Know Before You Go: There is no shade on this trail and it is very, very busy. Surfaces can be quite slick in the rain. Length: Less than one mile. Time: 20-30 minutes. Difficulty: Easy. Terrain: Paved Road, aggregate, rock. Dog-friendly: No. Dogs are only allowed in certain parking lots and roads in the park, not on trails. Kid-friendly: Yes, but keep a close eye on the kiddos, especially near the ocean.
The Holei Sea Arch is 90 feet tall and was formed around 550 years ago. It can be accessed by driving to the end of Chain of Craters Road. This drive gives you a spectacular look at where lava has expanded the land mass of the island of Hawaii on its southern shores. You can look north to see where lava flowed down large cliffsides into the sea. To the south, the ocean stretches as far as the eye can sea, and clashes wildly with the land where the two meet.
The Holei Sea Arch is a temporary natural wonder. Sea arches are the remains of a once-continuous sea cliff where lava has met the sea. The moment the lava cools it begins to erode. Wind and water carve sea caves that eventually become arches. The arches will ultimately collapse and leave behind a column of rocks called a sea stack.
The drive and the hike are well worth your time. You’ll see indisputable evidence of the power of nature and marvel at the beauty left behind by destructive molten rock.
Of all the hikes we did in Hawaii, we found those at Volcanoes National Park to be the most incredible - partially because you only need to walk another half mile and the landscape changes. We chose to do several short hikes instead of one long one so we could see more of the park. We saw a range of sulfur banks, steam vents, lava deposits and rain forest. This park was a gorgeous sampler platter of natural wonders that you can only access in Hawaii.