Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

In A Nutshell

Park Entrance

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is located 30 miles (48 km) south of Hilo and 95 miles (153 km) east of Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawai'i. There is only one entrance, which is located off Highway 11, south of Hilo and east of Kailua-Kona.

General Information

The park is open 24 hours every day of the year, including holidays. For general park information, call (808) 985-6000; visit online at www.nps/gov/havo; or stop by the Kīlauea Visitor Center or Jaggar Museum on Crater Rim Drive. You can also tune your radio in to AM 530. If and when eruptions occur in the park, temporary road signs direct you to safe vantage points. For an eruption update, call (808) 985-6000. For information about accommodations, call Volcano House at (808) 967-7321; [email protected]; or visit www.volcanohousehotel.com. There are various accommodations throughout Volcano Village as well. 

Entrance Fees

Your entrance permit is good for seven consecutive days. The entrance fee is $10 per vehicle or motorcycle and $5 per hiker or bicyclist. Entrance is free if you have an America the Beautiful—National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass ($80), good for one year from date of purchase, and covers admission fees into any area managed by the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, or Bureau of Reclamation. Entrance is also free if you have an Access Pass (free to U.S. citizens or residents with permanent disabilities) or a lifetime Senior Pass ($10 one-time fee to U.S. citizens or residents age 62 or older). The Hawai'i Tri-Park Annual Pass is $25 and allows entrance into Hawai'i Volcanoes, Haleakalā and Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau for 12 months from when it is purchased.

Park Information Brochure/Map

If you enter the park when the entrance station is open, you will receive a park brochure and map. If you arrive after business hours, pick one up at the Kīlauea Visitor Center. Keep it handy as a reference and for the useful maps it contains. 

Visitor Center and Museum

Kīlauea Visitor Center is located a 0.25-mile from the park entrance. It is open from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Please call (808) 985-6000 for more information.

A 25-minute park movie is shown hourly and there are displays on volcano formation and geologic processes, native plants and animals, and early Hawaiians. Backcountry permits (necessary for all overnight backcountry camping trips) may also be obtained. Parking and restrooms are available.

Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, located next to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, is situated three miles inside the park entrance, west of the visitor center on Crater Rim Drive. It is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call (808) 985-6049 for more information. 

Museum visitors can see ongoing videos of volcanic eruptions, geologic displays and working seismic equipment relating to the adjacent Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (not open to the public).

There are also spectacular overlooks into Halema'uma'u Crater and Kīlauea Caldera. Parking and restrooms are available.

The Hawai'i Natural History Association operates bookstores at both locations that sell slides, maps, books, posters and videos. For more information please call (808) 985-6052 or visit www.hawaiinaturalhistory.org.

Special Services

Major park buildings and their adjacent facilities that are wheelchair-accessible include the Kīlauea Visitor Center, the Volcano House, the Jaggar Museum and the Volcano Art Center. Park interpreters can provide information and often lead hikes for those who need special assistance.

The new 1-mile, fully accessible Sulphur Bank Trail invites visitors of all capabilities to explore the park's thermally-active areas of steam vents and solfataras. A paved path meanders through steaming meadow and 'ōhi'a forest. At Sulphur Banks, the trail transitions into a 5-foot wide raised boardwalk that extends 1000-feet, protecting natural geothermal processes and allowing visitors to peer into steam vents and be at eye-level with sulfur crystals.

A portion of the Earthquake Trail, a one-mile stretch of the Crater Rim Trail, is wheelchair-accessible with assistance. Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku) has a paved trail leading through a fern forest. Steep stairways lead into and out of the lava tube. Rest-room facilities are wheelchair-accessible. Campsites at N¯āmakanipaio (on Highway 11) and Kulanaokuaiki (on Hilina Pali Road) campgrounds have wheelchair-accessible restrooms. The campgrounds are open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations or permission is needed. Please call (808) 985-6000 for more information. Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road offer scenic vistas of the volcano and its forests from several roadside pullouts.

What to Bring 

While touring the park, it is a good idea to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen because the sun can be intense. Since typical weather at Kīlauea's summit is cool and rainy, it is a good idea to bring a warm jacket and rain gear. To better protect your feet from lava, wear sturdy walking shoes rather than sandals. Drinking water and food are not readily available in some areas of the park, such as Chain of Craters Road. Drinking water, snacks and picnic lunches are available at Volcano House and in Volcano Village.