Sulphur Banks

Area in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

A wooden boardwalk weaves between misty, rocky vents stained chartreuse, yellow, orange and other psychedelic colors by tons of sulfur-infused steam rising from deep within the earth. Once frequented by rare birds (hence the Hawaiian name, Haʻakulamanu), invasive plants and other changes to the environment have made it less hospitable to nene and kolea (Pacific golden plover). The easy 0.7-mile one-way trail connects to Crater Rim Dr near the parking lot for Steaming Bluff. Wheelchair-accessible.

About 500 years ago, Kilauea's summit collapsed inward leaving a series of concentric cliffs stepping down towards its center. These sulphur banks are on the outermost ring and formed due to deep cracks along the fault that allow gases to escape from the magma pocket below. This potent gas creates the small crystalline structures that give the rocks their hue.

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