Location: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii
Kilauea, reputed to be the world's most active volcano, is situated in the southeastern part of Hawaii's Big Island. Kilauea is the centerpiece of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park -- a "must see" for visitors to this island. I live about 100 miles from the volcano, by road.
Kilauea volcano has erupted 34 times since 1952. A 1959 eruption at a vent called Kilauea Iki buried the surrounding forest up to two meters deep in ash and cinders. Trees that did not burn outright were stripped of their leaves. Today, nearly 50 years later, the whole area around Kilauea Iki is still covered by a layer of cinder, although some hardy plants and trees have begun to grow there once more.
A one kilometer (5/8 mile) hiking trail passes through the area that was devastated in 1959. Not surprisingly, it is called Devastation Trail. This photo, taken from Devastation Trail, shows some of the cinder and the remains of dead trees, as well as some new growth at the edge of the devastated area. The bushy green trees are 'Ohi'a Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), a tree endemic to Hawaii.