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The next part of our tour of the Volcanoes National Park took us to the caldera known as Kilauea Iki. This part of the volcano is a pit crater. It was in August of 1959 that a swarm of earthquakes occurred and a new cinder cone formed. They named this cone Puʻu Puaʻi, which translates to “gushing hill.” We were walking on a trail leading up to the crater pit marveling at the greenery, when it opened up to this view!

First View of Kilauea Iki

We were standing so high above the caldera here and the view was breathtaking. There is a dark shelf at the bottom of the cone and this is where the lava gushed back in 1959. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, then look at the bottom right corner you will actually see people on the caldera floor where the gusher occurred!

Pit Crater of Kilauea Iki

Here they are as close up as I could get them!

The floor of Kilauea Iki

Next is a close up view of the dome.

The top of the dome

And finally a panoramic view of the whole caldera.

Panoramic of Kilauea Iki

As we walked away from the caldera we noticed alongside the trail these dark spots. It turns out they are what I call rifts that drop down to who knows how deep. In one area we noticed hot air coming from below.

A rift

We next head off to the Jagger museum and along the way find the steam vents. Stay tuned!

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