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Portion of Thurston Lava Tube, Trail to Close Temporarily

Posted August 24, 2017, 11:45 AM HST Updated August 24, 2017, 03:32 PM HST

The bridge entrance to Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube) is one of the most popular, and most photographed, destinations in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS photo/Janice Wei

Portions of Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku) and its rainforest loop trail will close for approximately two weeks starting Sept. 5, 2017, while Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park maintenance workers replace the electrical conduit and lighting system.

During the repairs, visitors will be able to explore the open section of the lava tube—one of the most popular destinations in the park.

Visitors are advised to bring their own light source (cell phone lights are adequate).

The nearby restrooms will remain open.

The new energy-efficient lighting system will simultaneously increase visitor safety by illuminating the interior and protect the cultural integrity of the ‘ana (cave) by inhibiting the growth of non-native plant species.


The back portion of Nāhuku will close first, including the stairs leading out of the lava tube and the north section of rainforest trail.

Visitors will be able to access the front section of the lava tube via the bridge entrance and return the same way.

Once work is complete in the back portion, work on the front section will start and visitors can access the rear portion of Nāhuku via the north trail and stairs.

Thurston Lava Tube and its lush rainforest trail are popular features in the park, located near the summit of Kīlauea Volcano off Crater Rim Drive. The lava tube was formed by a vigorous stream of magma that erupted from Kīlauea and crusted over about 550 years ago. When the magma source was exhausted, a long, hollow tunnel was left behind. The native rainforest surrounding Nāhuku is managed by the park as a Special Ecological Area, and is home to endemic plant, bird and insect species. Visitation is heaviest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and parking is limited to 30 minutes.


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Jackie Yarlott It was old 💡💡💡August 24, 2017 01:00pm
Manova Lowman Oops might go there todayAugust 24, 2017 02:04pm
Rob Smith Why is it taking 2 weeks ? 2 days seems like a time frame for people who know what they are doing ! Cut all the conduit before, then place it and run the wire.August 24, 2017 07:01pm
Susana La Londe Thank you ! We were there last June & it was difficult to enjoy cos it was dark inside ! Still it's awesome !August 24, 2017 09:32pm
Kona Vacation Rental Honestly, the walk through the tube itself is somewhat anti-climactic. It's the entrance (shown in the cover pic) and exit that are truly beautiful.August 25, 2017 06:57am

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