Kilauea is not the only attraction within the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Just a half mile from the Kikauea Caldera overlook is the Thurston Lava Tube, known to the locals as Nāhuku. I’m pretty sure that the lava tube did not get its name from famed millionaire castaway Thurston Howell, III, but you never know. Actually, it was named after the Thurston family, missionary Asa and Lucy Thurston and their descendants.
It’s a short hike from the lava tube parking area on Crater Rim Drive to the lava tube entrance, and the vegetation along the way is quite spectacular.
And you’ll know when you’ve arrived:
This natural cave is a result of a lava flow from the nearby Kilauea Volcano. A river of hot, molten lava crusts over along the outer edges, insulating the lava still flowing within. When this molten lava drains from the channel, you get a lava tube.
Now for today’s photo gallery of this worthwhile Ricky’s Tour stop: