Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The Big Island of Hawaii isn’t just big–it’s still growing, and you can see it in action! It has one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world and should not be missed if you come here. Here, you can see the results of 70 million years of volcanic activity. Going into the park truly feels like you’re stepping into another world.
Finding Your Way There:
Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is located on the island of Hawai`i. From Hilo: 30 miles southwest on Highway 11 (a 45 minute drive); from Kailua-Kona: 96 miles southeast on Highway 11 (2 to 2 1/2 hour drive), or 125 miles through Waimea and Hilo via highways 19 and 11 (2 1/2 to 3 hours). It’s certainly an all-day trip for anyone staying in Kona or Waikoloa. In fact, the best way is to plan to spend the night at the park, Volcano, or Hilo. This way, you can have a relaxing day and an enjoyable drive back the next day. A great trip is to leave Volcanoes National Park and travel through Hilo and up the Hamakua Coast–it’s amazingly beautiful on a sunny day!
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round
- Kilauea Visitor Center is open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Jaggar Museum is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Jaggar Museum Bookstore is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“Born of Fire, Born of the Sea” is the featured 25 minute film that is shown in the Kilauea Visitor Center on the hour
throughout the day, starting at 9:00 a.m. with the last film shown at 4:00 p.m.
The Hawaii Natural History Association operates the park’s two bookstores. Product sales benefit park programs. Hours of operation: Kilauea Visitor Center 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Phone # (808) 985-6051.
Volcano Art Center Gallery, located adjacent to the Kilauea Visitor Center, is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
, located across the street from the Kilauea Visitor Center, operates a hotel, restaurant, snack bar, and gift shops. At the time of this writing (Dec 2012) the Volcano House is closed and undergoing renovations.
Entrance Fees (as of July 2008) General Admission:
- $10.00 per private non-commercial vehicle
- $5.00 for pedestrians or bicyclists.
With a valid receipt, general admission entrance fees allow entrance for 7 days, are not refundable, and may not be sold or given to another person.
Commercial bus or tour: Fees vary by passenger capacity of the vehicle and type of tour being given. (See “Commercial Tour” information below for more details).
* A private vehicle is defined as any non-commercial vehicle that is being used for private recreational purposes.
How Much Time Do You Want to Spend?
Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is easily visited by car in just a few hours or may be explored in more depth over several days. Here are some recommendations when planning your visit to the Park:
One to 3 Hour Visit?
If you have only one to three hours, explore the summit of Kilauea volcano via; an 11-mile road that encircles the summit caldera, passes through desert, lush tropical rain forest, traverses the caldera floor, and provides access to well-marked scenic stops and short walks. (Crater Rim Drive is currently closed between Jaggar Museum and the Chain of Craters Road junction due to volcanic activity in Halema‘uma‘u crater).
Four to 5 Hour Visit?
If you have four to five hours, you may also explore the East Rift and coastal area of the Park via Chain of Craters Road. This road descends 3,700 feet in 20 miles and ends where a 2003 lava flow crossed the road.is always changing. Check at the Kilauea Visitor Center for the most current information. No food, water, or fuel is available along the Chain of Craters Road.
Explore the Park by Foot
Hikers will find an abundance of trails to satisfy their curiosity. Day hikes and offer great adventures for visitors who wish to explore beyond the roadways.
Check the Volcanic Activity:
Click on the following sites to check the current activity of the volcano. Please note that the cameras are down frequently.
For a description of Kilauea’s most current activity: http://volcano.wr.usgs.gov/kilaueastatus.php
For Web Cams of Kilauea: