Crater Rim Drive Tour - Stop #6
Nāhuku - Thurston Lava Tube
May 16, 2017 - The interior lighting is off in the lava tube until electrical system repairs are completed. The lava tube remains open, however flashlights and/or headlamps are required. Please check at the Kīlauea Visitor Center Information Desk for updated information.
As you drive the 1/2 mile from the Kīlauea Iki Overlook, the forest becomes increasingly lush. Soon you arrive at the Thurston Lava Tube known as Nāhuku.
A 20 minute 1/3 mile walk through a tree fern forest and lighted prehistoric cavelike lava tube awaits you. This is an excellent place to stop and listen to the birds. Watch carefully and you may see the red apapane feeding among the equally red ohi'a blossoms.
This lava tube was discovered in 1913 by Lorrin Thurston, a local newspaper publisher. At that time the roof of the tube was covered with lava stalactites, but those soon disappeared to souvenir collectors.
As you walk through the tube consider that several hundred years ago a river of red lava rushed through. Watch your head in the tube - there are some spots with a low ceiling!
Last updated: June 5, 2017