Nāhuku – Thurston Lava Tube

Nāhuku - Thurston Lava Tube

Thurston Lava Tube Pixabay Public Domain

Thurston Lava Tube Pixabay Public Domain

Your group is not going to be disappointed in this stop, the Thurston Lava Tube, or Nahuku, providing one of the most Hawaii-unique geological experiences possible!

This historical landmark is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a 600-foot long subterranean cave formed by an ancient flowing lava river of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Your walk to the cave itself will be pleasant, a tropically forested area where you can listen to the calls of native birds and other local animals. Once inside the cave, there will be a whole new ecosystem of creatures to watch and listen for!

The lava tube's name, Nahuku, means 'the protuberances', probably referring to the lava drippings that were once found on the ceiling of the tube. Once inside you will find a fairly easily accessible route, lit by electric lights. The floors are flat rock and the ceiling reaches a height of 20 feet in some places. This is a great place to learn about lava tube geology, with several minerals leeching from the rock to study and learn about.

If you are feeling adventurous, consider taking a longer journey along the Devastation Trailhead, a less accessible, more naturally raw trail.