This is one of the hardest hikes on the island. I went with a guide (Pagie, I think) who does it 3 or more times a week. Many, many uphills, a few river crossings, and the smell of sulfur before the dangerous descent into the Valley of Desolation. It was raining most of the way and pretty slippery. The hot springs, vents, and minerals there were awesome, and I managed quite a few shots in the strong wind and pouring rain. My new Canon 5D mark 2 survived pretty well in the arduous conditions, but complained a bit the next day and a half as it dried out... There's a few more river crossings heading toward the 2nd valley of desolation before arriving at Boiling Lake which was mostly obscured by the rain, mist, and steam from the lake. I got some shots, ate a sandwich, and started the over 3 hour hike back to the car. I was very tired and had to stop many times on each ascent for a breather on the way back, but there's no option - no mountain rescue here! People have done the hike in about an hour each way, but the average is 3 hours each way.
© Al Kay