Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is unlike anywhere else in the USA. Not to be confused with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda – another gem that we will write about in the future. A typical day at Volcanoes (Hawaii) starts with watching the glow of Laval before sunrise at the rim of the crater, followed by walking through giant lava tubes, through lush rainforests, and soaking in the sunset with a tasty beverage on the black sand beaches near by. The park is 344,812 acres and hosts over 1.58 million visitors annually. Not bad for a State that has 1.44 million residents. In comparison, Biscayne National Park in Florida hosts around 469,000 visitors annually with a State population of 22.25 million.
Editor Notes: Hawaii to be is the epitomy of what a wellness travel vacation is. Having a combination of athletic activity, lush wilderness, and healthy restaurants is rare. I love that you can wake up to endless miles of forest trails to run and then jump into crystal clear water. There is really no place like Volcanoes National Park.
Hawaii Volcanoes Park Overview
Valcanoes National Park Hours
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day. The visitor center and park store at Volcanoes NP are open from 9am to 5pm. There are restrictions at different parts of the park so check out Hawaii Pacific Parks (HawaiiPacificParks.org) for more info.
Crater Rim Hike
Wake up early to see the glow of lava from the crater rim hike. A well worn path around the crater makes viewing the molten lava easy. The Crater Rim Trail circles the Kilauea Iki Crater. You can connect to the Kilauea Iki Trail on the west side of the crater to get to the Thurston Lava Tube.
Come early before the sun is up to really get a good look at the glow of the lava. The National Park Service has more info on this amazing hike, learn more here.
The Halema’uma’u Crater of Kiluea is visible from Uekahuna Park by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Clearly marked trail signs help you navigate this rugged terrain. Wear broken in hiking shoes and bring plenty of water as you explore Halema’uma’u Crater. There are campsites as well if you are looking for even more of an adventure. The hike to the Nāpau Crater Campsite is roughly 7 miles.
Lava Tube Hikes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The Thurston Lava tube is one of the most popular hikes and is right next to the Crater Rim Trail. At the Thurston Lava Tube, you can walk through lava tubes that are over 20′ in diameter.
Lodging near Hawaii Volcanoes
The Volcano Village Lodge is an award winning lodge located in the town of Volcano, HI. This bed and breakfast is in Volcano Village which is roughly 4,000′ above sea level. The higher elevation provides cooler temperatures and lush rainforests surrounding the property. Mostly an artist community, Volcano Village is the perfect place for a quiet and relaxing vacation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Volcanoes Park from Kona Airport?
It is 2 hours from Kona Airport to Volcanoes National Park.
How far is Volcanoes Park from Hilo Airport?
It is a 40 minute drive from Hilo Airport to Volcanoes National Park.