(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announced Friday that it will fully reopen Mauna Loa Road to vehicles on Monday, Oct. 8. The Mauna Loa Trail, the 13,677-foot summit and both high-altitude cabins will also reopen.
Mauna Loa Road, trail and its remote backcountry have been closed since May 11 due to damaging volcanic and seismic activity. “Visitors to Mauna Loa Road can see how native forest was impacted by a wildfire that started Aug. 4 outside the park,” the National Park Service said. “The fire burned 3,739 acres and came perilously close to the Kīpukakī Special Ecological Area.”
According to the National Park Service:
Permits are required for all overnight backpacking and for the Pu‘u ‘Ula‘ula (Red Hill) cabin and Mauna Loa summit cabin. The park’s backcountry permit office will reopen Monday at 8 a.m. Backpackers should be adequately equipped, experienced in wilderness and high altitude trekking, and physically fit. Learn more about Mauna Loa and how to obtain a backcountry permit on the park website.
More park reopenings are on the horizon. The park’s coastal backcountry trails and campsites are scheduled to reopen on Friday, Oct. 19. Officials say that earlier this week, park rangers completed overflight inspections of the coastal trails and campsites and will hike out to the remote sites to prepare them for visitation.
The National Park Service also says significant road construction continues on several sections of Highway 11 within park boundaries including one-way traffic stops at mile marker 30 and to the west. Motorists should drive carefully and be prepared for delays.
Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense recently issued this information on lane closures scheduled to occur in Volcano during the week of October 8-12:
- Alternating lane closure on Highway 11 in both directions in the vicinity of mile marker 29 south of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park entrance on Monday, October 8, through Friday, October 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- 24 hour/7 day a week lane closure on Highway 11 with alternating lanes, both directions near mile marker 30 in the vicinity of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
- Alternating lane closure on Highway 11 in both directions in the vicinity of mile marker 32 near Namakani Paio Campground in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Monday, October 8, through Friday, October 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.