We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hello -

My family is taking a trip to Hawaii and plan to spend a day in the park. We will be driving in for a day trip and do not plan on spending the night (we already have firm hotel reservations in Kona). What is the best way to see the park? We are all in decent physical shape, so I was wondering which is best: bike, car, walking tour, boat? Our main goal would be to see lava (which I heard may not be possible at this time?), so I would appreciate any tips on the best way to tour the park.

Thanks!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
41,532 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

This is an amazing national park - so much to see and explore even if you never see lava! If you can, I would try to stay overnight in Volcano, so you can see/do as much as you can in that short time period as you will spend several hours driving to/from. It is easy to explore yourself with your own car. Lava flows is not always above ground and for the past few years, only visible on private land, so not accessible except by private guided tours.

You can check out the park website - and do stop at the park visitor center for updates or possibly wanting to join in on a ranger hike.

http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
28,532 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The only way you'll see any lava action on the ground is to spend the night. Many people double book a night while keeping their west side reservations. Driving cross island at night is absolutely not recommended, plus there is no much to see at VNP, particularly if you're hikers, that you really need the overnight, particularly if there is accessible surface lava flows while you're here (which could entail an all day hike or more).

Start your visit at the Visitors Center where they have good free maps of hikes and attractions, and up to date lava viewing info (also check our Lava Viewing 2013 topic linked here in the Top questions which is kept up to date). The Kilauea Iki is a nice 2 hour or so hike, then you can driving the Crater Rim sites, and visit Jaggar Museum. If you're staying overnight, you'll return to the Park well after dark to see the glow from the lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater. The next morning you can finish with VNP by driving the Chain of Craters road and doing some of the walks there.

The boat tours are strongly not recommended here, but they are not running now anyway because there is no ocean entry. Helicopter is always the most likely bet in terms of lava viewing.

Edited: 21 October 2013, 19:50
Boston...
Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

SheaG,

Can all this be done/seen in December. I am confused about what people are saying with the weather and not being able to see things etc.

THanks!

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
28,532 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

It depends. Winter often brings heavy rain and cloud cover to VNP making hiking unpleasant and obscuring the glow from Halemaumau. Other times it's clear, dry and pleasant. But in winter and early spring there is definitely more of a risk of getting wet and rained out (and cold at night in particular) than other times of year.

5. Re: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 January 2015, 07:23
Get answers to your questions about Hawaii Volcanoes...