The Big Island of Hawaii is a land of contrasts. You can spend the morning hiking some of the lushest rain forests you’ll ever see and walk dry lava fields with miles stark black rock after lunch. You can explore lava tubes below ground and sip hot chocolate to stay warm while stargazing on a mountain top.
I recently spent a week exploring the Big Island and field testing some Merrell gear, and was amazed at the diversity of terrain and climates I found on this spectacular island in the middle of the Pacific.
With views of an active volcano, stunning rock formations, thick jungle and great hiking trails, Volcano National Park was a great way to start our trip. We especially liked hiking across a crater on the Kilauea Iki trail, using the printed trail guide we were able to study and marvel at the ground below, which simply didn’t exist sixty years ago – it was liquid lava!
You can’t go to Hawaii without seeing a waterfall, and ‘Akaka Falls sprays a mist of fresh water among the green jungle.
Taking a break from the adventure, an afternoon of relaxing at the beach is highly advised.
The Big Island is home to a Big Mountain, Mauna Kea. Do to it’s distance from any light pollution and clear skys, the summit houses some of the worlds most advanced astronomical equipment and researchers. We drove to the visitor’s center one night and enjoyed the sunset and the stars.
But my favorite part of the trip was being able to see an active volcano in action. From the rim of the crater we could watch the steam rise and fire glow as the earth burned and melted and morphed below.
Between the stunning beaches, world class hiking and amazing views, the Big Island of Hawaii is an amazing place to visit and a great place to field test some Merrell gear.
In this land of contrasts one thing remains consistent – this small island holds the potential for incredible outdoor adventure.