Walk around to the back of Jaggar Museum to get the best view of Halema’uma’u Crater since the road to the Halema’uma’u Outlook is closed. On a clear day, you might see Mauna Loa, 20 miles to the west. The museum shows a film from when the volcano was really spewing, explains the Madam Pele legend in murals, and monitors earthquakes (a precursor of eruptions) on a seismograph. You can also see displays of different types of lava and the clothes and tools of a man who was caught in an eruption. Since all the tour buses stop here, it can get crowded. Tours limit the amount of time they can stay at one place so if you can’t get good photos, wait about 10 minutes for the tour bus passengers to leave. Restrooms and another rain water refilling station available. Open 8:30am-5pm.
The first stop on our bus tour from Hilo was the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum. I am really interested in volcanology so I was very interested in the working seismographs. The Museum is next to the main crater, Halema'uma'u
We also came back here at night on our trip to the Big Island after the cruise and I was able to watch the lava eruptions from here after dark
I didn't get a chance to go to the museum this last visit but it is worth a stop if you're here. There are better exhibits here with varying types of volcanic rock from the thing wisps of stone known as Pele's Hair to the giant rocket sized bombs.
Once the bus tour from the ship at Hilo got to the Hawaii Volcano National Park, our first stop was the Jagger museum. This time I had brought the NPS passports and we each got a stamp.
We looked at the seismographs and exhibits. The Museum is next to the main crater, Halema'uma'u. We took pictures of it. The Hawaiians believe Kilauea and Halemaumau to be the home of Pele
I also took photos of the sign asking us not to feed the Nene (the Hawaiian goose because then they are attracted to the roads and parking lots and get run over and killed. We didn't see any - they are an endangered species.
The driver (and signs at the museum) attempted to explain the difference between the two kinds of lava - Aa which is very jagged and rough and may be 10 feet thick, and Pahoehoe which is smooth and only one of two meters thick. The differences are caused by the temperature of the flowing lava.