EXPERIENCE WONDER AND AWE AS YOU EXPLORE KILAUEA – HAWAII’S MOST ACTIVE VOLCANO!

Active Volcano

Kilauea is the most active volcano in Hawaii, and possibly the world. Over the years, we’ve been able to see lava flowing into the ocean and flowing inside the Halema’uma’u Crater. The conditions at Kilauea are always changing, so be sure to check out what’s going on at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory website.

Educational

Right next to the caldera, the Jaggar museum is full of informative and interactive exhibits about Kilauea and Hawaii’s other volcanoes. Learn about how the Hawaiian Islands were formed, geology, Hawaiian myths and legends. At the Visitor Center, kids can get a free workbook to earn a Junior Ranger badge!

Lava Tubes and Hiking

Even if the lava isn’t flowing, there’s still lots to do and see in the National Park. There are lots of hiking trails and scenic drives to explore the park. You can walk through a Lava Tube, see and smell sulphur vents, and drive through the volcanic landscape along Chain of Craters Road.

Ready to visit Hawaii?

VISIT KILAUEA AT HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Whether the lava is flowing or not, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-see when you’re on the Big Island.

Seeing Lava: Over the years, we’ve been able to see lava flowing into the ocean and flowing inside the Halema’uma’u Crater. This summer (July 2016), some of our guests have been able to see the recent lava flow where it heads towards the ocean (see our blog post about this guest experience!).

Recent Guests at the Lava Flow
Shawn and his sons visited the County Lava Viewing area in July
When lava is flowing into the ocean, you can also see it up close on a lava viewing boat tour. Read more about this on this blog post about our experience in August 2016!
Take a boat tour to see lava entering the ocean!
Take a boat tour to see lava entering the ocean!
The conditions at Kilauea are always changing, so be sure to check out what’s going on at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory website.

Seeing the Sights: There is plenty to see and do around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, even if the lava isn’t flowing. Gaze at the massive caldera and distant Halema’uma’u Crater. Take a drive down Chain of Craters Road to see how Kilauea’s past eruptions have shaped the landscapes. Stop by the Sulphur Banks to see and smell volcanic steam vents.

Crater Rim Drive and Jaggar Museum: The caldera at Kilauea’s summit offers stunning vistas of this volcanic landscape from a number of scenic overlooks. Make sure to check out the Jaggar Museum next to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory to learn all about Kilauea and Hawaii’s volcanic history.

Recently, the lava lake has been spattering in the Halema’uma’u Crater, putting on a real show for visitors to the Jaggar museum – especially in the early morning and at sunset! This video was taken from the crater overlook in May 2015 – last time the lava lake rose enough for visitors to see it! You can see what is happening in the crater on the Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s webcams.

Kileaua Volcano Crater

Kids Programs: If you are travelling with kids 12 and under, be sure to check out the National Parks’ Junior Rangers program!
Kids ages 7-12 can earn a Junior Ranger Badge!
Kids ages 7-12 can earn a Junior Ranger Badge!

Hikes: With over 150 miles of trail in Volcanoes National Park, there are hikes for every level of adventure, fitness, and skill. For a unique, easy, and family-friendly hike, check out the Thurston Lava Tube This 20 minute walk takes you through lush forests and a lava tube – and walk where molten lava flowed hundreds of years ago. More challenging hikes can take you through fields of petroglyphs, past old but steaming lava lakes, or past stunning views of the Kilauea summit caldera. For more information about hikes and current trail conditions/closures, check out the National Parks website.

The Thurston Lava Tube is a family-friendly hike in Volcanoes National Park.
The Thurston Lava Tube is a family-friendly hike in Volcanoes National Park.

Pu’u O’o: The source of the current eruption, Pu’u O’o, is not accessible to the public overland. The best way to see this active vent is to take a helicopter tour.

Park Info: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open to the public 24/7, 365 days a year. There is a $10 day entry fee for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that you can pay at the park entrance. Click here for up-to-date information about hours of operation for the Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum.

Directions: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a 2 hour drive from our vacation homes in Mauna Lani via the new Saddle Road highway. To get there, take Highway 19 and 190 up past Waikoloa Village and follow signs for the David Inouye (Saddle Road) highway towards Hilo. Once in Hilo, continue onto Highway 11 south. The national park entrance is about a mile past the town of Volcano.