ALOHA!

 

So for quite some time (30 years), there had been active lava flow (aka the red stuff!) to be seen on the Big Island. Then, it stopped in 2018. Then, active lava started flowing again in late 2020. Check here to see the current update.

So, there may or may not be active lava to be seen when you visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

But, even if you can’t see active lava, you CAN see old lava flows all over the Big Island!

And, the national park can be among the best spots on the Big Island to see a mass of hardened lava flows, lava rocks, and lava fields!

And among the hardened lava flows?!

You can see up close and personal how the lava flowed directly over a road in the national park.

This was from lava flows in 1972.

 

Where to see lava-covered road on old chain of craters road in Hawaii volcanoes national park on the Big Island. Alanui Kahiko stop pullover. Best things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Best scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

As the National Park Service says, with a visit to the Alanui Kahiko stop:

Walk to lava flows from Mauna Ulu that poured over the 800 foot (250 meters) high cliff and swept across Chain of Craters Road.

A few sections of the old road were spared and makes for great photos to show how temporary the constructs of men are on a continuously erupting volcano.

 

So the Chain of Craters Road is basically the drive that you MUST do when you visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

If you are trying to rush through the park, then this is a scenic drive that is worth a top priority.

And if you manage to find time to rush through the drive a little less and can make time for stops, you can also have a visit to this old road that’s now called Alanui Kahiko that was once a part of the Chain of Craters Road.

It’s no longer a part of the road because it got covered in lava!

 

So this can be a super quick stop.

Or if you have more time, you can get out and further walk the lava fields all around!

 

Alanui Kahiko stop - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava fields in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

🌋

 

Be sure to see the list of more places to see old lava flows on the Big Island… and there are old lava flows to see on Maui too if you’re head there!

 

 

So…

How to make the Alanui Kahiko stop a part of your Chain of Craters Road drive?!

So the Chain of Craters Road is an out-and-back drive.

You’ll want to drive out to the end of the road, which is the Holei Sea Arch with coastal cliff views, which is another worthy stop.

And then to see the Alanui Kahiko, the easiest would be to make this stop as you are making your way back to where you came from, the park entrance.

Although, it’s not that much more difficult if you want to stop when you’re driving in the opposite direction on the way to the end of the Chain of Craters Road.

The main thing is that there’s a bigger designated area to pull over your car on the way back without having to cross over to the other side of the road.

 

So…

After you’ve seen the Holei Sea Arch at the end of the Chain of Craters Road…

 

To Alanui Kahiko stop from Holei Sea Arch. Chain of craters road drive. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

Start driving back on Chain of Craters Road!

 

To Alanui Kahiko stop from Holei Sea Arch. Chain of craters road drive. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

It won’t be long (maybe a 10 minute drive) before you see the sign for Alanui Kahiko.

 

Alanui Kahiko location - Old chain of craters road. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko location - Old chain of craters road. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

Going in this direction, there will be a convenient stop to pull over your car on the right side of the road.

Once you see that…

 

Alanui Kahiko pullover scenic viewpoint overlook - Old chain of craters road. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

Pull over the car in the designated space!

Then…

If you look on the side towards the ocean, you’ll see a little stairway that leads down.

 

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

This path is right off the pull-over area.

You can go down that way and in a very short time (maybe like a minute) you’ll come to the old Chain of Craters road!

 

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road covered in lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

And then you can take some pictures, and head back to your car!

 

Or…

While this can be a super quick stop, you can also make this a worthy longer stop.

There are lava flows and lava fields all around the old road!

 

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko trail - Old chain of craters road. lava flows, lava fields with ocean view point. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

So you can just walk through the lava fields around here for as long as, or as little as, you feel!

There are also lava fields on the other side of the road (the real or “new” road, the one you were just driving on), and you can also walk through the lava on that side too.

 

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

What makes that side interesting is that even from far away, you can see the differences in the time period the lava flowed down the hill.

As you’re driving around the Big Island, not just in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you’ll notice that the lava fields are different shades – some are lighter in color and some are darker in color. 

You can see this color difference quite distinctly on the hill just across the street from Alanui Kahiko.

This means that you can also see quite distinctly the path of the most recent lava flow down this slope.

 

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

For this reason, I think it can be fun to walk through these lava fields too, so you can see up close side by side the most recent lava flow compared to the older lava rocks.

 

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

And other than that, it can just be fun to walk across the lava fields in general!

 

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

Alanui Kahiko stop - chain of craters road drive. lava flows, lava fields. Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

What if you want to make this stop on your way TO the end of Chain of Craters Road, and not on the way back?

In general, for safety, it’s best to only make stops on the Chain of Craters Road where there is a designated parking (or stopping) area.

If you’re going in the opposite direction, to the end of Chain of Craters Road towards the Holei Sea Arch, there was a small stop area on the right side that I think was good for just one car, maybe 2.

 

Alanui Kahiko - Old chain of craters road. jeep car rental. Parking spots in Hawaii volcanoes national park, pullovers, scenic view points overlook. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

And then if that spot is taken, if it’s safe to do so, you can cross over to park on the side with more parking area.

But because the old road is located on the right side as you are driving back to the park entrance, away from the end of the Chain of Craters Road, it can be easier to make this stop on your way back.

Basically, it can be easier to park on the way back since you won’t have to cross over!

 

Alanui Kahiko - Old chain of craters road. Parking spots in Hawaii volcanoes national park, pullovers, scenic view points overlook. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

But really, the whole fun in driving this scenic road is to make stops along the way as you like! (And when it’s safe to do so!)

So when you get near the Alanui Kahiko stop, see how you feel and you can decide if you want to make it on the way out, or on the way back!

In the end, it won’t make too big of a difference!

 

And, you can also use this stop along Chain of Craters Road as a resting spot with ocean views too!

 

Alanui Kahiko - Old chain of craters road. Picnic spots in Hawaii volcanoes national park, pullovers, scenic view points overlook. Scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

If you find this Old Chain of Craters Road stop interesting, you might find the Kilauea Iki Trail hike interesting too, also at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park! You can hike into what was formerly a lava lake!

 

See more stops to make as you’re driving through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!

 

HAPPY SEEING LAVA ON THE OLD CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD!

 

Alanui Kahiko stop on chain of craters road drive - Where to see lava in Big Island Hawaii. Best things to do in Hawaii volcanoes national park. Best scenic drives in Big Island. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of this amazing tour on the Big Island:


Watch the videos to see the Big Island in action!

Find more amazing things to do on the Big Island: Watch my Big Island videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!

ALOHA!