Go where the lava isn't

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Almost as impressive as lava itself are the reminders of what it can do. As the eruptions move from place to place, they leave a fascinating path of destruction in their wake. And while many tourists gather around the burning red stuff, a trip backwards in geological time can be just as rewarding.

Start with the aptly named Devastation Trail, where flying cinders destroyed an entire forest in 1959. It is said that during the eruption, fire plumes shot up 580 metres - more than enough to change a forest into a rocky crater. Although some vegetation is starting to grow back, the weird pumice landscape is still otherworldly enough to send chills up your spine.

In other spots around the island, you'll be able to see tree moulds - eerie pits in the ground that look like they were created by a monster with a post hole digger.

Similarly enchanting are the many lava tubes found around the island. The best of these is the Thurston Lava Tube. A short walk through dense forest reveals a wide opening that seemingly leads to the centre of the earth. The park service keeps this main tube well-maintained, so if you want to explore further, grab your flashlight and go!