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Heat up your vacation with a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Ranger presentation at Jaggar Museum
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Hawaii Island is the state’s largest, and thanks to activity from Kilauea Volcano and Mauna Loa, it continues to grow in size every day. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – celebrating its 25th anniversary as a World Heritage Site – offers visitors a chance to learn about the geology of the islands, hike across barren craters, and discover the cultural history of the islands. It’s also your best shot at seeing red-hot lava. 


The overlook at the park’s Thomas A. Jaggar Museum offers a fantastic view of Halemaumau Crater, where a gas and steam plume is visible from the museum during daylight hours. At night, the crater lights up with an orange glow. The lava lake within the crater caused a stir of excitement when it recently hit its highest level since the vent opened with an explosion in 2008. If the lava level continues to rise, there’s potential for molten lava to be visible from the overlook.

Beyond the crater, volcanic activity at the park changes daily as new breakout points emerge. Many of the breakout points are in remote locations, not accessible to visitors, but if your trip coincides with an accessible ocean entry, you’re in for a spectacular show of steam and exploding rock. Check with park personnel for current viewing opportunities.

It will take you two-three hours to get to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from Kona. We recommend staying overnight in Volcano Village or in Hilo to allow for more time to explore.

The entrance fee of $10USD per vehicle is valid for seven days. Save your receipt; it’s good for entry into Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.


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