Halemaumau Crater Night Viewing at Jaggar Museum

The Halemaumau Overlook at the Jaggar Museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must see whenever visiting this one-of-a-kind national park. We decided to visit the Jaggar Museum on the last night of our stay at the park. It was about 5pm, or so, when we found ourselves at the famous volcanic museum. Unfortunately for us, it was very cloudy with slight showers. The clouds were plentiful and hovering close to the crater, leaving us and every other spectator with nothing to see. So, we decided that we would head back to the Volcano House, wait a bit, and then return to the Jaggar Museum later in the evening with our fingers crossed.

It worked. By about 9pm, the clouds had cleared and we had a much better view of Halemaumau Crater. This is the same crater that is visible from the Volcano House, Waldron’s Ledge, along with other areas in the park, however, it is most spectacular from the Jaggar Museum. There are a couple of other viewing areas, however, they are closed off to foot-traffic and hikers because of the high risk of inhaling toxic fumes. Needless to say, the next time that I visit the Big Island, I may bring a gas mask along with me. Why? So that I can get closer to Halemaumau Crater.

One last thing to note. As we were walking up to the lookout, from the Jaggar Museum parking lot, we could hear the sound of Hawaiian chanting. As we got closer, the chanting got louder. Kind of creepy. We turned a corner and saw a large group of hula dancers chanting to the goddess Pele. Really creepy. A few moments later, after I had set up my tripod and camera, a man walked up to me. He asked me if I was a photographer. I kind of chuckled, and said “nah, just an amateur.” He then showed me a photo that he had just snapped on his point-and-shoot. The photo was filled with orbs. He asked me, “do you know what those things are?” I told him, “oh, those are orbs.” Of course, his follow up question was “what are orbs?”. I then went on to explain to him that orbs represent spirits, ghosts, auras, and/or energy fields. I told him that when he took that photo, he was surrounded by spirits – hopefully good ones. He let out a big “whoooooaaaaaa” and then went on to share the photo with all of his buddies. Of course, there is a scientific explanation for orbs (and everything else in this world), but, I didn’t share that part.

Explorers: Coty Gonzales and Michelle Sagucio.

Fire in the night. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Fire in the night. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Fire + Smiles. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Fire + Smiles. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Observing. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Observing. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Lookout. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Lookout. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Earth boiling. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Earth boiling. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.