Steam Vents & Steaming Bluff

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Creating impressive billowing plumes in the cool early morning, these vents make a convenient drive-up photo op. Hot rocks below the surface boil rainwater as it percolates down, producing the steam. While the vents at the parking area are perfectly fine, even more evocative is Steaming Bluff, found along a short walk out to the rim. Here, curtains of steam frame the cliffs above a post-apocalyptic view, giving you the distinct feeling that something BIG happened here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park attractions

1. Sulphur Banks


A wooden boardwalk weaves between misty, rocky vents stained chartreuse, yellow, orange and other psychedelic colors by tons of sulfur-infused steam…

2. Volcano Art Center

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Near the Kilauea Visitor Center, this sharp local art gallery spotlights museum-quality pottery, paintings, woodwork, sculpture, jewelry, Hawaiian quilts…

3. Kilauea Visitor Center & Museum

0.71 MILES

Stop here first on your visit to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Extraordinarily helpful (and remarkably patient) rangers and volunteers can advise you…

4. Lava Tree Molds

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Near the start of Mauna Loa Rd, there's a turnoff to some neglected lava tree molds – deep wells that formed when lava flows engulfed the rainforest and…

5. Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

1.21 MILES

The original Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook off Crater Rim Dr was closed in 2008 due to volcanic activity and the very real threat of death. For the next decade,…

6. Kilauea Overlook

1.21 MILES

A pause-worthy panorama that was closed at time of research with an expected reopening date in 2020. It's most remarkable for the 6-ton volcanic bomb…

7. Kilauea

1.24 MILES

Kilauea volcano lies at the center of activity in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The unassuming bump on Mauna Loa's southeast flank would be easily…

8. Volcano Winery


Perhaps recognizing that grapes from Mauna Loa's volcanic soil may never erupt onto the world stage on their own merits, this winery creates some very…