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Lava Tree State Monument

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General Information

Description - Lava Tree State Monument preserves the site where a lava flow burned through an ohia forest in 1790. The lava, flowing quickly from Kilauea's east rift zone, surrounded the trees and cooled forming molds of the burned tree trunks.

Attractions - A 0.7 mile loop trail leads through the forest of lava trees. Picnicking facilities and bathrooms maintained at this site, but drinking water is not available. The interesting formations and well-maintained grounds make this one of the nicer parks on this part of the island and a popular spot for picnics and gatherings.

Recreation - Visitors to Lava Tree State Monument will enjoy viewing the strange formations left from the lava that flowed through the area. A hiking trail leads through and around 17 acres of the preserved forest.

Climate - The island of Hawaii, like the others in the chain, has a windward and leeward climate. The windward (eastern) side of the island receives a lot of moisture. Hilo's monthly averages are above 8 inches. Winter and spring months receive the most moisture, but count on rain if you're traveling in this region. The leeward side can be almost desert like. The mountains are so large on Hawaii, that they trap the moisture on the windward side. Most of the days are sunny on the western coast of Hawaii and hence the tourists flock to this region.

Temperatures on the island of Hawaii are moderate with year round averages near 74 degrees F. The temperatures differ more with elevation than the seasons. Winter clothing such as gloves, hats and layered clothing is necessary if camping in any of the high elevation campgrounds on the island.

Location - This site is located in the Puna district of southeastern Hawaii. Access to the monument is from Pahoa-Pohoiki Road, three miles southeast of Pahoa.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Very cool!!! Go there now!!!

Filed By: Marie (San Francisco, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Lush, Peaceful, Mysterious Rainforest Walk. My friend and I met some locals in the parking lot who were weaving palm leaves into canoes and grasshoppers. There were a few tourists, plus a group of cyclists enjoying lunch break in the park. Tree trunks were covered dramatically in very healthy monstera deliciosa leaves. The walk is a circuit and best experienced at a slow, meditative pace. The lava tree ghosts themselves bear witness to the drama of death, life and renewal, set amidst the greenery. In the evening, the area is a delightful caucophony of an invasive foreign frog species.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Viewing Interpretive Sites Viewing of interesting geologic site.
ICON Picnicking Picnic facilities provided.

More Information

Contact Information:
Hawai'i District, Hawai'i State Parks, P.O. Box 936, 75 Aupuni Street, 204 , Hilo, HI, 96721-0936, Phone: 808-974-6200

Additional Information:
Big Island (Hawaii) - This island is known as 'The Big Island', due to its size, which is nearly double that of the others in the archipelago combined. Hawaii has a plethora of natural areas including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Big Island State Parks - The Big Island contains 14 state-administered park sites. The sites pervade the island and protect properties of natural, historical and cultural significance.
Hawaii State Parks - Hawai'i's State Park System is comprised of 52 state parks encompassing nearly 25,000 acres on the 5 major islands.


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