Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Travel Guide

  • Road blocked by lava from helicopter
    Road blocked by lava from helicopter
    by grandmaR
  • Museum sign
    Museum sign
    by grandmaR
  • Seismographs
    Seismographs
    by grandmaR

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

  • Chain of Craters Road

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    I drove all the way down to the end (where it was closed by a lava flow) of Chain of Craters Road and I got out and went to see the Holei Sea Arch. It was just a short walk but the surface was VERY uneven and it was very hot and sunny so it was hard for me. I wanted to see the arch because a similar arch in Aruba has collapsed and that is always a...

    more
  • Lava Flows

    At the end of the Chain of Craters Road where the lava had closed the road, the bus stopped and gave us a chance to get out and walk on the lava and take photos close up of what I had seen from a distance in the morning from the helicopter. It was very interesting.

    more
  • Crater Rim Road

    There are two main roads in the park. This is one of them - the Crater Rim Drive takes you along a portion of the summit caldera (large pit crater) of Kilauea. The road starts at Kilauea Visitor Center. The places we went on this road include the Steam Vents, the Jaggar Museum, the Kilauea Iki Overlook and the Thurston Lava Tube. The Lava Tube and...

    more
  • Thurston Lava Tube

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The bus stopped for us to take a walk into the Thurston Lava Tube. This lava tube was discovered in 1913 by Lorrin Thurston, a local newspaper publisher. At that time the roof of the tube was covered with lava stalactites, but those soon disappeared to souvenir collectors. This is a tube that lava originally traveled through but it is empty now....

    more
  • Kilauea Crater

    My grandmother found from talking to one of the rangers (she talks to everyone) that there would be a ranger led walk to the Kilauea Crater that morning at about 10:30, so I did that. He gave us a talk at the visitor's center first and it was very interesting. We went through a tropical rainforest to the very edge of Kilauea Caldera

    more
  • Steam Vents

    Rob (the tour bus driver) stopped at the steam vent which has a railing around it. I didn't see but one of the steam vents because I didn't walk past the one that is in the parking lot. Rob explained that ground water seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks in this area and returns to the surface as steam. It is warm, but it isn't hot like a steam...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hotels

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Restaurants

  • Great desserts

    We ate at the Lava Rock Cafe several times.The servers are very friendly and the food is good.There is a large selection of sandwiches and they always have tempting desserts.They also have a couple of computers if you want to get online after you eat.

    more
  • Thai food

    We went into Volcano for dinner. The restaurants all seemed to be quite full. We ate at the Tai-TaiRestaurant and had Thai food. We had much better Thai food on the island at other restaurants.I thought mine tasted a bit greasy.Service was not good either.

    more
  • Snack Bar by Day, Alcohol by Night

    Umm... I just wanted some yogurt and fruit so I popped in with my niece to get something quick to eat. Nothing special. It's very much like eating in a hospital cafeteria really...You pull out what you want from the fridges and snack shelf and pay for it. The prices are rediculous but try finding other places to eat way out there. No favorites but...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Nightlife

  • Lava.

    Well, if you've managed to snag a place to stay at the HVNP, make the effort to take a drive to see the lava path at night. Follow road to the bottom of Chain of Craters road and if lava is visible, you will see the glowing reds along the mountain. Light windbreaker is nice to have ... it can get breezy as well as have sudden unexpected rain...

    more
  • Hot Lava at Night

    One of the best light shows ever is at the lava flow in Volcanoes National Park. This side of the island is absent any street lights or other distractions that would mute the night sky, so views of stars, planets, and meteorities are excellent! The lava is actually best seen at night. During day, the dull glow is less than impressive, but at night...

    more
  • View Lava path at night

    Well, if you've managed to snag a place to stay at the HVNP, make the effort to take a drive to see the lava path at night. Follow road to the bottom of Chain of Craters road and if lava is visible, you will see the glowing reds along the mountain. Light windbreaker is nice to have ... it can get breezy as well as have sudden unexpected rain...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Transportation

  • Drive yourself

    The best way to get around the park is to drive yourself. You could possibly hike part of the park but if you are going down the chain of craters road you for sure need wheels. That said we did see several on bikes on that road but they were in training it appeared.

    more
  • Rental Car from Hilo

    It's cheap and easy to rent an economy car and drive from Hilo to Volcanoes National Park. The drive is very pleasant and the highway in excellent condition. In our case, we left in the morning and drove along the coast highway, stopping to walk at lava beach for awhile, before driving inland and up the mountain. At the park entrance, the Volcano...

    more
  • Polynesian Adventure

    Becuase I had limited time, I organised a day tour of Big Island from O'ahu. I guess you could get flights and a hire car and do it yourself, but honestly I just felt like going along for the ride. The tour I booked was a one day Volcano tour. The company organised pick up from my hotel, transport to the airport and then a full day tour on Big...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Shopping

  • Two Opportunities

    There are Bookstore/Gift Shops at Kilauea Visitor Center and at the Jaggar Museum which are operated by the non-profit Hawaii Natural History Association. We got our National Park passports stamped for free at the Visitors Center (photo 2). We could have bought hoodies, or books explaining petrogyphs or Eruption Update DVD

    more
  • Block Prints at Volcano Village

    Beside the videos, coffee table photo books, and other gifts typical of an national park gift shop, we found these nice unmounted block prints that were individually signed and numbered. Since they were less than $10-, we found that to be an excellent deal. The subject images we bought are Hawaiian culture activity themes. The store has many other...

    more
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hotels

    4 Hotels in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    5 Reviews

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Local Customs

  • Offerings

    You may see flowers, fruit, or bottles of booze near the craters. What are these things doing here? They are thought to be things that the goddess Pele favored and are offered to her.

    more
  • Hawaii Volcanoes Official Map and Guide.

    We Dutchies are very famous for the fact that we like things to get for free! LOL. The Hawaii Volcanoes Official Map and Guide is free but also very usefull. We recieved this one at the information centre and were glad to have one.We took 2 of them and used one for our Diary of a madman and the other one was for the very useful information and...

    more
  • Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Hawaiian...

    Halema'uma'u is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Hawaiian volcanoes. The ancient traditions are honored and practiced here by native Hawaiians. It is not unusual to see offerings to Pele, such as sacred Hawaiian plants, left on the rim of the crater. Please respect this area! The Halema'uma'u Crater Overlook is a 10 minute walk from the...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Volcanic Fume Vents

    We were warned in advance about the multiple dangers of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and especially the Halema'uma'u Overlook. You can geuss them: * Don't go to close to the rim, it's quite a drop whenever you fall; * Be in good shape, beacuse the hike towards is not easy; * Et cetera. But we didn't hear of one other danger; if you are...

    more
  • Lava

    There are a number of dangers around any sort of lava. Obviously, you do not want to get to close to running lava and you absolutely must not touch it. For solidified lava, it is easy to break through a thin, overhanging crust of lava or trip on a crack and fall on the abrasive surface. Near the shore you have to be careful of lava benches...

    more
  • Rugged Cliffs - Pali

    The Hawaiians call them Pali. Scientists call them fault scarps. Most of us would call them cliffs. But by whatever name you call them, they can be deadly especially along the seacoast close to the Chain of Craters road. These cliffs are common both around the summit calderas and close to the ocean. Those cliffs on the ocean are being constantly...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tourist Traps

  • Jaggar Museum

    Also a tiltmeter is on display in the museum providing real-time data about the volcanoes. Rapid increase in tilt can indicate that magma is accumulating at shallow levels within the volcano and is often a precursor to an eruption. Rapid decreases in tilt can indicate that magma is draining at shallow leaves within the volcano and moving into a...

    more
  • Jaggar Museum - for example; a...

    Also a tiltmeter is on display in the museum providing real-time data about the volcanoes. Rapid increase in tilt can indicate that magma is accumulating at shallow levels within the volcano and is often a precursor to an eruption. Rapid decreases in tilt can indicate that magma is draining at shallow leaves within the volcano and moving into a...

    more
  • Jaggar Museum - Also a must visit.

    The Jaggar Museum is one of the busiest location in the National Park. Take it for granted and move around in your own pace. It's also a must visit, beacuse it tells you all about the National Park, which is sometime essential to know. Inside the museum you will find videos of volcanic activity, geologic displays and lots of working seismographs....

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park What to Pack

  • Start out with a full tank of fuel

    A backpack would be good Expect changeable weather. Come prepared. Bring rain gear, sturdy shoes, hats, water bottles, & sun glasses. Don't forget the sunscreen Bring a large memory stick or several rolls of film. Bring what ever you will need. There are no snacks available once you leave the tourist center. Bring some food in case of a snack...

    more
  • General List

    A simple backpack will do and make sure to pack light. Wear light clothing and strong hiking shoes. Make sure you feel very comfortable. It's good to pack along some bandages, hydrocortizone cream, anti-biotic ointment, and sunscreen. It's rare to run into weird bugs and if you do, none are poisonous here so don't worry about bug...

    more
  • Travel light!

    * Map and guidebook;* Crackers;* 2 Liter of water;* Fruit / power bars. * Hiking boots;* 1 extra t-shirt;* Shorts with many pockets;* Sunglasses;* Fleece type jacket;* Hat / cap;* Raincoat. * Lip balm;* (Neck) sunblock;* Band-aids. * Camera and lots of films!* Filter;* Extra batteries;* Lens 210 mm. * Binocular;* Compass.

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Devastation Trail & Overlook

    We stopped at the Pu’u Pua’i Overlook & Devastation Trail. There was a picnic table here under shade so we decided to eat our packed lunches. The weather was perfect for a picnic and it turned out to be a really nice, relaxing lunch. Just past parking lot, there is an overlook of Kilauea Iki Crater. There is a path that leads to Devastation Trail,...

    more
  • Halema'uma'u Overlook

    Halema'uma'u changed greatly during the 20th century. In 1924 it was only 1,500 feet in diameter but was filled by a lake of molten lava that bubbled and boiled 2,100 degrees in Fahrenheit. There is currently no red lava visible in the crater, but we have been told that it is only 300 feet below the surface. Who knows...it might be just a matter...

    more
  • Kipuka

    Something that a lot of people look at, but do not really see, are the untouched lengths of land that were cut off from their normal environment when lava flowed all around them. When lava flows move downhill as rivers of lava, they frequently leave these patches or islands of ground that is unharmed but now surrounded by the lava. These areas are...

    more

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Favorites

  • Landscape

    As the steaming lava cools & descends into the sea, patches of forest recover. Black shoreline as such are commonly observed. A huge undersea volcano (called the Loihi) is presently building a future Hawaiian island.

    more
  • Helicopter Tour

    One of the best things we did was take a helicopter tour of the volcano. It was really neat to do. We left from the airport in HiloWe flew right over all the glowing lava and we could really see it well because it was a cloudy day and really showed up. I wasn't as interested in the last part of the tour - it was just some waterfalls. The whole air...

    more
  • Hawaiian Budweiser - King of all Beers?

    Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being abroad is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. In America it wasn’t really that hard to find the brand we liked, it was clearly Budweiser, popularly referred to as Bud.Budweiser is a lager made with a proportion of rice as a...

    more

Instant Answers: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

78 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Helicopter Tours
Things to Do
Jaggar Museum
Things to Do
Kilauea Visitor Center
Things to Do
Physical Workout
Warnings and Dangers
Land Where the Goddess Dwells
Things to Do
Holei Sea Arch
Things to Do
Steam the Wrinkles Out?
Things to Do
Kilauea Volcano Ranger Walk
Things to Do
Parking Lot Steam
Things to Do
Petroglyphs
Things to Do
Hōlei Sea Arch
Things to Do
Ha'akulamanu (Sulphur Banks) Trail
Things to Do
Petroglyphs
Off The Beaten Path
Thurston Lava Tube
Things to Do
End of the Road
Things to Do
Ferns as Big as Trees
Things to Do
Thomas A Jaggar Museum
Things to Do
Best view of Halema’uma’u Crater
Things to Do
First place to stop at Volcanoes National Park!
Things to Do
Not really hot, just steamy
Things to Do
Viewing Kilauea Crater
Things to Do
Great spot to see pre & post-lava destruction
Off The Beaten Path
Make sure to go to the unlit lava tube!!
Things to Do
Worth the drive!
Things to Do
Lava Road Block!
Things to Do
Kupaianaha Lava Shield
Things to Do
Halema'uma'u Overlook
Things to Do
Hot Lava and Waterfalls
Things to Do
Around the Top
Things to Do
Recent and On-Going
Things to Do
Tour from Hilo
Things to Do
View the lava at night
Off The Beaten Path
Crater filled with trees
Things to Do
Trails
Off The Beaten Path
Chain of Craters Road
Things to Do
Thurston Lava Tube
Things to Do
Little Kileaua
Things to Do
Pele's firepit
Things to Do
Observatory
Things to Do
Look for the Ohia-lehua bush
Things to Do
Map of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

View all Hawaii Volcanoes National Park hotels