Maui Lava Formations

(Keawakapu Beach)



All content, including photographs and text is copyright © 2013 by Maria Richard. All rights reserved.


Unexpected Labyrinth

"An unexpected find at the Dragon's Teeth site is a labyrinth laid out in local rocks. Makalua-puna Point is considered by some as one of the earth’s power centers that heightens the effects of meditative practice, such as walking a labyrinth can be. The day I was there, children were racing around the labyrinth and crossing into other paths. It took a bit of concerted focus to keep a meditative state."

Are You Looking for Some Dragon Teeth?

Lava, being both a creative and destructive force inspires fear and awe. No wonder peoples around the globe worshipped the forces from deep below the earth’s crust that push the lava to the surface. When we think of volcanic eruptions, perhaps our minds go to 79 AD and the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculean. Maybe, we are reminded of the dramatic 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull which disrupted European air traffic for a time in 2010, or perhaps we think of the ring of volcanic islands known as Hawai’i.

Like the other Hawaiian Islands, Maui has some dramatic examples of the creative power of lava flows that should be on any nature lover’s must-see list. Located on Makalua-puna Point in Kapalua on the island’s northwestern shore, Dragons Teeth is a unique lava formation. Combine the composition of the lava flow with the point’s high winds, and the resulting formation has upright jagged edges that remind some of teeth. The surf rushes up to the formation and the spray threatens to soak brave souls who stand close to the edge while the salt in the water continues to whiten the lava as it has for hundreds of years.

(Dragons Teeth)

The Dragon's Teeth lava formation

Another type of dramatic lava formation is a lava tube which is a tube that forms during a lava flow and then hardens. Once it is solid, the tube becomes a conduit through which molten lava flows. Nice examples are found on the beach at Wai’anapanapa Park – a beautiful place to stop for lunch while traveling on the road to Hana.

(lava tube)

Lava Tube on Wai’anapanapa Park beach

Then there are the black lava rocks scattered in the sand off of many of Maui’s beaches.

(lava rocks at evening)

Evening on a quiet beach with lava rocks

(lava rocks framed by trees)

Lava rocks on the beach framed by trees