Halema'uma'u changed greatly during the 20th century. In 1924 it was only 1,500 feet in diameter but was filled by a lake of molten lava that bubbled and boiled 2,100 degrees in Fahrenheit.
There is currently no red lava visible in the crater, but we have been told that it is only 300 feet below the surface. Who knows...it might be just a matter of time till this crater erupts again!
The Halema'uma'u Crater Overlook is a 10 minute walk from the parking area. From the overlook you look down directly into Pele's home. The crater is about 3,000 feet across and nearly 300 feet deep. We were unlucky that it really started to rain heavily.
During our hike towards the overlook we became sooking wet and didn't have the best view (as you can see on the pictures). But still it was worth while. If you look carefully into the crater you might see a large long-tailed white birth flying gracefully about. Yhis is the white-tailed tropic birth, known locally as Koa'e or Crater Bird. It feeds at sea, but nests in the crater wall.
Halema'uma'u is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Hawaiian volcanoes. The ancient traditions are honored and practiced here by native Hawaiians. It is not unusual to see offerings to Pele, such as sacred Hawaiian plants, left on the rim of the crater. Please respect this area!
The Halema'uma'u Crater Overlook is a 10 minute walk from the parking area. From the overlook you look down directly into Pele's home.