Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Guide

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a United States National Park located on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is home to two active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, and provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the volcanic landscapes in their natural state. The park covers an area of more than 300,000 acres and includes several different types of terrain ranging from lush rainforest to barren lava fields. Visitors can hike through these areas or take guided tours that focus on specific aspects of the park’s geology and ecology.


The park has several distinct features that make it unique among other national parks in the United States. One such feature is its close proximity to Kilauea Volcano which makes it possible for visitors to view lava flows up close from a safe distance. The park contains numerous archaeological sites that have been left untouched since ancient times, providing a glimpse into Hawaiian culture before European contact. There are also many scenic views throughout the park including overlooks of various volcanoes and stunning ocean vistas from nearby coastal trails.

The most popular attraction at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is Halemaʻumaʻu Crater which serves as both a backdrop for breathtaking sunsets as well as home to one of the world’s most active lava lakes – Halemaʻumaʻu Lake which regularly glows red when activity increases within the crater walls below it. Other attractions include Thurston Lava Tube – where visitors can walk through underground tunnels created by flowing molten rock – as well as numerous waterfalls and streams running throughout much of the region which provide ample opportunities for swimming or fishing during summer months when temperatures rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius).

What is the History of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was established on August 1, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson. It is one of the oldest national parks in the United States and is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The park encompasses an area of 333,000 acres and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to observe ongoing volcanic activity from a safe distance. In addition to its spectacular geological features, the park also contains lush rainforests and native Hawaiian species such as nene geese, hoary bats, hawksbill turtles and many more. Throughout its history, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been used for scientific research into volcanology as well as for conservation efforts aimed at protecting endangered species in their natural habitats.

How Can I Explore the Park?

Exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a great way to experience the stunning natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Visitors can explore the park on foot, by bike, or even in a vehicle.

The most popular way to explore the park is on foot. Hiking trails traverse through both active and dormant volcanoes, as well as lush forests and meadows. The 11-mile Crater Rim Drive takes visitors along the rim of Kilauea’s summit caldera and provides access to many overlooks with stunning views of Halemaumau crater, Pu’u Pua’i cinder cone, and Mauna Ulu lava flow. Other trails provide access to spectacular waterfalls, coastal views from sea cliffs, and ancient petroglyphs carved into lava rocks by native Hawaiians centuries ago.

Visitors looking for more adventure can explore the park by bicycle or vehicle. Bicyclists can take advantage of miles of paved roads that offer breathtaking views of craters, valleys and other geological features throughout the park. For those who want an up close look at these sites but don’t feel like getting too far off-road there are scenic drives such as Chain Of Craters Road which winds its way down Kilauea’s east rift zone over 20 miles with numerous stops offering opportunities for exploration along the route.

What Wildlife Lives in the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife. The park is teeming with birds, reptiles, and mammals including the nene (Hawaiian goose), iiwi (Hawaiian honeycreeper) and Hawaiian hoary bat. There are also several species of mongoose, deer, wild boar, and endangered species such as the hawksbill sea turtle. There are many native insects found in the park that play an important role in the ecosystem. The waters around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also contain a number of marine animals such as dolphins, whales, monk seals, sea turtles and various types of fish.

The most popular attractions at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park include Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and Haleakalā. Kīlauea is the world’s most active volcano and a major tourist attraction in the park, offering an up-close view of volcanic activity. Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth and its summit can be reached by hiking trails that offer spectacular views of lava flows. Haleakalā is a dormant shield volcano with its massive crater providing visitors with stunning views of Maui Island. Other popular attractions include Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Road, Steam Vents Trail, Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Overlook Trail, Ka’aha Trailhead, and Volcano House Visitor Center.

What Kinds of Plants Grow in the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to a variety of plants, including rare and endemic species. The park contains over 200 native plant species, many of which are only found in Hawaii. These include the endangered hāhā (Astelia spp.), As well as koa (Acacia koa) and ōhia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha). There are also several invasive plant species that have been introduced to the area, such as miconia (Miconia calvescens) and strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum). The park is home to an array of ferns and lichens that thrive in the damp climate.

What Activities are Available at the Park?

At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there are a variety of activities available for visitors to enjoy. Hiking is a popular activity at the park, with trails ranging from easy strolls along scenic overlooks to more strenuous hikes through lava tubes and up volcanic cinder cones. Other outdoor activities include bird watching, camping, fishing, and exploring ancient Hawaiian sites. The Visitor Center offers educational exhibits about the park’s history and geology as well as ranger-led talks and walks. There are also numerous cultural events throughout the year such as hula performances and traditional Hawaiian storytelling sessions.

For those interested in learning more about volcanoes, guided tours take visitors on an exploration of Kilauea Volcano’s Halema’uma’u Crater or other active sites within the park. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, Ranger-led sunset viewing programs offer stunning views of Mauna Loa and Kilauea while providing interesting facts about their eruptions over time. Stargazing programs allow visitors to explore Hawaii’s night sky under expert guidance while learning about constellations visible in this part of the world.

Answer: At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird watching, camping, fishing, exploring ancient Hawaiian sites, taking guided tours of active volcanoes or crater sites within the park; attending cultural events such as hula performances or traditional Hawaiian storytelling sessions; participating in Ranger-led sunset viewing programs; or stargazing under expert guidance.

What is the Best Time to Visit?

The best time to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is during the dry season from April to October. This is when the weather tends to be milder, with temperatures ranging from 65°F (18°C) to 85°F (29°C). Rainfall in this period is minimal and visibility for viewing the volcanoes is usually clear.

Many of the park’s trails are open during this time, allowing visitors to explore more of what the park has to offer. From May through September, visitors can even take part in a free guided tour of Kilauea caldera that allows them to learn about Hawaiian culture and geology up close.

There are fewer crowds at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park during these months so it may be easier for visitors to find parking or lodging near popular attractions such as Halema‘uma‘u Crater and Thurston Lava Tube.

Is There an Entrance Fee?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visitors aged 16 and over are required to pay a $25 per vehicle or $12 per person fee for entry into the park. There is also a special rate of $15 for holders of valid military ID cards and those with permanent disabilities. Annual passes are available for purchase at the park entrance station for $50.

Are Camping and Lodging Options Available?

Yes, camping and lodging options are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Campers can choose from a variety of campgrounds throughout the park with varying amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and restrooms. The Namakanipaio campground is located in a rainforest environment, while the Kulanaokuaiki campground is situated near an old lava flow for an incredible view of the night sky.

For those who prefer to stay indoors, there are also lodging options within the park itself. The Volcano House is perched on the rim of Kīlauea Caldera offering breathtaking views of Halema‘uma‘u Crater as well as several other volcanoes in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. In addition to this hotel option, visitors can also book cottages or vacation homes through various vendors in nearby towns such as Hilo or Pahoa.

No matter which type of accommodation you choose at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience exploring its amazing volcanic features.

What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken?

When visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, safety precautions should be taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

First, visitors should always stay on designated trails and heed all warnings from park rangers. This will help keep them out of dangerous areas, such as close to active volcanoes or unstable terrain that may shift during an eruption. Hikers should always carry appropriate supplies for the duration of their visit. This includes water, food, warm clothing in case of cold weather conditions, and a first-aid kit in case of any minor injuries.

It is also important for visitors to research the current volcanic activity at the park prior to their visit so they can plan accordingly. The US Geological Survey provides up-to-date information about potential eruptions or other hazardous events that could occur while visiting the park. Visitors should avoid any contact with sulfur dioxide gas as it can be toxic when inhaled in large concentrations over time.

What Types of Weather Does the Park Experience?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park experiences a range of weather conditions. During the summer months, temperatures are warm and humid with occasional showers. The winter months bring cooler temperatures, more frequent rains, and often cloudy skies. On average, the park receives about 128 inches of rainfall annually with much of it occurring between October and March. Snow is rare but has been known to occur at higher elevations on occasion. Winds in the park can be strong at times, especially near the summit of Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes where gusts up to 50 mph are not uncommon.

Where is the Closest Airport?

The closest airport to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is Hilo International Airport (ITO), located approximately 43 miles southeast of the park. The airport offers flights from a variety of domestic and international airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Mokulele Airlines. In addition to commercial air service, ITO also provides charter flights and general aviation services.

For visitors looking for an alternative airport, Kona International Airport (KOA) is located about 110 miles southwest of the park. KOA offers direct flights from major cities on the mainland U.S. As well as inter-island service from Honolulu International Airport (HNL). The airport serves both international and domestic carriers such as American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airline’s Island Hopper route.

What Other Parks are Nearby?

Near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there are several other parks and attractions to explore. Kilauea Military Camp is just 2 miles from the park and offers a variety of activities, including hiking trails, fishing, golfing, camping and more. The nearby Mauna Loa Observatory provides stunning views of the volcano as well as educational programs about volcanology. Akaka Falls State Park is a short drive away and features two waterfalls that cascade down over 400 feet. Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden showcases some of the island’s most diverse plants along with walking paths perfect for exploring nature up close.

What Services are Offered for Visitors with Disabilities?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a variety of services to ensure that visitors with disabilities can enjoy their visit. These include accessible parking and restrooms, a designated accessible picnic area, an adapted trail for wheelchairs, special interpretive programs and equipment rentals such as manual wheelchairs, electric scooters and audio description devices. The park also provides sign language interpretation for many of its ranger-led programs. The Kilauea Visitor Center has a tactile relief map of the park which allows blind and low vision visitors to explore the geography of the area.

What Educational Programs are Available?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a variety of educational programs to visitors. These include ranger-led hikes and walks, interactive exhibits, junior ranger activities, cultural demonstrations and presentations. Ranger-led hikes and walks offer opportunities for visitors to explore the diverse natural resources in the park while learning about its history, geology and ecology. Interactive exhibits provide an engaging way for visitors to learn more about the park’s volcanic features, wildlife, plants and Hawaiian culture. The Junior Ranger program is designed for children aged 4–12 years old to complete fun activities that help them become stewards of their national parks. Cultural demonstrations such as hula performances and talks on traditional Hawaiian practices are also available at certain times throughout the year.

What Regulations Exist for Protecting the Natural Environment?

Regulations exist to protect the natural environment of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Camping is limited to designated areas and campers must adhere to regulations, such as observing quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am. Firewood may not be collected in the park, but can be purchased at the entrance station or campground. All pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet and kept out of wilderness areas and native habitats.

The Take-Home Trash Program requires that visitors pack out their trash when leaving an area within the park, including picnic sites and backcountry trails. Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited outside designated roads and parking areas, except for authorized personnel or individuals with special use permits. All rocks, plants, wildlife, artifacts and historic structures are protected by law; visitors should never disturb these items in any way.

What Cultural Events Take Place in the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a wide range of cultural events throughout the year. These include traditional hula performances, music concerts, and storytelling sessions. The park also hosts special cultural festivals, such as the Merrie Monarch Festival in April and Kalani Honua Festival in October. During these festivals, visitors can take part in various workshops to learn about Hawaiian history and culture from local experts. Guided hikes are offered where visitors can explore ancient lava tubes or view petroglyphs left by Hawaiians hundreds of years ago. With so many opportunities to experience Hawaii’s rich culture at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it is no wonder why it is one of the most popular destinations for travelers looking for a unique cultural experience.

What Special Permits or Licenses are Needed?

Special permits or licenses are required for certain activities in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Commercial filming and photography require a permit from the park’s Office of Special Use Permits. Research projects, such as scientific studies, also require a special use permit. All campers must obtain a valid camping permit prior to setting up camp within the park boundaries. Hunting is prohibited in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and requires a separate hunting license issued by the State of Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR). Special equipment may be needed for certain activities; all recreationalists should check with park staff before engaging in any activity that may require additional permitting or licensing.

What Types of Animals Live in the Park?

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to a diverse range of animals. Common species include the Hawaiian hoary bat, feral pig, mongoose, and axis deer. There are also endangered species living in the park such as the Hawaiian goose (nene), hawksbill sea turtle, monk seal, and several rare plant species. Many seabirds like albatrosses and shearwaters make their homes in the park’s coastal areas. The unique environment of the volcanoes also provides habitats for frogs, lizards, centipedes and even whales.

How Can I Help Preserve the Park’s Natural Resources?

To help preserve the natural resources of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, visitors should adhere to the park’s Leave No Trace principles. These include minimizing campfire impacts by using existing fire rings and never leaving a campfire unattended; disposing of waste properly in designated areas; respecting wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not feeding them; traveling on established trails only; and being considerate of other visitors. Visitors can also support conservation efforts by joining local organizations dedicated to preserving the park or donating to national parks foundations that advocate for preservation initiatives.

Are Pets Allowed in the Park?

No, pets are not allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park has implemented a strict policy prohibiting all animals, including domestic pets such as cats and dogs, from entering the park’s boundaries. This policy is intended to protect native wildlife and preserve natural habitats within the park. Visitors who do bring their pets into the park can be subject to fines or other legal action taken by rangers or law enforcement officers.

What are Some Good Photo Opportunities?

Photo opportunities at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park abound. The park is home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, offering stunning views of lava flows from either a safe distance or from up close with a tour guide. Visitors can also explore lush rainforests and see native Hawaiian plants, as well as snap photos of rare birds like the Nene goose or ‘I’iwi hummingbird. Other great photo ops include visiting Thurston Lava Tube, an underground tunnel formed by cooled lava flow; witnessing sunrise or sunset over Kilauea Caldera; viewing native petroglyphs carved into ancient volcanic rock; and catching the steam vents billowing off Puu Oo crater.

What Rules Must be Followed When Visiting the Park?

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park must adhere to several rules. First, all visitors are required to stay on designated trails and pathways. This is for their safety as the park contains active volcanoes that can be dangerous. Second, pets must remain leashed at all times when in the park and cannot enter any buildings or areas with thermal features. Third, visitors should not leave behind any trash or other items and must respect wildlife by not feeding them. Campers must obtain a permit before setting up a campsite within the park boundaries.

What Trails are Available for Hiking?

Hiking trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are plentiful and varied. The Kīlauea Iki Trail is a 4-mile loop with dramatic views of the crater, while the Mauna Loa Trail offers an 11-mile journey to the summit of one of Earth’s largest volcanoes. The Chain of Craters Road features multiple short hikes through old lava flows and cinder cones, including the Holei Sea Arch trail which takes hikers out to a stunning natural arch on the shoreline. The 8-mile Nāpau Trail traverses several different types of terrain from rainforest to open grassland before reaching its destination in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. For those looking for something a little more challenging, there’s Ka‘ū Desert Trails that traverse some very rugged landscapes as well as beautiful sea cliffs along the coast.

How Can I Get Involved in Volunteering at the Park?

Volunteering at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a great way to help conserve the natural environment and contribute to the preservation of Hawaiian culture. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available, ranging from helping with habitat restoration projects to leading guided hikes.

The park offers volunteer programs year-round that allow individuals or groups to assist with various activities such as trail maintenance, invasive species removal, wildlife monitoring, campground host duties and more. Volunteers also have the opportunity to take part in special events like cultural demonstrations or educational presentations for visitors. To get involved in volunteering at the park, interested individuals can contact the park directly via email or telephone for more information about available programs and how to apply.

What Information is Available about the Geology of the Area?

The geology of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is primarily composed of volcanic rock from the five volcanoes that make up the park: Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, Hualālai, Mauna Kea, and Kohala. The majority of these rocks are basaltic in composition and are formed by lava flows that cooled rapidly on contact with the ocean or atmosphere. Pumice stones, cinder cones, ash deposits and littoral cones can be found throughout the park’s landscape.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also contains other geological features such as calderas and rift zones which were created when magma moved beneath the Earth’s surface causing large-scale shifts in landmass. These calderas and rift zones provide insight into how volcanoes form over time as well as offering a unique look at different types of lava formations. Hot springs can be found within some of these regions providing visitors with an opportunity to witness first hand how hydrothermal activity affects a volcanic environment.

What Archaeological Sites are Located in the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to numerous archaeological sites, including heiau (temples), petroglyphs, and other cultural artifacts. Heiau are ancient religious structures made of stone walls and platforms that were used for worship, offerings, and rituals. The park contains over 70 heiau located in various areas such as the Kilauea Iki crater trail, Chain of Craters road, Ka’u Desert Trail, Mauna Loa Strip Road, and more.

Petroglyphs are rock carvings made by Hawaiians centuries ago depicting their gods or ancestors. These can be found along the coast of the park on Kau Desert Trail or at Volcano House near Halemaumau crater. Visitors can find a variety of other cultural artifacts like adzes (stone tools) from pre-contact times scattered throughout the park’s trails and backcountry campsites.

What Facilities are Available for Picnicking?

Picnicking is a popular activity at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers many facilities to facilitate picnicking, including picnic tables and grills in several areas of the park. Picnic sites are located throughout the park, from Kilauea Iki Trailhead near Volcano Village to Halemaumau Crater Overlook at the summit of Kilauea volcano. Most have designated parking areas and some have shelters or other features like restrooms or water fountains. Grills are provided for cooking food and all fires must be contained within designated fire pits with a grill on top. Firewood may not be brought into the park; however, charcoal can be purchased at some locations inside the park boundaries.

What Fishing Opportunities are Available?

Fishing opportunities abound at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. With the ocean waters off the coast of the park teeming with fish, visitors can enjoy a variety of species such as mahi-mahi, ono, and ahi tuna. Anglers are welcome to bring their own boats or kayaks to access offshore fishing spots in the Pacific Ocean; however, no motorized vessels are permitted within park boundaries. In addition to fishing from shorelines and lava rocks along the coast, sportfishers may also take advantage of Halemaumau Crater Lake for trout fishing year-round. All anglers must possess a valid state freshwater or saltwater license and abide by all applicable laws and regulations.

Are Guided Tours Offered?

Yes, guided tours are offered at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tour guides provide an in-depth look at the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. Visitors can take advantage of ranger-led hikes and talks to learn more about the features of this unique national park. Guided tours typically include a visit to some of the park’s most popular attractions such as Kilauea Iki Crater, Thurston Lava Tube, Halema’uma’u crater overlooks, and other highlights throughout the park. Private tour companies also offer custom guided hikes that provide visitors with a personalized experience tailored to their interests.

What are the Hours of Operation?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visitors may enter the park at any time of day or night and are encouraged to do so during low-light conditions for safety reasons. The Kīlauea Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm HST, with extended hours on weekends and holidays. The Thomas A. Jaggar Museum operates from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm HST and is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

What Kinds of Birds Make Their Home Here?

A wide variety of birds call Hawaii Volcanoes National Park home, including the ʻalae keʻokeʻo (Hawaiian coot), the āeʻo (Hawaiian stilt), and the nēnē-nui (Hawaiian goose). The park is also home to a number of migratory bird species, such as the pueo (short-eared owl) and various ducks. Several endemic forest birds can be found in the park’s rainforest areas, including ‘apapane, ‘amakihi, elepaio, and Hawai’i ‘amakihi. Sea birds like terns and shearwaters are commonly seen near shorelines within the park.

What Interpretive Programs are Available?

Interpretive programs are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to provide visitors with a more in-depth understanding of the area’s unique geology, culture, and natural resources. Programs include ranger-led hikes, lectures, slide shows, campfire talks and cultural demonstrations. Guided hikes provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the park’s lava flows, volcanic craters and diverse native plant life while learning about the history of the volcanoes and their significance to Hawaiian culture. Ranger-led talks focus on topics such as volcanology and geology as well as conservation efforts in the park. Slide shows featuring images taken by professional photographers give viewers an up close look at some of the most dramatic landscapes in Hawaii. Campfire talks offer a chance for families to gather around a crackling fire and learn about Hawaii’s fascinating history from knowledgeable rangers. Cultural demonstrations showcase traditional Hawaiian crafts like lei making or hula dancing that can be enjoyed by all ages.

What is the Climate Like?

The climate in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is tropical and humid, with an average temperature of 70°F (21°C). The warmest months are August and September, when temperatures can reach up to 85°F (29°C). Rainfall averages about 80 inches per year. Humidity levels remain relatively high throughout the year, ranging from 50-80%. The park receives most of its rainfall during winter months from October to March. Winter temperatures tend to be cooler than summer months but rarely dip below 60°F (16°C). There are also occasional periods of higher wind speeds due to passing storms.

What Souvenirs Can I Buy?

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can purchase a variety of souvenirs to remember their experience. Souvenir items include t-shirts, hats, mugs and other memorabilia with the park logo or volcano images printed on them. The Volcano Art Center is an excellent source for unique gifts made by local artists such as jewelry, wood carvings, paintings and pottery featuring designs inspired by Hawaiian culture. Guests can also buy books about volcanology, geology and Hawaiian history at the Kilauea Visitor Center bookstore. Visitors can purchase fresh fruits like pineapple and coconuts from roadside stands near the entrance of the park.

Are Bicycles Allowed on the Trails?

Yes, bicycles are allowed on the trails in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Bicycles must follow all park regulations and riders should be aware of other trail users such as hikers and horseback riders. Riders must stay on designated trails at all times, give way to pedestrians and horses, yield to uphill traffic, and never exceed 15 mph. Cyclists should also remember that some areas may be closed for safety reasons or because of environmental sensitivity.

How Can I Reach a Ranger Station?

The quickest way to reach a ranger station in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is by car. The park has two entrances, located at Kīlauea Visitor Center and Mauna Loa Lookout. Both entrances provide access to the different Ranger Stations throughout the park. There are also shuttle buses that can be taken from Hilo or Kona which run along Crater Rim Drive between both entrance points and make stops at each of the Ranger Stations. Visitors can also use private vehicles or bicycles to get around within the park boundaries.

What Kinds of Trees Grow in the Park?

Trees found in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park include the endemic ‘ōhi’a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), native koa (Acacia koa) and other species of Acacia, as well as introduced species such as eucalyptus, Monterey cypress, and Norfolk Island pine. The ‘ōhi’a lehua is a small evergreen tree or shrub that grows to heights of up to 30 feet and produces bright red blossoms. Koa is also an evergreen tree which can grow up to 80 feet tall with broad compound leaves and clusters of yellow-gold flowers. Other trees found in the park include ohia ha, lama, koai’e, milo, naio, wiliwili and hau.

Are Swimming, Boating, and Kayaking Allowed?

Yes, swimming, boating, and kayaking are allowed at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers a variety of aquatic activities in the Kīlauea Caldera including lava boat tours and other recreational opportunities. Boats can be rented from local vendors or brought from home for personal use. Swimming is also permitted in designated areas within the caldera as well as at Halemaʻumaʻu Beach on the shores of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lake. Kayaking is allowed throughout most of the park, with rentals available near some major attractions such as Chain of Craters Road. Visitors should check conditions before engaging in any water-related activity to ensure safety and minimize impact to natural resources.

What Are the Rules for Collecting Rocks and Minerals?

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are permitted to collect rocks and minerals for personal use, as long as they adhere to the following rules: 1. Collection of rocks or minerals is limited to a reasonable amount that can be carried by one person and does not involve any excavation or destruction of park resources. 2. Rocks or minerals must not be used for commercial purposes without prior written authorization from the park superintendent. 3. Specimens may only be collected from areas outside developed trails, roads, and designated wilderness areas unless otherwise posted; collections made within these areas require a permit from the superintendent. 4. The collection of lava rock is prohibited in order to protect fragile geological formations and cultural sites. 5. Removal of live plants is strictly forbidden except under special circumstances authorized by the park superintendent in writing prior to collection taking place; specimens should only be taken with permission of landowner when collecting on private property adjacent to the park boundaries.

Are Horseback Riding and Pack Trips Available?

Yes, horseback riding and pack trips are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visitors can explore the park’s backcountry trails on horseback or by pack mule. Guided tours are offered daily from May through October with a variety of rides to choose from, ranging from 1-hour jaunts to full day adventures. Riders must be over 8 years old, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should come prepared for all weather conditions since the tour may take place in rain or shine.

Are Dogs Allowed in Certain Areas of the Park?

Yes, dogs are allowed in certain areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Leashed pets are welcome in all developed areas, including the Kīlauea Visitor Center and all picnic sites. Dogs may also join their owners on many trails, but they must remain on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. The only trail where leashed pets are not allowed is the Ka’u Desert Trail due to potential conflicts with native birds and other wildlife in the area.

What is the Best Way to View the Park from Above?

The best way to view Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from above is by taking a helicopter tour. Helicopter tours provide the most comprehensive view of the park, allowing visitors to get an aerial perspective of its diverse landscape. From the air, visitors can take in breathtaking views of Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, along with their surrounding lava flows and craters. The unique geography of Hawaii’s Big Island offers spectacular sights from high above that cannot be experienced any other way. Flying over the park allows for stunning photographs or videos to capture memories for years to come.

Are Fireworks Prohibited in the Park?

Yes, fireworks are prohibited in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park enforces strict regulations that prohibit any form of firework, explosive or incendiary device within the park boundaries. This is to protect both visitors and wildlife from the danger posed by these devices. The dry conditions of the park make it particularly vulnerable to wildfires caused by fireworks and other incendiary devices. By prohibiting their use, the National Park Service works to maintain a safe environment for all who visit this unique and beautiful place.

What Scenic Drives Pass Through the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers several scenic drives that pass through the park. The Chain of Craters Road is an 18-mile drive that passes through diverse landscapes, including lava fields and lush rainforests. This road leads to the volcanic coast, providing spectacular views of Kilauea volcano and its coastline. Another popular drive is Mauna Loa Road, which takes visitors on a 30-mile journey along the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano, with breathtaking views across vast expanses of barren lava fields. There is Crater Rim Drive, a 6-mile route which circles the summit caldera at Kilauea Iki crater, providing stunning vistas into the depths of this dormant volcano.

What Historical Monuments are Located in the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to several historical monuments, including the Kīlauea Visitor Center, Volcano House Hotel and Jaggar Museum. The Kīlauea Visitor Center was built in 1960 and serves as an educational center for visitors to learn about the park’s natural history and cultural significance. The Volcano House Hotel was built in 1846 and offers a unique lodging experience surrounded by stunning views of active volcanoes. The Jaggar Museum is located within the park boundaries and houses geological artifacts from all over Hawaii. It also serves as a research facility for geologists studying volcanic activity throughout the islands.

What Kind of Clothing Should I Bring?

When visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it is important to bring the right clothing. A good rule of thumb is to dress in layers that can be easily added or removed depending on the weather conditions and activity levels. Clothing should be light and breathable so as not to cause discomfort when engaging in physical activities such as hiking or sightseeing. It is also a good idea to bring a waterproof jacket and/or pants, just in case it rains during your visit. Closed-toed shoes are recommended for safety reasons when exploring the park’s trails and other areas. Since temperatures at night can drop significantly lower than during the day, bringing warmer clothes such as sweaters or jackets is highly advised.

Are Hunting and Trapping Allowed?

No, hunting and trapping are not allowed at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In accordance with the regulations of the National Park Service, all forms of hunting and trapping are prohibited in the park. This includes fishing for any species native to the area or introduced by humans. The only exception is authorized subsistence activities such as traditional gathering of edible plants, non-commercial fishing from shoreline areas and access to salt water resources.

Are ATVs Allowed in the Park?

No, ATVs are not allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park prohibits motorized vehicles, including ATVs and other off-road vehicles. This is to help protect the park’s natural resources and wildlife, as well as provide a safe experience for visitors. No pets or animals of any kind are allowed on trails or roads within the park.

What Amenities Are Available at the Visitor Centers?

At the visitor centers of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, visitors can find a variety of amenities to make their experience more enjoyable. These include restrooms and drinking fountains, free interpretive brochures and maps, displays about local flora and fauna, gift shops with souvenirs related to the park, ranger-led programs such as hikes or talks on natural history topics, educational exhibits on geology or Hawaiian culture, and a volcano observatory where visitors can learn about recent activity in the park. Some of the visitor centers offer guided tours for an additional fee.

What Kinds of Insects Live in the Park?

Insects that inhabit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park include several species of moths, beetles, butterflies, ants, grasshoppers, and spiders. These insects play an important role in the park’s ecosystem by providing food for other animals such as birds and reptiles. Moths are common in the park and can be found feeding on nectar from flowers or resting on tree trunks. Beetles are also quite common in the park and can be seen crawling around logs or hiding under leaf litter. Butterflies such as the Kamehameha butterfly and Monarch butterfly are found fluttering around wildflowers throughout the year. Ants build large colonies near streams or water sources where they feed on dead leaves and small insects like aphids. Grasshoppers can often be heard chirping during warm summer days while spiders weave webs to capture their prey at night. All of these insect species help to maintain a healthy balance within the national park’s ecosystem by providing food for other animals while controlling populations of plant-eating pests like aphids.

Are Snowshoeing and Skiing Allowed?

Yes, snowshoeing and skiing are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers a number of trails for both activities, ranging from beginner-friendly routes to more challenging terrain for experienced skiers and snowshoers. The Mauna Loa Trail is especially popular for its wide open views of the volcano and surrounding landscape. The national park also provides avalanche safety training courses to ensure visitors have a safe experience while enjoying these winter sports.

What Emergency Services are Available?

Emergency services are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park has an on-site ranger station and emergency medical services provided by the Hawaii County Fire Department. The park offers evacuation plans and warning systems to alert visitors of impending danger. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is staffed 24/7 with personnel who can assist with any emergencies or other needs that may arise during a visit to the park. Rangers also patrol regularly and are available for assistance in times of need.

Are Rock Climbing and Rappelling Allowed?

Yes, rock climbing and rappelling are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Climbing and rappelling require a permit which can be obtained from the park’s Visitor Center or online. The activity must also comply with the regulations listed on the permit to ensure safety for all visitors. Rock climbing is only permitted on designated routes that have been set up by experienced climbers, while rappelling is allowed in certain areas of the park where it does not damage any vegetation or other features. Both activities should only be attempted by those who are well-experienced and knowledgeable about proper safety procedures.

Are Professional Photography Sessions Allowed?

Yes, professional photography sessions are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photographers may take pictures for personal use, commercial or educational purposes. Permits are required for all commercial photography and filming activities. Commercial photographers must pay an additional fee to the park’s concessionaire for their services. Photographers must abide by specific regulations such as staying within designated areas and not disturbing natural resources or wildlife.

Are Pets Required to Have Leashes?

Yes, pets are required to have leashes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park’s pet policy states that all pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet long and under the physical control of their owners at all times while in the park. This includes trails, roads, campgrounds, and other areas within the park boundaries. Pet owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their animals and disposing of pet waste in trash receptacles. Failure to abide by these regulations may result in fines or removal from the park.

What Fees are Charged for Access to the Park?

Access to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is subject to a variety of fees. An entrance fee of $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle grants visitors access for seven days. Visitors arriving on foot, bike, or commercial tour must pay an entrance fee of $15 per person. A camping fee of up to $20 is required for overnight stays at the park’s campsites and cabins. Certain special activities such as cave tours may require additional fees, ranging from around $5-50 depending on the activity.

What Conservation Efforts are Being Made in the Park?

Conservation efforts in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park include the removal of non-native species, reintroduction of native species, and control of invasive plant species. The park has removed feral pigs, goats, cats, and sheep from its lands to protect the native flora and fauna. Endangered bird species such as the ‘i’iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) are monitored closely to ensure their populations remain stable. Native plants such as koa (Acacia koa), ōhia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), and mamane (Sophora chrysophylla) are being re-introduced into the park through replanting programs. The park staff is controlling exotic plant species like fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) and guava (Psidium guajava) that have invaded areas where native plants used to thrive. These conservation efforts help keep Hawaii Volcanoes National Park a vibrant example of a tropical rainforest ecosystem.

What are the Rules for Building Fires?

Building fires in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is allowed only in designated areas, and with a valid campfire permit. Campfires must be built in fire rings provided by the park, or other metal containers that are off the ground. Fires should not exceed three feet in height or diameter. All wood used for fires must be gathered within the park boundaries; no outside wood may be brought into the park.

When building a fire, it is important to keep safety as top priority. Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure to fully extinguish all flames before leaving an area. Be sure to use water and stir dirt over coals until they are cool enough to touch before abandoning them. Never dispose of hot ashes near flammable materials like dry grasses or brush piles.

Are Motorized Vehicles Allowed on the Trails?

No, motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This includes motorcycles, four-wheel drive vehicles, and any other type of powered vehicle. The park offers scenic drives along Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road that allow visitors to experience many of the same views available from the trails without damaging or disturbing the natural environment.

What Roads Lead into the Park?

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is accessible from several roads. The most direct route is Highway 11, which runs along the south and east sides of the park. This road connects to Saddle Road, a scenic highway that cuts through the center of the island and provides access to other parts of Big Island as well. Highway 130 passes by the western edge of the park and leads directly into downtown Hilo. Chain of Craters Road offers a picturesque drive down to sea level on its way to South Point in Ka’u District.

Are Hot Air Balloon Rides Available?

Yes, hot air balloon rides are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Balloon tours offer visitors an opportunity to experience the park from a bird’s eye view and take in its expansive beauty. Most tours last between 1-2 hours and cover up to 20 miles of the landscape, allowing riders to see the crater walls of Kilauea and Mauna Loa, as well as lava flows that have occurred over time. Riders may also spot unique wildlife such as wild turkeys, pheasants, nene geese, hawks and even sea turtles during their journey. Hot air balloons provide a unique way to explore the natural wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park while creating lasting memories.

What is the Highest Point in the Park?

The highest point in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the summit of Mauna Loa, which stands at 13,677 feet (4,169 m). This shield volcano is the largest mountain on Earth in terms of area and volume. It rises over 30,000 feet (9 km) from its base on the ocean floor to its peak. From Mauna Loa’s summit, visitors can observe spectacular views of Kilauea Caldera and Halemaʻumaʻu Crater as well as other volcanic features in the park.

Are Public Restrooms Available?

Yes, public restrooms are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park has restrooms located throughout the various areas of the park including campgrounds, visitor centers and other developed sites. These facilities include flush toilets and running water, as well as handwashing stations. All restroom buildings are cleaned on a regular basis by park staff to ensure that they remain in good condition for visitors.

Are Nighttime Tours Available?

Yes, nighttime tours of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are available. Tour groups visit the park after dark to experience the unique landscape illuminated by moonlight and stars. The tour typically begins at sunset and lasts for a few hours, allowing visitors to explore different parts of the park and observe its nocturnal wildlife. Some nighttime tours also provide stargazing opportunities with guided constellation spotting and views of shooting stars from one of the darkest spots in Hawaii.

Are Dogs Allowed in the Backcountry?

Yes, dogs are allowed in the backcountry of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All pets must be leashed at all times and may not be left unattended. Pets are also prohibited from entering any public buildings, some trails, and on public shuttles within the park. Visitors should also note that there is a high concentration of native Hawaiian wildlife in the park, including wild pigs and nene geese. For safety reasons, it is best to keep pets away from these animals while exploring the backcountry.

What Type of Recreation is Not Allowed?

Recreational activities such as camping, hunting, and fishing are not allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Rock climbing is also prohibited due to the hazardous conditions of the volcanic terrain. Off-trail hiking is not permitted as it can damage sensitive habitats. Collecting or disturbing any plants or animals within the park boundaries is strictly forbidden. Operating drones and other motorized vehicles on trails and inside the park is strictly prohibited for safety reasons.

Are Private Vehicles Allowed on the Trails?

Yes, private vehicles are allowed on the trails of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All visitors must follow park regulations and drive only on designated roads, including off-road vehicle trails. These trails are marked with signs and maps at each entrance point. Vehicles should be kept to a minimum speed of 15 miles per hour when driving on the trails. Drivers should stay alert for wildlife and take care not to damage any vegetation or other natural features in the park.

Are Cell Phones Allowed in the Park?

Yes, cell phones are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park visitors may use their cell phones to take pictures and videos while exploring the park’s trails, scenic views, and wildlife. However, visitors should be mindful of their noise levels and ensure they do not disturb other guests or disrupt wildlife. All calls should be made away from cultural sites or areas with sensitive resources such as endangered plants and animals.

What Accommodations are Available for Large Groups?

Accommodations for large groups at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are plentiful and diverse. Visitors can choose from a variety of lodging options, including hotels, resorts, cabins, and camping sites. Hotels in the area provide comfortable rooms with amenities such as pools, fitness centers, spas, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Resorts offer luxurious accommodations with private beach access and other recreational activities. Cabins provide a more rustic experience that allows visitors to be immersed in nature while still enjoying modern amenities like electricity and running water. Camping sites provide an affordable option for those looking to spend time outdoors without sacrificing basic comforts like bathrooms or cooking facilities.

What Kind of Flora is Found in the Park?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to a variety of flora. The park contains both native and introduced species, including rare plants found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Native plant species include ‘ohi’a lehua trees, hala trees, ferns, and many other endemic plants. Introduced species include Eucalyptus trees, pines, Australian Brushwood, Strawberry guava shrubs, Kukui nut trees and more. These plants provide essential habitat for numerous bird species that are found in the park such as the Hawaii Amakihi honeycreeper or Apapane honeycreeper. There are several rare flowering plants like Silversword which can be found growing on the sides of volcanoes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

What Species of Marine Life Inhabit the Waters?

Marine life inhabiting the waters of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is abundant and varied. Species include a variety of fish, such as surgeonfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, jacks, triggerfish and goatfishes; crustaceans like shrimps and lobsters; mollusks like octopus and squid; sea stars; coral reefs that provide homes for many species; sea turtles including the endangered hawksbill turtle; humpback whales which migrate through Hawaiian waters seasonally. There are numerous small invertebrates living in the park’s coral reefs that are often overlooked but important to its overall ecosystem.

What Geological Features Can I See?

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can explore a range of geological features. The park is home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, both of which are open for exploration. Visitors can also view volcanic craters, steam vents, cinder cones, lava tubes and petroglyphs left by ancient Hawaiians. Other geological features that visitors may observe include coastal cliffs formed by the eruption of lava into the sea and an array of dramatic landforms created as a result of ongoing volcanic activity in the area.

Are Any Waterfalls Located Within the Park?

Yes, there are waterfalls located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The most well-known of these is the 400-foot high Makahiku Falls, located near the Kīlauea Visitor Center on Crater Rim Drive. Other notable falls include Kaumana Caves Falls and Pu’u ‘O’o Falls in the Kahuku Unit of the park. All three falls can be reached by taking short hikes from nearby roads or trails.

Are Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Allowed?

Yes, snorkeling and scuba diving are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park has two coastal areas with clear water where visitors can explore the underwater world. Snorkelers can observe vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish, and sea turtles from the surface. Scuba divers can dive deeper to explore caves, lava tubes, and volcanic formations. All scuba divers must be certified and bring their own equipment; however snorkeling gear is available for rent at several local shops. Visitors should adhere to all safety regulations when swimming or diving in the park.

Are Helicopter Tours Available?

Yes, helicopter tours are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers several different types of helicopter tour packages ranging from private charters to group excursions. Tour participants can take in spectacular views of the Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes from the air and get a unique perspective on the rugged landscape that makes up this amazing national park. Helicopter tours also provide an opportunity for visitors to view rare wildlife and vegetation found nowhere else in the world. These aerial tours offer an ideal way to see some of Hawaii’s most stunning beaches, waterfalls, rainforests, and other attractions without ever having to leave the comfort of their aircraft seat.

What Types of Food Are Sold in the Park?

Food sold in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park includes a variety of snack and beverage items. Visitors can purchase prepackaged snacks such as chips, candy, granola bars, and nuts. For beverages, visitors can find bottled water, soda, beer, and wine. The park also has a restaurant called the Kilauea Military Camp that serves breakfast and lunch with items like sandwiches, salads, burgers and tacos. Food trucks regularly visit the park offering local Hawaiian cuisine like loco moco plates or kalua pork sandwiches.

Are Astronomy Programs Offered?

Yes, astronomy programs are offered at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers several ranger-led astronomy programs throughout the year. These include a night sky program in the Mauna Ulu parking lot, which provides an opportunity to observe the stars and constellations through telescopes provided by local astronomers. Special events such as star parties and meteor showers are regularly hosted at the park for visitors to learn about astronomical phenomena. There are also online resources available on the park’s website for further exploration of Hawaiian skies and stargazing tips.

Are Commercial Filming and Photography Allowed?

Yes, commercial filming and photography are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Filming and photography activities are permitted with a valid film permit issued by the park. The permitting process is designed to protect both visitors and resources within the park, while allowing for some uses of the park for commercial purposes. All applications must be approved prior to filming or photography taking place in order to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

What is the Distance Around the Park’s Boundaries?

The distance around the boundaries of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is approximately 150 miles. The park encompasses 333,000 acres and stretches from sea level to 13,677 feet at the summit of Mauna Loa. It is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa – as well as a diverse array of ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforest to desert-like conditions. As a result, visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities such as hiking, camping, bird watching, photography and stargazing. Visitors also have access to cultural sites that tell the stories of native Hawaiians who have inhabited these lands for centuries.

What Safety Tips Should I Keep in Mind?

Safety is paramount when visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Be aware of the changing weather conditions and follow any advisories from park rangers or other authorities. This includes staying off closed trails, taking shelter during thunderstorms, and avoiding areas with elevated levels of volcanic gases.

2. Always wear sturdy shoes when hiking around the park and dress appropriately for the conditions. Bring along plenty of water and snacks as well as a first aid kit just in case of an emergency situation.

3. Be mindful of wildlife while exploring the park; never approach or feed wild animals, including birds and reptiles, as they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous if provoked. If you encounter any bears or other large mammals while on your hike, back away slowly and don’t make sudden movements that may startle them into attacking you.

Are Firearms Allowed in the Park?

No, firearms are not allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. According to the park’s website, possession of a firearm or other weapon is prohibited within the boundaries of the park. This includes concealed weapons and hunting implements such as bows and arrows. Visitors are not permitted to use any type of explosive device including fireworks or model rockets. Violation of this rule could result in citation or arrest by a federal law enforcement officer.

Are Wheelchairs Available for Use?

Yes, wheelchairs are available for use at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park provides both manual and electric wheelchairs that can be used to explore the park’s trails, overlooks, and other attractions. Visitors with mobility impairments may rent a wheelchair for the day or for multiple days depending on their needs. Wheelchair-accessible restrooms and facilities are also provided throughout the park so visitors have access to all of its features.

Are There Places to Stop Along the Way?

Yes, there are several places to stop along the way when visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park features a variety of stops and attractions, including: scenic lookouts, visitor centers, and trails that lead to various points of interest. The park offers several picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal while taking in views of the volcanoes. Other amenities include snack stands, gift shops, and restaurants located near the entrance of the park. All these locations offer opportunities for travelers to rest and recharge before exploring further into the national park.

What are the Rules Regarding Feeding the Wildlife?

Feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This includes both intentional and unintentional feeding, such as leaving food or garbage accessible to animals. Feeding wild animals can be detrimental to their health, disrupt natural behaviors, cause overcrowding of certain species and spread disease. It can create an unnatural reliance on humans for food which can lead to dangerous interactions between people and animals. For these reasons, visitors are asked not to feed any wildlife they may encounter while visiting the park.

What is the Average Temperature Range?

The average temperature range in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is between 45-90°F (7-32°C). The park’s location at the intersection of two major climate zones, the tropical wet and dry zone and the temperate zone, results in a wide range of temperatures. During the winter months, temperatures usually drop to around 45°F (7°C) while summer highs can reach 90°F (32°C). Due to its high elevation, night time temperatures can be much cooler than during the day.

What Views Can I Expect to See?

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can expect to see some of the most spectacular natural views in the world. From lush rainforest, with its waterfalls and ancient lava flows, to sprawling grasslands and craters filled with steam, visitors are treated to a stunning array of geological features. The park is home to two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Both offer an awe-inspiring view as they tower over the landscape, providing dramatic reminders of Earth’s powerful geologic forces at work. Visitors can also explore miles of rugged hiking trails that wind through black lava fields, or take in breathtaking views from observation decks perched on the edge of cliffs overlooking vast valleys below. On clear days, one can even see all the way across Hawaii’s archipelago–from Maui’s lush green mountains in the east to Kauai’s rugged cliffs in the west.

Are Portable Toilets Available?

Yes, portable toilets are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. They are located throughout the park and can be accessed by anyone visiting the park. The toilets are maintained regularly and kept clean to ensure a pleasant experience for visitors. Some of these facilities include changing tables and wheelchair-accessible stalls.

Are Group Tours Available?

Yes, group tours are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tour groups can experience guided hikes to the park’s most popular trails and scenic overlooks. The park also offers ranger-led programs on a variety of topics, from Hawaiian cultural history to volcanology. Visitors can take part in night sky programs, bird walks and other outdoor activities with experienced guides. All tours must be booked in advance through the park’s website or visitor center and are subject to availability.

What is the Elevation of the Park?

The elevation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is between 3800 and 13,000 feet above sea level. The highest point in the park is Mauna Loa at 13,678 feet. The Kīlauea summit caldera reaches an elevation of 4,091 feet. Most visitors to the park are likely to experience elevations between 2,000 and 6,500 feet.

Are Alcoholic Beverages Allowed in the Park?

No, alcoholic beverages are not allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all park lands and buildings, as stated by the National Park Service Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 2.35). This includes campgrounds, trails, roadsides and backcountry areas. Visitors caught with alcoholic beverages can be subject to a fine or other legal action.

Are There Any Ancient Hawaiian Sites in the Park?

Yes, there are several ancient Hawaiian sites within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. These include Halemaumau crater, Puu Loa petroglyphs and the Chain of Craters Road. The Halemaumau crater is an important cultural site for Hawaiians and is home to the Pele goddess of fire, lightning and volcanoes. The Puu Loa petroglyphs were created by native Hawaiians over 800 years ago and depict stories of their ancestors. The Chain of Craters Road was once a major highway in ancient Hawaii that connected different villages throughout the islands.

What is the Total Acreage of the Park?

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park covers an area of 333,086 acres. The park is located on the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii and encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. It is home to a diverse range of habitats including tropical rainforests, coastal areas, subalpine forests, and lava flows. The park also includes over 150 miles of hiking trails, including one that crosses both volcanoes. Visitors can explore various natural features such as Thurston Lava Tube and Halema’uma’u Crater.

Are Stargazing Programs Available?

Yes, stargazing programs are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers a variety of ranger-led night sky programs, including talks about the stars and planets visible in the Hawaiian skies, as well as telescope viewings of celestial objects. These events typically take place at either Kilauea Visitor Center or Volcano House on clear nights when there is little light pollution from nearby towns. Astronomy-themed hikes are offered which provide an opportunity to observe some of the unique geological features of the park while learning about constellations and other interesting space phenomena.

Are Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) Required?

Yes, personal flotation devices (PFDs) are required for visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park’s regulations require that all boats and kayaks must be equipped with an appropriate PFD or life jacket for each person on board. The park strongly recommends that all individuals wear a PFD while participating in any water activity at the park. This includes activities such as swimming, wading, and boating. Wearing a properly fitted PFD is essential for safety when engaging in any aquatic recreation in or around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

What is the Typical Length of a Visit?

The typical length of a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is two to three days. With over 150 miles of trails, this park offers plenty of opportunities for exploring and sightseeing. Many visitors choose to camp overnight at one of the 11 designated campsites within the park boundaries. Others opt for day hikes or short backpacking trips that can last from several hours up to a full day or longer.

For those interested in learning more about the volcanoes, there are ranger-led tours available which typically last around 2-3 hours and include stops at overlooks along with detailed information about the geological features and cultural history of the area. Other popular activities include bird watching, picnicking, star gazing, and attending educational programs held by park rangers throughout the year.

No matter how long your visit may be, you will be sure to find something unique and exciting within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Are Parasailing and Hang Gliding Allowed?

Yes, parasailing and hang gliding are allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park has designated areas for both activities that must be adhered to. All participants must also follow safety guidelines set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Hang gliders must launch from within the park’s boundaries and land outside of them, while parasailers may take off from and land within the park. All operators must register with a valid permit prior to any flight activity.

What Medical Services Are Available?

Medical services are available at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for visitors who become ill or injured while visiting the park. The Visitor Emergency Services (VES) program provides medical care in case of an emergency. VES staff, which includes registered nurses and paramedics, is on-call 24 hours a day to respond to medical emergencies. In addition to providing emergency treatment, they can also provide basic first aid and health advice when needed. For more serious medical issues, VES staff can arrange transportation to local hospitals and clinics if necessary.

Are Pets Allowed in the Beach Areas?

No, pets are not allowed in beach areas at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park regulations prohibit the presence of animals on any beach within the boundaries of the park, with only certain service animals being permitted. This is done to protect both wildlife and people who may be visiting the area. Pet owners should take note that all other areas of the park are also off-limits to their furry friends as well, except for designated campgrounds where leashed pets are welcome.

What Local Businesses Support the Park?

Local businesses that support Hawaii Volcanoes National Park include the Volcano Village Lodge, the Kilauea Military Camp, and the Volcano House Hotel. The Volcano Village Lodge is located in nearby Volcano Village and provides a range of accommodations for visitors to the park. The Kilauea Military Camp is an onsite lodging option within the boundaries of the national park that offers camping sites as well as private cabins for rent. The historic Volcano House Hotel overlooks Halema’uma’u Crater and has been welcoming visitors since 1846. All three businesses provide essential services such as food, lodging, transportation, and guided tours to help support Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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