(BIVN) – Kaumana Caves in Hilo will reopen to the public on January 16th, following a partial collapse in September that forced a temporary closure.
“We are excited to welcome visitors back to Kaumana Caves and share this remarkable natural wonder with the world once again,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth in a news release. “The safety of all in our community, including our cave explorers, is our top priority, and after assessing the site with local experts, we are confident it is safe to reopen the caves for visitors to enjoy. Mahalo to the teams from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, who collaborated with our parks department to make this reopening possible.”
The Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks & Recreation says it plans to post new signage at Kaumana Caves, reminding visitors “of the inherent risks associated with entering the caves” and providing information about how to explore them safely.
The County encourages visitors to utilize the following clothing and equipment:
- Flashlight or headlamp: The caves are dark, so a reliable source of light is important. Extra batteries are also recommended.
- Closed-toe, sturdy shoes: Choose hiking boots or sneakers with good grip and ankle support, as cave floors can be uneven and slippery.
- Gloves: Gloves can provide extra protection while navigating the caves.
- Hard hat with a chin strap: There are many areas with low ceilings and potential for falling debris.
- Long-sleeved shirt and long pants: These can help protect against scratches and insect bites while exploring the caves.
The Parks & Recreation Department thanked the public for its patience and understanding during this closure.