Day Hike - Ha‘akulamanu (Sulphur Banks)

Trees obscured in steam
Trees obscured in steam at the edge of Haʻakulamanu (NPS Photo/A. LaValle)
 
Sulphur Banks (Ha‘akulamanu)
Ha‘akulamanu - Sulphur Banks

NPS Photo

Ha'akulamanu (Sulphur Banks) Trail

Due to underground heat, this dramatic volcanic thermal area has very few trees. Known as Ha'akulamanu, this unusual place has been famous for birds, colorful deposits, and billowing vapors.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1.2 mile (2 km) round trip from Kīlauea Visitor Center
  • Trail begins Western end of the Kīlauea Visitor Center parking lot toward the Volcano Art Center Gallery (The other end of the trail, which is wheelchair accessibe, can be picked up across the street from the Steam Vents parking lot)

At Ha'akulamanu (Sulphur Banks), volcanic gases seep out of the ground along with groundwater steam. These gases are rich in carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide -- the gas that smells like rotten eggs. Some sulfur gases deposit pure crystals at Sulphur Banks. Other sulfur gases form sulfuric acid which breaks down the lava to clay. This clay is stained red and brown with iron oxide.

Visitors with heart or respiratory problems (such as asthma), pregnant women, infants, or young children should avoid this walk.

 

Last updated: September 8, 2020

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Hawaii National Park, HI 96718

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