A cooled pāhoehoe lava flow on the island of Hawai'i.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park tells the story of the birth of the Hawaiian Islands. A wilderness treasure of the Pacific, the park was created to preserve the area's natural volcanic setting, establish a refuge for the island's native plants and animals and protect artifacts of human culture such as petroglyphs.
Photo: Hawaiian petroglyph, parksdh, flickr
Located on the island of Hawai'i, the park includes Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive volcano. Research by scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory makes Kīlauea one of the best understood volcanoes in the world.
More than half of the park is made up of the Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness area, where visitors can enjoy otherworldly hiking and camping opportunities.
Video: See how the lava flow shown in this Friday's mystery photo was created.
Video: BigIslandHikes, YouTube
From Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park to Yosemite to Yellowstone, national parks are the hallmark of America's public lands. The Wilderness Society works to protect wilderness areas in national parks by partnering with diverse groups of businesses, government officials and recreational organizations, all of which understand the importance of these wild lands.
Unfortunately, as federal budgets tighten, parks are not being spared the pain of sequestration. Despite their indisputable popularity, parks are facing cuts that make it a struggle to meet the public's needs. These cuts are likely to reduce the number of visitors to national parks, which also impact nearby communities.