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by Donald B. MacGowan

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Mauna Loa from Mauna Loa Road, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Graphic from Photo by Donald B MacGowan

There are many wondrous, enigmatic and fascinating attractions on the Big Island of Hawaii, some better known than others, many out of the way and generally off the beaten track. Tour Guide Hawaii has produced an encyclopedic collection of the most up-to-date information, presented as short GPS-cued videos, in an app downloadable to iPhone and iPod Touch that covers the entire Big Island, highlighting the popular and the uncrowded, the famous and the secluded, the adventurous and the relaxing.

Along the Mauna Loa Scenic Road…Tree Molds, Kipuka Puaulu and Mauna Loa Summit Trailhead

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Cool, tree-tunneled Mauna Loa Road at Kipuka Puaulu, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Photo by Donald B MacGowan

This gateway to the southern flank of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, lies about 2 ½ miles west of the main entrance to the park. Between mile markers 30 and 31 on Highway 11. The road traverses lava desert, o’hia scrub savanna, fern forest and ends where the hiking trail starts to the icy heights of Mauna Loa’s summit.

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Tree Mold Viewing Area, Mauna Loa Road, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Photo by Donnie MacGowan

A small fork off the main road heading east just after the start of Mauna Loa Road leads to a series of tree molds that formed when lava poured through the deep tropical forest. The trees were too wet to burn and the lava simply cooled around the trunks. Later, as the trees rotted, these unusual, deep pit molds were left behind. Definitely worth a visit, and there are pit toilets available at the Tree Molds.

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Tree mold along Mauna loa Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Photo by Donald B MacGowan

About 1 ½ miles further along Mauna Loa Road is Bird Park, or Kipuka Puaulu. A forested island in a giant lava flow, this micro-ecosystem preserves forest plants and animals and is a haven to many bird members of Hawai’i’s endangered species. Cool, quiet, restful and inviting, there is a one-mile nature trail around this tropical forest oasis.

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Rangers on horse patrol up Mauna Loa Road, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Photo by Donald B MacGowan

Mauna Loa Road is closed at various elevations at various times due to fire hazard. If one has the time and an adventurous heart, it is well worth the trip to drive to the end of the road and perhaps even hike a ways up it. The start of the Mauna Loa summit trail is here, but for most people, that goal is at least two days hard hiking distant. The world’s largest active volcano is a LOT bigger than it looks!

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Mauna Loa from Mauna Loa Road, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Photo by Donald B MacGowan

To see the new iPhone/iPod Touch App, please visit http://www.tourguidehawaii.com/iphone.html. The best of Tour Guide Hawaii’s free content about traveling to, and exploring, the Big island, can be found here.

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

Mauna Loa dryland forest, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Photo by Donald B MacGowan

For more information on traveling to Hawaii in general and on touring the Big Island in particular, please also visit www.tourguidehawaii.com and www.tourguidehawaii.blogspot.com.

All media copyright 2010 by Donald B. MacGowan. All rights reserved.

New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand. Interactive maps, GPS and WiFi enabled, dozens of videos…available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.

The lava tree molds on Mauna Loa Road, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Graphic from Photo by Donald B MacGowan

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2 Comments

  1. looking for the address to the park rangers so that I can mail back my souvenirs so they can throw them back into the lava on the big island. thanks

    • The Address is:
      Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
      PO Box 52
      Hawai’i National Park, HI 96718-0052

      May I take this opportunity to remind everyone that taking rocks, plants, wildlife, archeological artifacts, signs or any other kind of physical souvenirs from any US National Park is illegal.

      Local legend also informs us that Madame Pele considers all the rocks to be hers, and bad luck befalls anyone who removes them. As a scientist, of course, I chuckle mildly at this, but as an entrepreneur in the visitor industry, I observe that the Park Service receives thousands of packages a year of rocks returned by visitors experiencing uncommonly bad luck.

      It’s not nice, nor a good idea, to upset the Goddess.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] are four main roads which access most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: the Mauna Loa Scenic road, which lies above the visitor’s center and winds up the slopes of Mauna Loa; Crater Rim Drive […]

  2. […] subsidiary roads, Mauna Loa Road and Hilina Pali Road, allow the visitor access so some of the less-traveled, fabulous backcountry […]

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