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Volcanoes National Park, HI

Geology of the Hawaiian Islands

I find that I appreciate a place more when I know how it got there.  The stories of its origin, its geology, add to the depth of what I see before me.  We learned some interesting geology facts from a Ranger talk and a sign posted at the Hohei Sea Arch trailhead. Volcanoes National Park consists of Mauna Loa and Kilauea Volcanoes.  I've included the other 3 volcanoes here for the sake of completeness.

Southern Coast - Green Sand Beach (Papakolea), Black Sand Beach (Punaluu) and Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (City of Refuge)

Green Sand Beach - Papakolea Beach, near South Point, Big Island, HI

The hike to Green Sand Beach was 5 to 5.5 mile roundtrip from the parking lot to Green Sand Beach, depending on the route you take. Locals offer a shuttle ride on the back of a pick up truck though I saw no prices listed.

Chilnualna Falls, Wawona, Yosemite National Park, CA

We started our May long weekend at 10am at the trailhead at Chilnualna Falls. Parking was scarce, but we managed to snag one of the last two regular spots, lots more for creative parkers. Parking area and some of the road in was dirt/packed gravel with potholes, though our low clearance 2WD sedan made the journey just fine. A sign indicated the presence of mountain lions. Definitely keep kids close.

Glacier Point-Illilouette Falls-Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA

We started our day at Glacier Point just before 8am on a Sunday of the May long weekend. There was a huge parking lot, but it was already half full by the time we got there. We headed towards the viewpoints closeby. I was tickled to see Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls across the valley. We hiked the Mist Trail last year to the top of Nevada Falls, and it was awesome to see it all in one panoramic view here. Many pictures later, we headed to another corner for a view of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.

Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin State Park

Our first trip to Berry Creek Falls was an unsuccessful one. In an attempt to make the hike a loop, we unknowingly went off on an equestrian trail and couldn't find our intersection for the hike to the Falls. One good thing that came out of that long hike - we realized that bikes are allowed on the relatively flat Skyline to Sea trail.