Thurston Lava Tube

Published in Hilo Activities

Address: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HI 96718


A must see on your vacation in Hilo! Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it features a 20 minute 1/3 mile walk through a tree fern forest and lighted prehistoric cavelike lava tube awaits you. This lava tube was discovered in 1913 by Lorrin Thurston, a local newspaper publisher, and since then has been a popular tourist destination.

The lava tube is well lit for tourists convenience, and gives you an interesting look at the inner walls, which hundreds of years ago lava rushed through. This lava tube is an easy walk, and a great place to visit with kids.  The area around the lava tube is surrounded by huge ferns and other rain forest size plants and trees.  Very beautiful and only minutes away from the park entrance.  Parking is limited and can be a challenge if you come during busy times.  If you can’t park or don’t have time, visit another lava tube in Hilo at Kaumana Cave State Park.  See my site for details.

Make sure to watch your head, some spots in the cave have a low ceiling!


Inside the lava tube.


The walk to the lava tube.