Kīlauea Iki(Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park)
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Kīlauea Iki is a smaller caldera located next to the larger more active Kīlauea caldera. Since the Kīlauea caldera floor has been closed to hikers due to volcanic activity, Kīlauea Iki is as close as you're going to get. The Kīlauea Iki trail starts on the crater rim and drops down to the caldera floor. You get to walk across the entire breadth of the caldera floor seeing different kinds of lava, stream vents, sulphur, and all that volcanic goodness.
Park at either the Kīlauea Iki or Thurston Lava Tube trailheads. The trail is a loop and goes through both parking lots.
Which maps cover the area?
Going counter-clockwise the trail goes along the upper edge of the crater for 1-2 kilometres. This area is heavily vegetated. You can peer out over the cliff and make out the trail as it crosses the caldera floor below. In the distance you can see the column of steam rising from nearby Kīlauea. The winds down the cliff and unto the caldera floor. The floor is devoid of plant life except for small ferns growing in the cracks of the lava. The lava varies as you cross the caldera, from piles of rubble to smooth flat sheets. Numerous small stream vents constantly pump out steam.
Do you need any permits? What's the cost?
How can I find more info? Any guide books?