NAME: Kalapana
COUNTY: Island of Hawaii
COMMENTS: Very few die-hard residents with trailers on top of the lava cover. One has trucked in dirt to fill cracks in the lava and planted cocoanut trees on his lava property. Take Hwy 11 South of Hilo to Hwy 130 to Kalapana. There is also access on Hwy 137. You might need a 4 wheel drive as some rough roads have been chiseled over the lava for residents. If you have a regular two wheel drive rental, it might be better to explore on foot. You can get somewhat near the area where, as of this writing, lava is still pouring into the sea through an underground lava tube.
REMAINS: Little to none
Kalapana was one of the most beautiful old Hawaiian villages on Hawaii and was becoming a modern suburban town. They had the famous "black sand beach" and the historical "Queens Bath", a spring fed pool in the rock. In 1983 lava began to erupt from Kilauea Volcano threatening part of Kalapana by 1986. By 1990 most of the town was buried under sometimes 30 feet of lava. There is a video documentary about the event available. The lava destroyed 181 homes, a visitor center and maintenance shop in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, highways, and treasured historical and archeological sites. the famous painted church was moved out of harms way to a new location but the community center was destroyed. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin

The lava covers the road and Hwy 130 stops.
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Speed sign surrounded by lava
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Remains of Stop Sign
Courtesy Mike Woodfin