Being very fortunate to have built a second home near Volcanoes National Park, no trip is complete without a nighttime visit to the Jagger Overlook on Kilaueaʻs rim. We must pay our respects to Madame P and check out Halemaʻumaʻu. We were lucky enough to be there in March 2008 during a semester break trip when the current eruption started. The crater has continued to be active to date as the vent in the floor of the pit crater has gradually increased in size, and the lava lake inside rises and falls depending on flow in the subterranean plumbing. Much of the rim road and the Halemaʻumaʻu overlook itself remain closed.
Earlier in the evening, the overlook is usually busy with many visitors, and photography varying from many selfies to more serious attempts to capture the hypnotizing scene. Weather ranges from crystal clear star-filled skies with the long bulk of Mauna Loa as a backdrop to biting wind and occasional misty rain. Once on a moonlit night, we treated to a striking moonbow, a phenomena that looks even better with modern camera sensors. During another visit, we were witnesses to a curtain of fire eruption over in the Pu”u Oʻo direction, and the overlook was buzzing with activity as vulcanologists and park rangers were trying to guess what would happen next!
For eruption updates, webcam views and other information, go to the NPS web site.