Thurston Lava Tube

Thurston Lava Tube

Highlights:
  • Exploring the lava tube tunnel
  • Venturing to the unlit section of the tunnel
  • The beautiful colors of minerals on the rocks
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Description:
This is an area where you can experience a fantastic cave formation made from lava. The Thurston Lava Tube is a 500-year old cave made when lava flowing gradually build solid walls and ceiling after the river of lava has passed through. The molten lava underground flows for a long period of time and after some times, the lava cavernous tube is drained by an eruption which leaves a vacant chamber with lava walls after the earth cools. The caves can be small just a few feet high and a few yards, or they can stretch for miles and have very high ceilings.

Getting to the Thurston Lava Tube, you will have to go through a fern forest that leads to a bridge with an entrance of a 600 ft long tunnel. The entrance of the tube is camouflaged with jungle foliage around it. Inside, the passageway in the lava tube is between ten to 40 ft high which comfortably accommodates any adult person to explore with ease.  there are electric lights illuminating the tunnel. 

Exploring the cave, you will admire the geology of lava tube formation. The lava tube clearly shows the force of the lava that carved these tunnels. You will notice very nice shapes and the colors of different minerals leeching from the rocks. If you are adventurous, and have a very strong flash light, you may want to explore the unlit section of the tunnel. This section is completely dark and has an uneven floor. You need to be sure-footed when exploring this section. The exit can be fount about halfway through the tunnel in the section that is lit, but the tunnel continues for about 1000 feet in the unlit section.

The tubes were discovered in 1913 by Lorrin Thruston, a newspaper publisher. When the caves were discovered, they were covered with stalactites but over the years, they lost this coating  because of 'souvenir collectors' and cave visitors. In Hawaiian, the name of the tube is Nahuku. 
 
Type:
Attraction
Park
Volcano
Location
Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States 96778
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