Kilauea Crater Rim Drive

The colored number circles correspond to
the links on the right side of this page.

  1. Kilauea Visitor Center
  2. Sulphur Banks
  3. Steam Vents and Steaming Bluff
  4. Kilauea Overlook
  5. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory & Jaggar Museum
  6. Southwest Rift Zone
  7. Halemaumau Overlook
  8. Keanakakoi Overlooks
  9. Puu Puai Overlook
  10. Thurston Lava Tube
  11. Kilauea Iki Overlook

Crater Rim Drive, Stop 9 - Puu Puai Overlook

Puu Puai is a cinder cone that formed during the 1959 eruption at Kilauea Iki Crater. Puu Puai means "gushing hill." Gas leaving the magma propelled incandescent cinder and ash as high as 1,900 feet (580 m) above the vent. Tradewinds blew the cinder and ash to the southwest, where it accumulated to form the cinder cone. With increasing distance to the southwest, the cinder and ash deposit gets thinner and the size of the volcanic particles gets smaller. Puu Puai parking area (lower right corner) is on the rim of Kilauea Iki crater. Devastation Trail skirts the tree line. Kilauea Caldera is on the top left. Photograph by J.D. Griggs, U.S. Geological Survey.

This was the view of the lava fountain from near the present day Puu Puai parking lot.
Photograph courtesy of the National Park Service, December 1974.

The overlook at Puu Puai provides an excellent view of the Kilauea Iki pit crater and the Kilauea Iki trail. It is also one of the windiest places in the park. Note the people on the Kilauea Iki Trail for scale. Kilauea Overlook is on the opposite rim.

Written and Photographed by Steve Mattox except where stated.

Sources of Information

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