The End of Chain of Craters Road

No trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is complete without a visit to the end of Chain of Craters Road. Many times, visitors will check out the Holei Sea Arch, but completely skip out on fully venturing to the end of the road. Don’t be one of those people. The hike to the end is relatively short, though at times it feels like it is never ending. The National Park Service says that it is a one-mile roundtrip hike, but it feels much longer than that. It’s probably because the hike in and out is on a flat and monotonous paved road. Doesn’t matter, I’d suggest that you tough it out.

There’s no waterfall at the of this hike, instead, you’re presented with one of the most unique sites that you will see. Fresh, black lava and young green vegetation is starkly juxtaposed with an abandoned asphalt road. Where the road ends, the lava begins. Actually, this lava is relative new and is the result of lava activity from April of 2003. Jump up on the lava rock and in the distance you will see an odd sign sticking out from the black rock. Carefully walk toward it. As you get closer, you’ll see that the signs reads “Road Closed.” This makes for one of the most memorable photo opportunities that you will have in any National Park.

Explorers: Coty Gonzales and Michelle Sagucio.

It's a long walk on a paved road before you see the lava. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

It’s a long walk on a paved road before you see the lava. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

The walk to get to this point is so long. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

The walk to get to this point is so long. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

You get closer and closer. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

You get closer and closer. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Where the flow stopped. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Where the flow stopped. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Good thing it wasn't hot. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

Good thing it wasn’t hot. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

 

Road + Lava. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

Road + Lava. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

From here, you'll want to jump on the hardened lava. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

From here, you’ll want to jump on the hardened lava. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Checking things out. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

Checking things out. Photo by Michelle Sagucio.

Gnarly landscape. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Gnarly landscape. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Turn right, and the ocean is right there. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Turn right, and the ocean is right there. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

One of my favorite shots from area. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

One of my favorite shots from area. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Keep walking and eventually you'll spot a sign. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Keep walking and eventually you’ll spot a sign. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

A sign that reads "Road Closed." Phot by Coty Gonzales.

A sign that reads “Road Closed.” Phot by Coty Gonzales.

Road Closed. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Road Closed. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Road Closed. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Road Closed. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

About Coty

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