Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is made up of two different Hawaii volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Often visited on island tours of Hawaii that also include stops at sights such as Rainbow Falls and the Hamakua Coast, Hawaii Volcanoes can also be experienced on a coach tour, a Kilauea volcano bike tour, or during a helicopter ride.
Once there, stop in at the park's Jaggar Museum to learn about earthquakes, geology, and seismology; discover how lava still flows to the sea and occasionally covers roads; and hear the legend of Madame Pele, Hawaii's volcano goddess.
Recent reviews from experiences in Big Island of Hawaii
Things to Know Before You Go
Volcanic activity changes on a daily basis, so no two trips are the same.
Volcano tours get you close to the action, visiting popular sites such as Halemaumau Crater, the Kilauea Iki crater, and Devastation Trail.
Bring a jacket for the brisk air at the 4,000-foot (1,200-meter) Kilauea summit, and pack a rain jacket for the lush environment around the Thurston Lava Tube.
Some guided hiking tours go through rugged terrain, which isn't recommended for wheelchairs or travelers with limited mobility.
It's important to hike the area around Kilauea safely; consider traveling with a professional tour guide.
How to Get There
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a 45-minute drive south of Hilo and a 2.5-hour drive from Kona. The most popular ways to experience the park are as part of a Hawaii volcano tour, or on a self-guided driving tour of Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road.
When To Get There
Because volcanic activity is tough to predict, it's almost impossible to plan your trip around lava flow. Weather at the park can range from 45°F (7°C) with rain and wind at the summit of Kilauea to 85°F (29°C) by the shoreline; travel with multiple layers that are suitable for all conditions.
Has Kilauea Volcano Caused Any Destruction?
Kilauea has destroyed nearly 200 structures over the course of its most recent eruption. The entire village of Kalapana was covered up by the molten lava, and over 500 acres of new land have been created since 1983. As you'll learn on guided tours, parts of the ground are still very brittle due to the surface being so young.
- How to Get Off the Beaten Path on the Big Island of Hawaii
- How to Spend 3 Days on the Big Island
- How to Spend 1 Day on the Big Island
- Where to Stay on the Big Island of Hawaii
- Don't Miss These Must-Do Activities on the Big Island of Hawaii
- First-Timers Guide to the Big Island of Hawaii
- Things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii This Summer