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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Hiking & Land Activities

Total Number of Entries - 65
  • Rubbernecking at Kilauea Volcano

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    sunset behind jagger museum at volcanoes national parkOn my last visit a few weeks ago, Halemaumau Trail was closed at the seam where the trail’s descent through a shady rainforest met up with the desolate crater floor, a demarcation line as distinct as blue and red in this upcoming election. A few years ago, a lava lake at the southeastern end of Halemaumau Crater started to generate excitement. It split open the crater floor and has grown to nearly 500 feet in diameter and more than 600 feet deep. This “pit within a pit” is the reason for the glow that is visible after sunset from the Jagger Museum. This week, I read that the level of this lava lake was rising quickly and threatened to flood the floor of Halemaumau Crater.

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  • Cheating Death inside Halemaumau Crater

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    halemaumau all aglowHalemaumau Trail at Volcanoes National Park starts at the historic Volcano House hotel and drops 425 feet to the crater floor in less than one mile. It’s known as the oldest of the park’s many hiking trails and likely the very same one that Mark Twain and Isabella Bird descended in 1866 and 1873, respectively. That’s all I needed to hear.

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  • Hiking inside Haleakala Crater. Part Three.

    Destination: Maui

    kim at end of haleakala trekBy now, you know I made it down Haleakala on Maui. The question that remains is how. My comedian readers would say that I made it down the slopes of Haleakala one step at a time, and that I did. The descent out of Haleakala Crater from our cabin in Paliku to Kaupo descended a healthy 6,130 feet over 8.6 miles, and it appears that even trimming my toenails and buying hiking shoes one size too big wasn’t enough to prevent what athletes call turf toe.

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  • Hiking inside Haleakala Crater. Part two.

    Destination: Maui

    haleakala sunset at palikuSo, there I was, four o’clock in the afternoon on a rainy September Sunday, 10 miles by foot from the nearest paved road. Sitting in a wilderness cabin the size of my living room at 6,380-foot elevation inside the dormant volcano known as Haleakala on Maui. No cell service to call my mother and say we’d hadn’t died on the trek the day before. No wi-fi to check my email. No electricity to charge any electronics whatsoever.

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  • Hiking inside Haleakala Crater. Part One.

    Destination: Maui

    closeup of ahinahina leaves in haleakalaHaleakala is famous for its sunrises. Visitors head up the mountain in the black of night in order to witness the sun crawl up and over the tallest mountain on Maui, a dormant volcano, a sight considered by some to be an otherworldly experience. At 10,023-foot elevation, the black of night also delivers a spectacular star show, an added bonus, not quite as famous as its Mauna Kea neighbor, also peaking above the clouds, on Hawaii (Big) Island. But spectacular all the same.

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  • The Magical, Mystical World of the Alakai Swamp

    Destination: Kauai

    red lehua blossomLast week, I headed to Kokee State Park on Kauai to do some hiking on the Alakai Swamp Trail at about 4,000-foot elevation. (This in order to train for my backpacking trip this Labor Day weekend through Haleakala National Park, at elevations starting at 9,740 feet.)

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  • Music on the Mountain

    Destination: Oahu

    arrow on kuliouou ridge trailIt was only when the faint drone of a plane’s engines tapped the edges of my serenity that I realized how quiet this trail was. Just 10 miles and 20 minutes from the heart of Waikiki, Kuliouou Ridge Trail starts at the dead-end of a suburban road in Hawaii Kai. Within a half-mile on the rocky, tree-lined and switch-backing trail, I’d left the one-way streets, stoplights and pedestrian crosswalks behind. Far behind.

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  • Hiking Sleeping Giant. Training for Haleakala. And Michael Phelps.

    Destination: Kauai, Maui

    Hikers on Sleeping Giant trail, KauaiI hiked Sleeping Giant behind Kapaa last week. I’m headed to Oahu this week and hoping to squeeze in a hike. Didn't you just hike Kalalau Trail, you may be asking. What's up with all the hiking? I am actually training. But not for a sporting event. Hiking hasn't made it to the Olympics yet. (Neither has surfing, although some think it deserves a spot among the rings.)

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  • Hiking Kalalau Trail along Kauai's Famous Napali Coast

    Destination: Kauai

    I went for a hike along Kalalau Trail with friends last week, and shortly past the half-mile mark--after stopping to pose for photos with the dramatic Kee Beach as our backdrop--I looked up and caught my first glimpse of the distant Napali coastline. The cliffs stacked up like dominoes in the glaring, late afternoon sun, one after the other fading into the light. My feet stopped moving while my finger rose to point. My mouth opened and one word came out. “Look,” I said.

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  • Why I Chased the Transit of Venus

    Destination: Kauai

    venus transit across sunJune 5, 2012, started clear and sunny, as summer days do in Hawaii. Perfect for a day at the beach. Perfect for a sunburn, if you weren’t careful. And perfect for observing the planet Venus as it made its transit between the Earth and the sun. For about six-and-a-half hours, a dark spot would blemish the sun, looking like a perfect circle, no more than a freckle, really. Peering through a telescope, you might have mistaken the transit of Venus as possibly a mole on the very pregnant belly of a woman.

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