(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 – National Public Lands Day – which is a fee-free day, so entrance fees will not be charged. Visitors will probably have to contend with heavy traffic, long lines and delays, and one third fewer parking spaces when visiting the park, however.
Most of the park has been closed to visitors since Friday, May 11th, due to hazardous volcanic and seismic activity at the summit of Kīlauea. These days, seismicity and ground deformation remains low at the summit of Kīlauea, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists say.
“We are thrilled to welcome our public back and share the incredible changes that have taken place,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We ask that you stay alert to these profound changes while enjoying your park and its resources.”
According to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park:
Before the closure, the park averaged 5,500 visitors per day and many parking lots were often full by 10 am. Now, the available parking around the summit is reduced by one third. If a parking lot is full, visitors should seek parking at a different destination such as Mauna Ulu or at the coast. Vehicles parked outside of designated stalls are subject to citation and may be towed. There will be limited services and no potable water as the park returns to normal operations. Visitors should bring snacks, plenty of drinking water, and a full tank of gas is also recommended. Please use caution and drive with aloha.
Entrance fees will go into effect on Sunday, Sept. 23.
As of September 18, 149 out of 184 park buildings and structures have been inspected for earthquake damage. 26 out of the 42 wastewater systems in the park have also been inspected.