Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Field Trip

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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park: Invasive plant strategies and biocontrol facility

Punalu‘u black sand beach park where honu (green sea turtles) are known to emerge from the sea to bask on the warm sand.

Date: September 23, 2015
Time: 7:30am - 5:15pm (roundtrip from Waikoloa Beach Marriott Hotel)

Nahuku (Thurston) Lava Tub
  • Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 2, 2015
  • Cost: $85 Per Person
  • This field trip is contingent on a minimum enrollment of 35 participants
  • Once the minimum enrollment has been confirmed, your payment will be processed
  • Cancellation deadline: September 2, 2015
  • Refunds will not be issued after September 2, 2015


  • Those with heart or lung conditions must be aware of altitude, weather and air changes
  • What To Wear: Comfortable walking/hiking shoes & long pants
  • What To Bring: Light rain gear, jacket, towel, sun block, hat, at least 1 liter of water, & a camera


  • Roundtrip transportation (Waikoloa Beach Marriott)
  • Scenic stop at Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach
  • Picnic lunch with beverage
  • Snacks & one bottle of water
  • Volunteer Guides
  • Drive through Puna District
  • Drive up Saddle Road
  • Guided Tour of Pu‘uhuluhulu
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park stops include:

  • Mauna Loa Road broomsedge fire restoration
  • Kilauea caldera overlook
  • Easy 3-4 km hike along Crater Rim trail
  • Kilauea Iki overlook
  • Nahuku (Thurston) Lava Tube

Tentative Itinerary:

Stops in Bold

7:15 am Board buses in front of Waikoloa Beach Marriott
7:30 am Depart Waikoloa Beach Marriott
8:30 am to 8:50 am Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

  • Restrooms; View native mesic and dry forest plants
En route Schinus terebinthifolius, Bocconia frutescens, Coccinia grandis
10:20 am to 10:40 am Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach

  • Restrooms; Green sea turtle viewing
En route Forest and rangeland weeds including: 2 spp. Grevillea, 2 spp. Acacia, Schinus terebinthifolius, Psidium guajava, Lantana camara, and others
11:20 am to 11:45 am Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa Rd.

  • Broomsedge fire restoration project (turn bus at Kipuka Puaulu)
12:00 pm HAVO, Volcano House hotel (drop off for lunch & hike)

  • Sack lunch, park interpretation beginning at caldera overlook; Restrooms-Kilauea Visitor center (optional, on own)
  • 2.5 mi hike to Thurston Lava Tube, passing Waldron ledge  and Kilauea Iki overlooks, USFS biocontrol lab
  • Weeds including: Morella faya, Hedychium gardnerianum, Psidium cattleianum, grasses
2:15 pm Pick up passengers at Thurston Lava Tube
2:30 pm Depart Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
En route Descending through Puna District

  • Morella faya, Tibouchina spp., Psidium cattleianum, Rubus ellipticus, Albizia chinensis, Falcataria moluccana, Syzygium jambos (killed by Puccinia psidii rust), Clidemia hirta, Melastoma septemnervium, Miconia calvescens, Melochia umbellata, Cecropia obtusifoila, Trema orientalis, Spathodea campanulata, Paederia foetida
En route Ascending Saddle Road

  • Falcataria moluccana, Tibouchina herbacea, Ulex europaeus
3:50 pm to 4:15 pm Pu‘u Huluhulu on Saddle Road.

  • Restroom (pit toilet); views of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, native mesic forest and invasive threats. Delairea odorata, Senecio madagascariensis
En route Senecio madagascariensis, Pennisetum setaceum, Opuntia
5:15 pm Drop off at Waikoloa Beach Marriott

Route Map