Forested Pit Crater

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

A steep pit crater filled with Hawaiian trees, ferns, and other plants
A forested pit crater in the Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

NPS Photo/M. Szoenyi

Quick Facts

Scenic View/Photo Spot

On a long and strenuous day hike to a forested pit crater, visitors to the Kahuku Unit can peek into an oasis that has sheltered treasured native species.

The 250-foot (76 m) vertical walls of this steep pit crater have protected the unspoiled native rainforest within it from the cattle, pigs and people that previously removed them from the surrounding landscape. With an astonishing array of Hawaiian species, many rare and endangered, this magical place affords us a glimpse into the distant past, before human-caused transformation that affected the nearby ranch land.

Learn more about how pit craters form.