Hawaii Volcano National Park Tours

Hawaii Volcano National Park Tours
Explore two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, as well as seven ecological zones, unusual plants and animals when you visit the Hawaii Volcano National Park. Designated as an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, the park features 333,086 acres that extend from sea level to 13,677 feet. The park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, but the Kilauea Visitor Center is open daily only from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located near the park's entrance station, stop by the center to receive the latest information on trails, ranger-led activities, road conditions and to see a 25-minute film about the history of the volcanoes. With more than 150 miles of trails, you can choose from easy walks, such as the Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu trail, or moderate hikes, like those along Kilauea Iki or Mauna Iki. The weather at Kilauea's summit can be unpredictable any time of the year, so plan on wearing layers of clothing and be prepared for rain.
 

Ranger-Led Tours

Learn more about the Hawaiian culture and volcanoes from the experts, the park rangers. Every day at 9 a.m., a schedule of the daily programs and tours is posted in Kilauea Visitor Center. The free programs may involve short presentations at the center as well as sightseeing tours, some of which are wheelchair accessible. Two tours are usually scheduled twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. "How it all Began" is a 20-minute lecture about Hawaiian volcanology, and the 45- to 60-minute "Summit Walk" is a half-mile walk on a paved path in which participants learn about the biology, geology and Hawaiian culture of Kilauea. An After Dark in the Park program also is offered several times a month. Held on Tuesday evenings, guest speakers discuss a wide range of topics related to the national park. Kids between the ages of 7 and 12 are invited to earn a Junior Ranger badge by completing three activities in a Junior Ranger workbook and participating in one ranger-led activity. Free workbooks are available at the information desk in the Kilauea Visitor Center.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0052
(808) 985-6000
nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/ranger-programs.htm

 
 

Bike Tours

See dramatic views of the volcanic landscapes as you ride along Crater Rim Drive, descending into the caldera of Kilauea volcano. Ride only on designated bike routes to help protect the rare plants and archeological sites of the park. Adventurous bicyclists can take a self-guided bike tour but should stop by the visitor center for current road conditions and eruption update as well as to pick up the "Bike the Volcanoes" leaflet for helpful tips and trip suggestions. Although the ride is mostly downhill, the winding roads are narrow and visibility may be limited as you ride through the rain forest area. Bicyclists share Crater Rim Drive with cars and buses, and traffic is generally heaviest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Guided tours provide the opportunity to ride in a group. Organized rides usually include all equipment, lunch or dinner and beverages. A professional guide will lead you through paved roads and trails as well as share park facts with you.

BikeVolcano.com Inc.
P.O. Box 7474
Hilo, HI 96720-8945
(888) 934-9199
BikeVolcano.com/

Driving Tours

Four-wheel-drive vehicles are not required to travel along the Crater Rim Drive or the Chain of Craters Road, the two main roads open to visitors. Because conditions can change quickly, it is a good idea to stop by the Kilauea Visitor Center before touring the park. Schedule between one to three hours to drive along the 10.6-mile Crater Rim Drive. See the Kilauea overlook, Jaggar Museum, Halemaumau Crater, Devastation Trail, Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook and the Thurston Lava Tube as you circle the Kilauea Caldera. If you are able to spend three to four hours in the park, take the Chain of Craters Road to explore the East Rift and coastal area. Descend 3,700 feet over 20 miles until you reach the end point where a 2003 lava flow crossed the road. Depending upon the current conditions, it might be possible to view active lava flows from the end of the road. Be aware that there is no food, water or fuel available along the Chain of Craters Road. However, you can bring your own picnic and enjoy scenic views of the park when you stop at aa picnic shelter at Kealakomo, 9.7 miles from the Crater Rim Drive junction.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0052
(808) 985-6000
nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/drive.htm

 

Article Written By Betsy Bender

Betsy Bender is a media consultant with experience in publishing, event management, media relations, digital media and television production. Specializing in entertainment, travel and sports, Bender has worked with high-profile personalities, facilitated publicity campaigns for network television programs and traveled to more than 100 cities in eight countries, including Russia and Australia.

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