18.8 mi / 30.3 km 22.1 mi / 35.6 km

 

Last updated: January 16, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718

Phone:

(808) 985-6000

Contact Us