Experiencing Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park

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With its vast variety of holiday destinations, Hawaii allows you to discover more unique locations in a single holiday than most other destinations worldwide. Taking the opportunity to explore the Volcanoes National Park will prove to be one of the most memorable destinations Hawaii has to offer.

General Information

Protecting some of the most unique biological, cultural, and geological landscapes in the world, the Volcanoes National Park also houses two of our planet’s most active volcanoes. Kilauea, which erupted in 2018 and Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano.

Measuring from 18,000 feet below sea level at its base to its summit at 13,677 feet above sea level, Mauna Loa stands taller than Mount Everest. With its gentle slopes covering a volume of approximately 19,000 cubic miles, Mauna Loa is also the world’s largest single mountain.

The Volcanoes National Park offers everything from Mauna Loa’s wilderness area, difficult lava trails, and freezing nights to Kilauea’s breathtaking rainforest, fresh lava deposits, and the windy Kau Desert. The shoreline is riddled with jagged cliffs and periodic lava flows.

Exploring Possibilities

There are numerous activities such as auto routes and hiking trails available in the Volcanoes National Park. The availability of these activities may be affected from time to time due to the active volcanoes. Here are some of the most popular attractions:

  • Crater Rim Drive – Hug the edge of the Kilauea Caldera and visit the stunning viewpoints where you can stare into the mouth of the volcano.
  • Chain Of Craters Road – Meander through 20 miles of volcanic deposits between the Holei Sea Arch and the Kilauea Caldera. This trail also allows you to view the alien-like scenery of the Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu lava field.
  • Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail – Embark on a 175-mile coastal journey taking you around the Big Island. This trail features sites significant to Hawai’ian culture and history, such as Pu’uhonua o Honaunau and Kaloko-Honokohau.
  • Mauna Loa Summit – Embark on this 16-mile hiking trail taking you from woodlands into a lava rock paradise. This is a 4-day trek, spending nights in the parks Mountain Huts.
  • Kau Desert Trail – Trek across this18 mile hiking trail starting at its entrance on Highway 11 crossing lava deposits to the final destination of the Hilina Pali Cliffs. Stunning overnight campsites such as Halape are available along the coastline.
  • Mauna Kea National Natural Landmark – Ascend to 13 803 feet above sea level, the highest peak in Hawaii, and engage in stargazing facilitated by the Onizuka Center For International Astronomy.
  • Nahuku / Thurston Lava Tube – Hike through the rainforest to enter a 500-Year-Old lava tube where a river of lava once flowed.
  • Pu’u o Umi Natural Area Reserve – This remote reserve found on the island’s northern shore houses 13 ecosystems unique to the environment. 
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden – From Hilo, travel north to find this 17-acre reserve. This botanical garden contains more than 2,000 different plant species, including Heliconias, Palms, and Bromeliads.

Park Operating Times

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a year-round experience. The park is open to the public 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, including public holidays.

The Kilauea Visitor Center, located on Crater Rim Drive, is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. The visitor center offers up to date information on current eruption, hiking tours, and things to do, as well as the daily Ranger-led activities schedule.

The Kahuku Unit is located on Highway 11, south of Hilo, between mile markers 70 and 71. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm.

Hawaii Pacific Parks Association is responsible for operating the parks book store. It’s open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. The book store is found in the Kilauea Visitor Center.

Available Lodgings

The Volcanoes National Park offers numerous lodgings both inside and outside the park. Here is a shortlist of the most popular lodging sites:

  • Volcano House – It’s found inside the park and is situated on the rim of the Kilauea Caldera. The Volcano House offers breathtaking views of the Kiluea Caldera and a unique perspective of the park.
  • Volcano Village Lodge – It’s found two miles outside of the park entrance and in serene and tranquil surroundings. 
  • Camping Sites – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers two drive-in campgrounds, Namakanipaio, or if you prefer more rustic surroundings, Kulanaokuaiki.

Consider Booking it for Your Next Vacation

It’s been said that exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is like walking into another world. With Geological Dynamism and Evolutionary Biology forming the park’s main themes, this is by far one the most unique and astonishing holiday destinations in the world.

Visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will be an experience you’ll never forget.



  1. It looks like an amazing place to visit.

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