Is it safe to visit Hawaii Volcano National Park?

It’s just 30 minutes from the condo to the front gate of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The most visited spot on the Big Island and access to the world’s most active volcano. Your park admission is good for 7 days and when you stay close by you can enjoy multiple visits to this immense (300,000 acres) National park.

Following a lengthy closure due to months of hazardous volcanic and seismic activity at the summit of Kīlauea, the park reopened the following areas on Sept. 22:

•  Kīlauea Visitor Center (closes at 5 p.m.)
•  Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store at Kīlauea Visitor Center (closes at 5 p.m.)
•  Crater Rim Trail between Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp
•  Sulphur Banks Trail
•  Crater Rim Drive to Steam Vents
•  Kīlauea Iki Overlook and parking lot
•  Devastation Trail and Pu‘u Pua‘i
•  Crater Rim Drive to Keanakāko‘i Crater, for pedestrians and bicyclists only
•  Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu. The road will be open to pedestrians and bicyclists past Kīpukapuaulu
•  Sections of Escape Road from Highway 11
•  Chain of Craters Road

The Volcano Art Center Gallery and Kilauea Military Camp have also reopened; limited services are available at Volcano House.

The park has gone back to being open 24 hours a day.  Entrance fees will go into effect on Sun., Sept. 23. Areas not listed above should be presumed closed. There is no drinking water in the park.

Is it safe to visit?

The National Park is a dedicated wilderness area and has certain inherent risks that are associated with natural areas. Fortunately, the threat level has been decreased as of October 5. With proper planning and visitor caution, it should be safe to enjoy the wonders of Kilauea’s recent large scale eruption.

Here is a recent update:

Volcanic Activity Summary: It has been 30 days since lava has been active at the surface of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO monitoring shows low rates of seismicity, steady, relatively low rates of deformation across the volcano, and only minor gas emission at the summit and East Rift Zone (ERZ). These observations indicate that resumption of eruption or summit collapse is unlikely in the near-term.

Accordingly, HVO is lowering the Volcano Alert Level for ground based hazards from WATCH to ADVISORY. This means volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for renewed activity. The Aviation Color Code is also being lowered from ORANGE to YELLOW.

Hazards are still present in the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption area and at the Kīlauea summit. Residents and visitors near recently active fissures and lava flows should stay informed, heed Hawaii County Civil Defense warnings, and be prepared, if necessary, to self-evacuate in the unlikely event of renewed activity. Please note that Hawaii County maintains a closure of the entire flow field and the vents and prohibits access to the area unless authorized through Civil Defense.

We’ll keep you updated as additional information becomes available. Enjoy, explore and visit the Big Island of Hawaii and Volcanoes National Park.