The Big Island - Best Way to See the Volcano

Old Mar 25th, 2017, 06:36 AM
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The Big Island - Best Way to See the Volcano

Hi All - I am traveling to the big Island in May and looking for some advice on the best way to see the volcano. We will only have 1 day and will be staying on the other side of the island (at The Fairmont).

I know there are options to view the volcano by helicopter, hiking, and boat to see the g61 flow. There are also tours which combine scenic parts of the island with a volcano hike and nighttime viewing at the Jaggar Museum.

For those who have been, what is THE best way to see the volcano with limited time. I wish I had longer, but trying to make the best of the time we have. Thanks so much for your advice!!!
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 08:52 AM
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Very confusing question. Are you visiting The Fairmont for one day and want to spend that day trekking to the other side?

I think that the boat tours are a bad idea. Google or youtube search for videos of delta/shelf collapses and you will quickly see that it's not a great idea and a tragedy waiting to happen. Luckily the last major collapse, the tour boats were in transition and hadn't arrived to the lava viewing yet.
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 09:18 AM
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I will be on The Big Island for 5 days, but will only have 1 day to see the Volcano. Staying at the Fairmont which is 3 hours away from the volcano, so looking for the best day trip idea to explore the volcano and hopefully see some lava! Sorry for confusion in my post...
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 07:03 PM
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You are 2 hours from the volcano via hwy 200 (redone, well paved). Drive up to the park early, you can see and do a lot in a day; see the crater, and lava spattering if the level is up, walk through the Thurston lava tube cave, and drive down Chain of Craters Road (where you can get a far off view of the sea lava entry; mostly steam).
The boat ride is very expensive, and can be choppy; helicopter from Hilo is cheaper, but you should go early for best weather and viewing (you could also take a longer flight from Blue Hawaii in Waikoloa, or from the Kona airport).
We often do a day trip to the other side to visit the park or other sights on the east/south side.
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 07:11 PM
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p.s. I don't currently recommend the hike over the lava from Kalapana to view the flow; it seems a little dangerous, but that's just my take (also strenuous and time consuming).
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 07:23 PM
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What's happening at Kalapana viewing area?
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Old Mar 26th, 2017, 07:41 AM
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I did not do the helicopter tour but think it would be a great option.

https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm
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Old Mar 27th, 2017, 04:42 AM
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With this said, if the boat is too dangerous and the hike is not worth the time (or also might be too dangerous), do folks recommend helicopter? Or, can you actually see any lava from the park itself and the evening viewpoint from the Jaggar Museum? Thanks everyone! I appreciate your advice!
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Old Mar 27th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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I did Poke a Stick Lava Tour and had a great time. Yes, it was a hike, but to see the lava close up was a thrill. Other friends also did this tour while on Hawaii and had a good time. Just be sure you are able to walk over lava for an extended period of time.

http://www.pokeastick.com/
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Old Mar 28th, 2017, 06:25 AM
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That area of the flow is currently prone to instability due to the shelf collapse area, that can take older parts with it (there are cracks evidencing that would give me pause. Read the warnings of the USGS and park service.) The hike from Kalapana is in a very different area than the crater part of the park, and both activities (that and the park) would be a difficult day.
The boat ride isn't necessarily dangerous (take breathing, etc. Precautions). We are going to do it in in a month or two if the ocean entry is still going strong.
You can see lava in the crater, and the night view is beautiful, esp. If lava lake levels are up and there is spattering. There are also geothermal features in the park proper.
You could phone or email the chopper places and ask them exactly what can be seen right now; there were restrictions about flying over the ocean entry earlier this year.
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Old Mar 28th, 2017, 08:06 AM
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We did a fixed-wing flyover rather than the chopper; it was very scenic, cheaper, and everybody gets a window seat, while some in the helicopters get middle seats (depending on the operator.) This was some years ago, however, so don't know the current situation/pricing. Might be worth a look, however.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 09:46 AM
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The copter tours are becoming an annoyance. I've had some captor traffic over our home and can sympathize with the annoyance.

http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/20...aints-in-hilo/
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