The typical image of Hawaii is probably of a beach, but you don’t have to travel far from the coast to find some insane landscapes. Just head for Hawaii Volcanos National Park, where trails through lush, jungle-covered mountains lead to cave-like lava tunnels and cliffs overlooking Martian landscapes. It’s like something out of Jurassic Park, minus the rogue T-Rex stuff. Pro tip: If you’re looking to check out an active volcano, the best time to see Haleakalā is at night.
“A fascinating world of active volcanism & biological diversity”
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, established on August 1, 1916, is an American National Park located in the U.S. state of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive shield volcano. The park delivers scientists insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of volcanism. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1987. In 2012 the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was honored on the 14th quarter of the America the Beautiful Quarters series.
My husband and I go to the Big Island every year. We LOVE it! I always feel like I have to defend it to the Maui/Kauai goers. It is not a place for lying around and doing nothing. There is SO much to see! Amazing is the only word to describe it. If you like to see natural wonders, go to the Big Island. It has them all: snow (yes. snow), desert, rainforests, waterfalls, green sand beaches (and just about every other color). You will find yourself alone most of the time. It is Hawaii's best kept secret. Aloha!
I've been here twice so far and I can say without a shadow of a doubt it's one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. There's really nothing quite as exhilarating as hiking on an active volcano. You can get close, like really close to flowing lava. I was about a foot away and it's mesmerizing.
Both times I went from the afternoon to the evening. I kinda wish I had camped because it was pretty scary hiking back at night, even the flashlights we had weren't strong enough. It's like seriously pitch black at night. But, what an adventure. I can't wait to go back.
I highly recommend dressing warm! It gets really cold at night. And bring appropriate shoes!
Words can not really describe this. To be standing next to an active Volcano is incredible. I recommend taking the nature walk with the Park Rangers there, it is a hike, so be ready for it. Make sure you have good shoes on, not sandals or flip flops. You will get to walk through a rain forest which will lead you around the crater. You will end up at a 3 way split. 1 way heads to the volcano overlook, 2nd way leads you through the sulfur path and the 3rd takes you back to the Ranger station, where you can take your car up to the overlook. The walk to the overlook is about 1.5 miles so be ready for a walk. Have fun!!!
We had never witnessed an active volcano before – Kīlauea – and it was a highlight of our visit to the Big Island with kids.
Start your visit at the Visitors Center, then check out the Jaggar Museum and overlook to learn more about volcanoes and to see the bubbling lava in the crater of the Kīlauea Volcano.
There is a lava lake in the crater and when it fills up it bubbles over (amazing at night).
Very cool but most of the trails were closed because of the government closure.
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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for bird watching, hiking, and 7 more activities.
Credit Cards Accepted
- National park
Campground, Parking, Dining