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The end of the Chain of Craters Road is currently around Mile Marker 19, just at the Holei Sea Arch. Good, if distant, viewing of the explosion cloud where lava enters the sea, displays about the volcano and natural history of the area, as well as a wealth of information on hiking to, and viewing, the lava, are available here. In addition, numerous sea arches, sea caves, fabulous bird watching, indescribable ocean views and some pretty good biking are to be found here. Even if the lava flows are too far away to be easily hiked to, the hike along the new land, twisted lava forms and endless basalt landscape is well worth the drive to the end of the road.

Over the months and years, the lava river issuing from Pu’u O’o winds its way back and forth across the lava plain of about 8 miles breadth, usually flowing into the sea within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, but sometimes outside the eastern margin of the Park on County of Hawaii land, sometimes ponding behind the low lava hills for weeks at a time without entering the ocean at all. Check with the rangers about flow conditions; they can tell you the best way to approach these flows. Current eruption updates are available from the National Park Service by calling 808.985.600.

Written and produced by Donald B. MacGowan; videography by Donnie MacGowan and Frank Burgess; original musical score by Donald B. MacGowan.

For more information on visiting Hawaii in general, or the volcanoes of the Big Island in particular, please go to, and


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