This was originally an Area/Range page but I've turned it into an album. The page for Kilauea has more definitive information about the park that I agree would just be repetitive putting on here. It was my hope to create this page as a big overview of the entire park with pictures and information and yet not take away from the Kilauea & Mauna Loa pages. If someone else wishes to take this further and make it into a great area/range page; just PM me
Chain of Craters Road
Chain of Craters Road is a 38-mile round trip road that begins off of Crater Rim Drive and dead ends where lava flow goes across the road. There are many road side stops along the way
[ Alot of the lava flow in this section are less than 40 years old
This is a short half mile trail that goes to the Pu'u Pua'i Overlook whick overlooks the Kilauea Iki Crater.
It is here that the crater erupted and "devastated" the nearby forest with showers of lava in 1959. Along the trail you still see pieces of deadwood. Stay on the paved trail as this area continues to be an ongoing study of the trees and plant life coming back. It is a concern that seed transfer could occur when people walk off trail.
Flora & Fauna
The Ohia Tree Nene-Hawaiian Goose Kalij Pheasants
This particular tree was growing on the floor of the Kilauea Iki crater. They can grow much larger.
A Hawaiian story has it that Ohia was a tribal leader on the Big Island and the Hawaiian goddess Pele was smitten with him. However Ohia's heart belonged to a young Hawaiian girl, Lehua. One day as Ohia was gathering wood in the forest, Pele tried to woo Ohia for her own to no avail. Dejected, Pele turned him in to a straggly tree. The other island gods were upset and made several unsuccessful attempts to reverse what Pele had done. However they turned Lehua into a beautiful red flower and attached her to the Ohia tree. So the legend is, when you pick the red Lehua flower off the Ohia tree, it will rain. The rain is tears of the gods crying over seperated lovers.
The Nene is native to the Islands and is the official State Bird. Unlike other webb-footed, the Nene prefer higher elevation and rocky soil than being near water. They are renown beggars and there are signs posted along trails imploring not to feed them. It is also against state & federal law to do so.
The Kalij pheasant is native to Nepal and parts of Southeast Asia and was introduced into Hawaii in the 1960's. I haven't found the reason why they were introduced but there are numbers enough hunted for game. They are usually found in male/female pairs (they're monogamous) and sometimes multiples of 3-5 to one female. I found these two in the forested section of the Kilauea Iki trail. Being a non-native species, there are studies as to how they're impacting the local flora. There's an ongoing effort by the Park staff to track & kill feral pigs and put up fences to keep out other feral animals. Also they pull out & cut down non native plants in hoping plants & animals native to Hawaii will re-establish themselves.