Volcano National Park

Published in Hilo Activities

Address: Hawaii National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HI

Website: https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Price: $30 per car

This National Park is home to Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano located on the Big island. See the above link for the updated activity and lava viewing options.  The viewing has been very consistent the last year or so.  You can see small areas at the caldera bottom where lava is slowly filling up the caldera.

Sulfur trail is open and the steam vents are still seeping out steam.

To see a great overview of the lava activity from March, 2018 to the halt of activities in September 2018 the USGS has a great video that they play at the visitor’s center – click here:


Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. Upon entering the park, visit the Kīlauea Visitor Center for more information about current volcano activity to plan your day accordingly.

The park also contains the Jaggar Museum which is still closed and will likely always be closed.  The draining out of the lava pool in 2018 caused so much of the caldera to cave in it undermined the area where Jaggar stands.  The parking lot is open and there is nice caldera viewing with almost no walking.  Soon the caldera floor will be high enough to see the lava from this vantage point.

After visiting the Visitor Center the only thing there is to do is hike about.  A list of trails is on the Park website here:  https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hikes_day.htm.  If you like to hike, spend a couple hours doing so.  The Sulphur Banks trail would be my first pick.  After that, if you are in Hilo for only a few days, there is more to see than lava rock.

Chain of Craters Road.  The road around the north side of the volcano continued ALL the way down to the ocean.  The problem is that decades ago, lava flows cut off the road.  If you go down this direction, you need to go all the way back up.  If you have lots of time and gas it is an interesting drive.  See this park link for additional information: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/ccr_tour.htm

Remember that conditions of the park are constantly changing, so it is wise to ask a park ranger about current air conditions and for more information about the park’s safety. If you are planning on hiking please wear suitable shoes and pants (lava rocks are sharp, and falling on them is like falling on broken glass!), and remember to drink lots of water.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round, including ALL holidays.

Kīlauea Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Jaggar Museum is not open

$30.00 per private non-commercial vehicle (capacity 15 or less)


Kilauea Overlook


2016 lava flowing from Kilauea seven miles into the ocean.  Lava is currently not flowing.


Ha’akulamanu (Sulphur Banks) Trail


Holei Sea Arch