(BIVN) – With the renewed eruption at the summit Kilauea, officials say “record crowds” are heading to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park for a look at the lava.
The National Park Service on Monday offered these tips on how to best enjoy the experience.
- Know before you go. Visit the park website for eruption updates, alerts, what to do, and more before you arrive. Download the free National Park Service app – it’s a terrific source to help you explore the park.
- Be flexible. Sunset and the evening hours between 6 pm and 9 pm are the most crowded, creating lines of traffic waiting for parking spots, lines at facilities, and packed overlooks. The best time to visit is after 9 pm through the late evening to sunrise. Your park is open 24 hours a day.
- Be respectful. Kīlauea is a sacred and cherished landscape. Be safe. Stay on marked trails and overlooks and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
- Adjust your expectations. Many visitors are here to witness this amazing natural phenomenon and will likely be crowded together at overlooks.
- Be considerate and strive to protect the quality of everyone’s experience. Use your indoor voice at overlooks. Leave your mobile sound system at home. Point flashlights and headlamps at the ground to avoid blinding others. Use of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited in the park without a permit from the Park Superintendent.
The following information is provided by the National Park Service and is found on the HVNP website.
1. Kūpinaʻi Pali (Waldron Ledge) from Crater Rim Trail
Where to Park: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Walking distance: From Kīlauea Visitor Center cross Crater Rim Drive and walk south on Crater Rim Trail.
Distance: The eruption is viewable from two miles away.
View: Lava is visible as surface plates from the active lake surface are dragged back into the lava lake. A glow is visible at night.
Amenities: Parking (125 stalls total), Wheel Chair Manageable and Easily Accessible, Picnic, Information and Restrooms at Visitor Center.
Where to park: Uēkahuna or Kīlauea Overlook.
Walking distance: 500 feet to the east of Uēkahuna overlook over mostly paved terrain with some elevation gain. 1000 feet to the west of Kīlauea Overlook over mostly paved terrain with some elevation gain.
Eruption distance: 1 mile.
View: A sliver of the lake surface is occasionally visible on the east portion of the lava lake. Fountains visible from this overlook. A red glow is visible at night.
Amenities: Parking (105 stalls total), Restroom, Easily Accessible, Information Available
3. Overlook near Keanakākoʻi Crater
Where to park: Devastation Trail parking area (limited parking)
Walking distance: 2 miles round-trip over mostly paved terrain if parked at Devastation Trail. The last 300 yards of this trail is over loose rocky cinders and an uneven surface.
Eruption distance: 0.5 mile.
View: Lava fountains fountain in the air from the lava lake. A red glow is visible at night.
Amenities: Limited Parking (58 stalls total), Restroom at Trailhead, Information Available.