Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Quick Facts

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii

(808) 985-6000

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution -- processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex and unique ecosystems and a distinct human culture. The park encompasses diverse environments that range from sea level to the summit of the earth's most massive volcano, Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. Kilauea, the world's most active volcano, offers scientists insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and visitors views of dramatic volcanic landscapes. Over half of the park is designated wilderness and provides unusual hiking and camping opportunities. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park has been honored as an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site.

Map of Hawaii Volcanoes

Latitude, Longitude: 19.411210, -155.297341

READ MORE

Activities

  • Bicycling

    Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park offers adventurous bicyclists dramatic views of volcanic landscapes. Descend into the steaming caldera of Kilauea volcano via Crater Rim Drive. Pedal through deserts and rain forests, past craters and rift zones. Biking in the park provides exciting opportunities for everyone - old or young, experienced or novice.

    Protect the fragile lava features, rare plants, and archeological sites. Ride only on designated bike routes, and make sure you plan ahead and follow all posted rules.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Visiting the park by car is easy to do. The two main roads visitors will travel (Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road) are paved, two-wheel drive roadways. Crater Rim Drive takes you along a portion of the summit caldera (large pit crater) of Kilauea.

    Weather may be cool, windy, and rainy. Bring shoes, rain gear/jackets, hats, bottled water, and snacks if you plan to venture out of your car at these view points.

  • Camping

    There are two drive-in campgrounds in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Namakanipaio and Kulanaokuaiki. Drive-In camping is available on a first-come basis. No reservations, no permits, and no check-in are necessary. Stays are limited to seven days in a month and cannot exceed 30 days per year.

  • Hiking

    The true character of the park is best discovered on foot. With over 150 miles of trails in the park, exploration by walking and hiking can be a fascinating and enjoyable experience.

    Park trails range in difficulty from easy walks (Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu or Thurston Lava Tube/Nahuku) to longer hikes such as Kilauea Iki or Mauna Iki. Other trails provide access through wilderness areas and are suitable only for those who are in top physical condition and properly outfitted with winter gear. Most trails are well maintained and easy to follow. Wilderness trails are roughly marked by ahu (cairns - piles of rock). Devastation and Waldron Ledge trails are paved and accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

    Rangers on duty in the Kilauea Visitor Center will assist hikers with trail information, maps, and permits. Be sure to check on weather conditions before starting a hike, especially weather conditions for Mauna Loa.

  • Picnicking

    There are picnic areas throughout the park, and at both park campsites.

Seasonality/Weather

Island weather is unpredictable. Visitors should be prepared for rain and wear layers of clothing to ensure their comfort while exploring the park.

Local weather at Kilauea's summit (4000' elevation) varies daily and may be rainy and chilly any time of the year. Temperature varies by elevation. At the summit of the volcano, temperatures may be 12 to 15 degrees cooler than at sea level. The coastal plain at the end of Chain of Craters Road, where lava crossed the road in 2003, is often hot, dry, and windy with the possibility of passing showers.

Park Partners

Hawaii Pacific Parks Association

Formerly the Hawaii Natural History Association, the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association (HPPA) is a nonprofit cooperating association working in partnership with the National Park Service in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa. HPPA publishes and distributes educational books, guides and other materials, funds visitor center exhibits and park libraries, provides information assistance, sponsors free cultural demonstrations and festivals, and helps support conservation efforts such as the endangered nn recovery and hawksbill sea turtle projects. Since its creation in 1933, the association has contributed over $12 million in direct aid and other support to the parks.

Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park The Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a nonprofit organization that promotes the restoration and appreciation of park resources. They provide educational opportunities and support park programs that enrich visitor experiences. Become a Friend, contact The Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 653, Volcano, HI 96785; (808) 985-7373; email admin@fhvnp.org; or visit www.fhvnp.org.

(808) 985-6051

Directions

Driving

Located on Hawai'i, often called the "Big Island", Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is 96 miles from Kailua-Kona driving southeast on HWY11 (2 to 2 1/2 hour drive), or 125 miles through Waimea and Hilo via highways 19 and 11 (2 1/2 hour drive). The park is 30 miles from Hilo (45 minute drive). Vehicles may be rented at the Hilo and Kona airports. Most major car rental companies are represented at both airports.

For the current Hele On bus schedule, visit this webpage:

www.co.hawaii.hi.us/mass_transit/transit_main.htm

go to: What's New

select: Bus schedules


Flying

Hilo and Kona Airports are served by inter-island carriers: go!, Hawaiian, Island Air, Mokulele, and Pacific Wings.

In addition, international and mainland carriers also provide service to Kona International Airport. There is no longer any major airline offering direct flights from the continental U.S. and Canada to Hilo, the nearest large city to the park. However, several major airlines offer direct flights to Kona (more than 100 miles and about a 3-hour drive from the park).

Public Transportation

The public bus, Hele On Bus, serves the park. Call 808-961-8744 for schedules and pickup locations.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(808) 985-6000

Links