Stop 2: The Holai Pali
Standing at the top of the Holai Pali (see Aerial Photo No. 4 for location), you can get some wonderful views looking over the Mauna Ulu flows and towards the coast. Just think what this view would have been like during the eruptions!
This is the view from the red star in Aerial Photo No. 4. We are looking almost due south along the Holai Pali. It's easy to see the step faults going down towards the left in this image. Believe it or not, walking down this part of the Chain of Craters Road is actually one of the best "adventure walks" that a visitor can take. As long as you have good boots, long trousers (to prevent scrapes), and a strong pair of gloves (protect your hands too), you can slowly pick your way down this 300 meter-high cliff. If you do this walk, you'll get a fascinating close-up view of many of the lava flows. But, as always, be careful, this is very steep country and the footing is never steady!
Here's another view from the Holai Pali, looking out towards a big a'a flow that was formed in 1969.
One of the neat things about the Mauna Ulu lava flows is that they formed such interesting patterns as they cooled. Here we see a series of pahoehoe lava "ropes", with the b/w ruler (in 5 cm intervals) for scale.
Everything seems to have gone wrong for the lava flow when it tried to go over almost vertical parts of the Holai Pali. Here we see just one example of hundreds of small flow lobes that came down right where the road is now located.
From here you can continue on to Stop 3 on the ground, or you can pick another point from the Chain of Craters Virtual Field Trip page.
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Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze