There are several places to begin this loop trail, but the most common place is the Visitor's Center. Walk across the street near the hotel and find a sidewalk that leads to a trail junction. Follow signs for the Crater Rim Trail.
This hike circles Kilauea's crater. You will pass through lava, rainforest, and past steam vents. This trail roughly parallels the road that circles the crater, and will allow you to see the sights along the road without driving.
It is 12 miles to do the round trip, not counting detours. It is likely you will encounter stifling sulphur dioxide fumes along the way, so people with health problems should avoid this hike.
Smoldering log along edge of middle arm of PKK flow on Pulama pali. The far end of the log has burned completely away, leaving a log mold. Photograph courtesy the United States Geologic Survey
Sturdy shoes, plenty of water.
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