Points of Interest at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A gorgeous national park situated on Hawaii’s Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is brimming with volcanic activity, different varieties of lava, rocky beaches, rainforests and more. There is much to see and explore in this fascinating park and you’ll definitely want to hit the highlights during your visit. 

Crater Rim Drive around Kilauea Caldera

Take in magnificent views over the Halema’uma’u crater and watch as the steam rises into the air. The scenic drive along the Crater Rim offers the best views in the park of this fascinating smoky crater. This route will also take you past the majority of the park’s main attractions.

Jaggar Museum 

Learn about the spirituality relating to the volcanoes and the history of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at the Jaggar Museum. The museum houses a variety of geological, cultural, and historic displays that will grant you a deeper understanding of the park and it’s age-old history. The Jaggar Museum also offers spectacular views of the Halemaumau Crater in Kīlauea so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Steam Vents

Just off of Crater Rim Drive, you’ll have the opportunity to view a number of steam vents leading up to the rim of the crater. Park at the Steam Vents parking area and take a short walk over to view all the action. Prepare to be amazed by this unique phenomenon.

Thurston Lava Tube

One of the most popular sites in the park, the Thurston Lava Tube is more than 500 years old and is tucked away inside a lush rainforest. Originally created by a molten lava flow, you can now take a quick and easy hike inside the tube for an exciting once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Halema’uma’u crater

This active crater spurs steaming sulfur into the air from its depths. The 

Halema’uma’u crater is the source of native Hawaiian legends and its frequent activity is monitored closely. Stay here to watch the sunset or head over after dark for a spectacular opportunity to view the bright molten lava inside the volcano.

Chain of Craters Road

A 20-mile scenic drive, the Chain of Craters Road leads from Crater Rim Drive down to the ocean. Along the road, you’ll be able to see hardened lava fields, volcanic craters, the Holei Sea Arch, and various beautiful lookout points. 

The Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs

A remnant of ancient Hawaiian culture, the Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs lie along the Chain of Craters road. Access thousands of these ancient petroglyphs via a short hike over lava fields and read the signs to learn about their fascinating history.

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Staying Safe at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Located on Hawaii’s Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a beautiful natural area which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a variety of active volcanoes within the park, so it’s important to take the appropriate safety precautions when visiting. 

Weather 

Be prepared for rain and chilly weather at volcano summits, which may cause muddy and slippery ground. Bring appropriate hiking shoes and wear layers and rainproof clothing. Carry plenty of water and make sure to drink frequently to avoid dehydration. Lava fields get very hot and you won’t find any shade, so be sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your face.

Volcanoes

Make sure to stay on marked trails, as there could be dangerous deep cracks hidden in unexplored surfaces. Watch where you step near cracks, steam vents, and cliffs, as these areas may be slippery or unstable, and never hike after dark. Avoid falling lava and stepping on loose gravel or thin lava layers, as these can pose deadly threats. Do not enter areas of the park that have been closed for hazardous conditions. 

Volcanic fumes can be detrimental to your health, so those with health issues should avoid craters, sulphur banks, and other areas where volanic gasses are present.

Beware of volcanic eruptions, as they can happen at any time and pose dangerous safety threats. Even at a distance, volcanic gasses, pumice, and cinder can be threatening to your health and safety. 

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Safety- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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