Description - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the island of Hawaii, displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration and evolution. The park encompasses 230,000 acres, that range in elevation from sea level to 13,677 feet. The park is comprised of the land surrounding two active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea, the world's most active.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Eruption at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
- Visitors to this national park can enjoy a diverse environment of volcanic mountains and craters, lava flows and rain forests. Over half of the park is designated wilderness and provides an unusual landscape for a variety of recreation opportunities.
Located just inside the park entrance, Kilauea Visitor Center offers visitor information and exhibits. Films and videos, highlighting the park's special features and current eruption, are shown in the auditorium from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily. A schedule of Ranger-led walks/talks is posted on the Ranger Activities bulletin board in the visitor center at 9:00am each morning.
Located along Crater Rim Drive, three miles from the park entrance, the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum offers earth science displays and features murals depicting Hawaiian culture. An adjacent overlook offers a panoramic view of Kilauea Caldera and Mauna Loa.
Recreation - Individuals who visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have the opportunity to participate in a vast array of activities. The Kilauea Visitor Center is a good place to start your trip. At the Visitor Center you'll be able to collect information about the park and its facilities. Rangers provide an array of scheduled walks and talks to interpret the park's natural and cultural resources. Other activities available for visitors to this park include scenic driving, hiking, backpacking and viewing scenery.
Those using the backcountry are required to obtain overnight wilderness camping permits at the visitor center. Hikers on the summit trail to 13,677 foot Mauna Loa can encounter high winds and snow at any time of the year. The park is situated on two active volcanoes. There are many hidden hazards for the unwary and those unfamiliar with volcanic environments. Everyone hiking in the park should stay on designated trails and not enter closed areas or lava tubes (except Thurston Lava Tube). Unique to this environment, volcanic fumes are hazardous to your health and can be life-threatening. Visitors with heart or breathing problems, infants, young children and pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid stopping at areas where fumes are present.
Climate - The park has distinct climate zones so visitors should be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Much like mountainous weather, conditions at Kilauea's summit (4000' elevation) fluctuate hourly and can be rainy and chilly any time of the year. The coastal plain at the end of Chain of Craters Road is often hot, dry and windy. Bring rain gear, light sweaters and windbreaks, sturdy shoes, hats, water bottles, sun glasses and high UV factor sunscreen for any adventure into the park.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located on the Island of Hawaii, 96 miles southeast of Kailua-Kona and 30 miles southwest of Hilo.