Wahinekapu aka Steam Vents, Steaming Bluff
The Steam vents area is less than one mile past the Kīlauea Visitor Center is a pull-off on your left. The Hawaiian place name for this area is Wahinekapu. At this stop, ground water seeps into the warm volcanic rock and returns to the surface as steam. You can safely feel the heat from the Volcano through exploring this special thermal area.
You may notice the landscape change from rain forest to grassy fields in this special volcanic area, because trees roots cannot survive in the heat from the steam. Shallow rooted grasses and plants are the only ones that can survive in this area. The walk from the parking area to the crater overlook and steaming bluffs is .25 miles round trip.
Some Hawaiian families come to this area to heal after becoming sick.
Other Hawaiians use this area to release bad toxins, or bad “vibes” after having a bad day.
Hawaiians and others often use this area to give offerings to Pele via oli (chant) hula (dance) and puolo (bundle/gifts) or lei (adornments). A lot of hālau (hula groups) will use this area to deposit their greenery and adornments after a performance.