Once a close-knit fishing village near Kaimu Beach (the island's most famous black-sand beach), Kalapana was erased from the map in 1990 by Kilauea's Puʻu ʻOʻo-Kupaianaha eruption. The lava consumed nearly everything – save for the Star of the Sea Church (which the community moved in the nick of time) and Uncle Robert's family compound (which now hosts a near continual celebration of life). Other less fortunate Hawaiians shrugged off the disaster, commenting that Pele has every right to take back the land she gave them.
The lava flow has moved to the west (for now), and while more tenacious residents rebuild on the practically still-steaming rocks, hikers flood by for a chance to see the Earth's creation firsthand. A parking and information area at the end of Hwy 130 points you toward the lava.