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Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii is filled with so much beauty from island to island! One location that doesn’t fall short on spectacular views is Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. This national park is one of a kind because you can explore volcanoes, the Pacific coastline, lava tubes, and rainforests, to name a few, all in one place. Additionally, the park has over 100 miles of hiking trails to discover, so there is much to do within.

Hawaii Volcanoes NP places to see

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park offers a blend of diverse landscapes and unique ecosystems. It provides endless possibilities for adventure, hiking, sightseeing, and learning. Whether you visit the craters, hike through the rainforests, or drive within the park’s popular roads, visiting Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park will offer an unforgettable experience with all its distinctive beauty.

Here are some ideas to help you plan your visit to Volcanoes National Park!

Kilauea Iki Crater

Hike the Kilauea Iki Crater! It begins in a lush green forest and later expands into the vast area of the crater itself. Along the way, you will see steam vents (fumarole) coming from the rocks—you can feel the warmth of the rocks as you stop to explore. The hike is great for families with kids; there is much to discover along the way. Remember to practice safety when visiting with younger children.

Kīlauea Iki & Crater Rim Trail

  • Distance: 3.5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 580 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Trails

Chain of Craters Road

If you are looking for something easy to see within the park, drive the Chain of Craters Road. This scenic road is approximately 19 miles (30.6 kilometers) from the entrance of the park to the coast. Throughout the journey, you will see hardened lava remains, as well as craters formed from previous volcanic eruptions. You can see the impact for miles along the Pacific Ocean, and you’ll see other places along the way. The road is filled with breathtaking vistas of volcanic terrain.

Chain of Craters Scenic Road

  • Distance: 18.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 4,678  ft.
  • Route Type: Point-to-point
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
  • Trail Guide: Map
Chain of Craters Road Hawaii

This park is distinctive from others because it is home to two active volcanoes—Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Before you plan to visit these locations, stay current on eruptions, delays, and park closures.

Lava Volcanoes National Park

Hōlei Sea Arch

Hōlei Sea Arch is a one-of-a-kind location and picturesque for those looking for the best views; this arch was created naturally, making it more vulnerable to wear down over time. The arch has begun to crumble over the past several years, and in due time, it will erode altogether. The new viewpoint provides an opportunity to see the arch from afar; unfortunately, the previous viewing area was closed in 2020 due to crumbling. Visit the Hōlei Sea Arch before it is completely gone!

To reach the Holei Sea Arch, you will drive to the end of the Chain of Craters Road. Once you reach the road, you can park nearby and take a short stroll to see the arch. The viewpoint is easy to reach, and it is considered more of a walk than a hike.

Hōlei Sea Arch Vista

  • Distance: .25 mile
  • Elevation Gain: 980 ft.
  • Route Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Guide: Information
Arch of Volcanoes NP

Steam Bluff and Sulfur Banks

Consider seeing the steam vents on your visit to the Volcanoes National Park. These vents are formed from groundwater and volcanic activity beneath the Earth’s surface, resulting in clouds of steam venting into the air. You can feel the warmth radiating from the vents as you approach the steam, and walking among these vents is such a cool experience. Staying on the trails is advised – a reminder for your safety and protection of these open spaces to read the signs around the park so you don’t end up in a bad situation.

Halema’uma’u Steam Bluff and Sulfur Banks

  • Distance: 1.5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 91 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Guide: Link
Steam vents Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


One Day is Enough to Explore Most of the National Park

It’s possible to visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in one day; even though the park is vast and offers numerous attractions, you can easily explore and adventure a good amount of the park and see many sights during your one-day trip—the secret is to start early and end late!

This blog provides just a few ideas, but there are plenty of hiking trails and lava tubes you can explore. If you happen to be visiting during a volcanic eruption, you may be able to see the lava flows. To get the latest Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park updates, visit the National Park website.

Volcanoes National Park Arch

Your Thoughts: Have you visited Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park?

This post was about Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Have you visited the National Park on your visit to the main island? Did you get to see the lava flows the year you went? I hope you get to visit if you haven’t been yet. Happy National Park adventures!

Pacific Coast, Volcanoes National Park

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My Recommendations when visiting the park

– Wear closed-toe shoes

– Bring extra water

– Wear sunglasses

– Bring a hat or cap

– Wear sunblock or sunscreen

– Watch where you are stepping

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