Adventures | Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

An eruption at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcano Hawaii Attractions

Discover Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home of the world’s most active volcano, Kīlauea, and Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth. Located on the Big Island, the only place where you can experience 11 of the 13 world climate zones in just a few hours, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park features unique hiking trails and a first-hand look at the Earth’s most beautiful creative and destructive forces, volcanoes.

From snow capped volcanic peaks to the Pacific Ocean, explore a wilderness of twisted lava deserts, active steam vents, lava caves, serene forest trails with giant tree ferns, and the birth of new land from red hot lava. Designated a World Biosphere Preserve and home of the legendary Hawaiian goddess, Pele, we invite you to discover where we live and play… in a magical rainforest on the crater’s edge of a live volcano.

Hiking in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Pu’u HuluHulu. This is an easy, spectacular trail that begins at the Mauna Ulu parking lot a short way down the Chain of Craters road. The trail winds its way through a pretty pahoehoe lava area studded with Ohelo berry bushes. Ohelo berries are a favorite of Nene geese, Hawaii’s endangered state bird, so lucky hikers and birdwatchers may find this an ideal spot to watch for this elusive species. The trail continues slightly uphill, then climbs a larger hill. This area is a kipuka - a mass of land that the lava went around and left the forest intact. From the top of the hill there are great views of the smoking Puʻu Ōō vent, and closer views of the steaming Napau Crater. Total distance: about two miles round trip.

Kīlauea Iki Trail. For the more advanced hiker, Kīlauea Iki Trail provides a fascinating look at the Kīlauea Iki crater lava lake, which, despite being solidified, still emits steam. You’ll navigate a beautiful rainforest before descending into the crater, spotting stacked ahu along the way to mark the trail. This hike features some of the volcano’s most interesting features, including steam vents and cinder and spatter cones. Because the hike follows a steep and rocky path, hikers will want to be prepared for a challenging walk and come prepared with proper gear and clothing for multiple weather conditions. Total distance: about four miles round trip.

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Hiking guides in Hawaii

Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Observatory has a visitor center at 10,000 ft. It is accessed by the Saddle Road. Many car companies do not allow you to take a vehicle on Saddle Road, so be sure to check the policies if this is high on your list of places to visit. The visitor center has telescopes and computers to look at, the actual professional telescopes are another 3000 ft to the top and not open to the public. The “brains” for the telescopes are located in the Hilo Technology Park. You will also find a great museum there, the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center.

Kilauea Eruption

Since 2008, Kilauea has been erupting in the Halema'uma'u crater. Below you will find webcams links to Kilauea as well as current eruption information.

An eruption at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park