If volcanos are anything, they are surprising. In 2018 Hawai’i’s Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, suddenly and unexpectedly shifted gears. Crevices in the earth appeared throughout residential neighborhoods in the Puna district in the southeast corner of the Big Island and over the course of days, lava emerged from the magma chambers below and consumed hundreds of homes as it flowed downhill in many directions.
While it was traumatic for residents, who had little warning to rescue their possessions before they were burned and buried below the molten rock, it was an unmistakable reminder that nature—or Pele—is a force that can’t be held back by humans. A visceral reminder of the destructive power of the 2018 eruption is the “Road to Nowhere” or “End of the Road,” where a 10-meter high lava flow severed Pohoiki Road just beyond Lava Tree State Park, which is also well worth a visit.
The signs and barricades that currently stand in this spot are a reminder that there are times when the forces of nature triumph over the will of humans. Other nearby roads have been restored and offer opportunities to view some of the youngest rock on the planet. The county has announced plans to restore Pohoiki Road as well, though they do not expect the project to be complete for several more years.
Know Before You Go
While you’re here, make a stop at Lava Tree State Park to explore some other artifacts of earlier lava flows.