Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)
Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)

Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii, 96778

The Basics

The Thurston Lava Tube, also known as Nahuku, is one of several points of interest located along the park’s Crater Rim Drive. From the parking area, a 15- to 20-minute walk leads down through a fern forest to the cave-like tube. The tube features on just about every guided tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as well as circle island and volcano-themed tours of the Big Island.

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Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
$167.54 per adult
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Top notched with highly professional guide.
This was the most professional tour we have been on in our four months, worldwide cruise. our tour guide was professional, knowledgeable and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would highly recommend this outfit for anybody interested in a tour of Hilo, Hawaii.
Jonathan_L, Feb 2024

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Thurston Lava Tube is a must-visit for first-time park visitors and anyone with an interest in volcanology.

  • Watch your head: There are some low spots within the 600-foot (183-meter) tube.

  • Bring a flashlight to take a closer look at some of the cave’s natural features.

  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.

  • The Thurston Lava Tube is not wheelchair accessible, though there are accessible restrooms in the parking area.

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How to Get There

The easiest way to reach the lava tube is to drive. The parking area and trailhead leading down to the tube sits 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) past the park entrance on Crater Rim Drive. From there, a short trail (0.3 miles or 0.5 kilometers) leads to the tube entrance.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Since the Thurston Lava Tube is one of the most accessible, and therefore most popular, natural features within the park, it’s a good idea to head there first thing in the morning to explore the tube with fewer people.

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Other Attractions of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

If you’re visiting the national park independently, there are several notable points of interest you won’t want to miss. Smell the sulfurous gases of the volcano at Sulphur Banks, breathe in the warmth at the Steam Vents, take in the lunar-like landscapes of Devastation Trail, hike across the floor of Kilauea Iki crater, and watch the glow of the active volcano from the Jaggar Museum observatory.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)?
A:
Attractions near Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Big Island of Hawaii?
A:
As well as visiting the Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: