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Steam Vents at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Wahinekapu aka Steam Vents

Get a volcanic steam facial at Wahinekapu!

The steam vents area is less than one mile past the Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The Hawaiian place name for this area is Wahinekapu. At this steam vent location, fresh rain and ground water seeps into the warm volcanic rock and returns to the surface as steam. You can safely feel the heat from the Kilauea Volcano through exploring this special thermal area.

You may notice the landscape change from rain forest to grassy fields in this special volcanic area, because trees roots cannot survive in the heat from the steam. Shallow rooted grasses and plants are the only ones that can survive in this area. You  may enjoy the short .25 mile walk on a trail leading from the Steam Vents parking area to Steaming Bluff, on the caldera’s edge. The area is a grassy meadow with ground cracks and steaming concentrated in fractures along the caldera’s edge.

Cultural Significance

Some Hawaiian families come to this area to heal after becoming sick.
Other Hawaiians use this area to release bad toxins, or bad “vibes” after having a bad day.
Hawaiians and others often use this area to give offerings to Pele via oli (chant) hula (dance) and puolo (bundle/gifts) or lei (adornments). A lot of hālau (hula groups) will use this area to deposit their greenery and adornments after a performance.

If you would like to find out more about what to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, click here.

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