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time in volcano - 1 day enough

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time in volcano - 1 day enough

we will be staying in Waikaloa but plan to do a one night stay either in Hilo or Volcano.

Question is - do we need 2 nights or is one adequate.? We would like to do some

exploring - possible shorter hikes in the volcano - I suspect that would be when we get there.

The next day I would like to see Hilo as well as some of the sights on the drive back before dark

if possible. Is a one night stay enough? Two middle age adults . As well - i have read the pros

and cons of staying in Hilo or Volcano - and not sure what to do on that. Are most of the places booked a long time in advance or is it ok to wait till we get there?

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

To reply to the last first, you risk finding slim pickings on a short stay if you wait.

If you are double-booking, then I would say try to do one night, not two. If you originally booked an all west side stay, maybe Hilo was not your priority for this trip. What time of year is this going to be?

Hilo or Volcano -- time of year makes a difference in my thinking on that.

In general, the weather in Volcano is better before noon, although this is not set in stone.

I would wait until you are to plan exactly what to do first. Specifically, which day is forecast to have better weather for your visit to the park might dictate the order in which you do things.

If you post the specific hikes you have in mind, and the specific things you want to cover in Hilo, people can give you realistic time frames.

In general, if you stay one night, then you may want to cut to the chase on the drive and not turn it into a long series of stops, or at least wait to do sightseeing stops on the road until you have completed your VNP visit and know how much time you have to work with.

If you dilly dally all the way over and arrive on the late side, and it is raining when you get here, thatʻs going to cut into what you can accomplish, although you can almost always drive Chain of Craters and explore the coast even if it is raining higher up.

I think two nights on the east side is good if you are not double booking and are actually moving from one side of the island to the other.

Overland Park...
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2. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

It took us two full days to see all of the park we wanted to see. However, if you only have one day, that's ok. You'll still see a lot. In Volcano Village, you will be staying in a lush rainforest. There are some really nice lodges there only 10 min drive from the crater. in Hilo, you will be staying in or near an urban area about a 30 minute drive from the crater. Make reservations as far in advance as you can.

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

In general I think one night is enough if you plan well. Basically if you get an early start from the west side, you can drive down the Hamakua coast and see those sites and get to Volcano by around 3pm, check out the visitors center, and check in to your lodging, have dinner, then go to see the glow at Halema'uma'u after dark. The next day head out around 8-9am and spend about 7-8 hours in the Park doing the Kilauea Iki and Puu loa hikes, and Crater Rim and Chain of Crayers roads and sites. Head back around 4pm via the Saddle and get back to the west side by sunset.

If you want to spend more time in Hilo, and maybe swing through lower Puna, or if you want to do more and/or longer hikes in VNP, I'd spend two nights.

Definitely don't wait to book your lodgings.

Edited: 21 February 2014, 08:18
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4. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

Your other posts mention you will be visiting in spring.

The week of Easter (April 20-26) is the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. Huge festival, and accommodations will be very hard to find, especially the latter part of the week. If you are going this week, I would try to get your overnight in Volcano early in the week, not late. The festival is marvelous but there will be lots of traffic and congestion in Hilo.

Edited: 21 February 2014, 14:31
British Columbia
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5. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

We will be there the month of march. We have a condo for the whole month and will just leave it for a day or two to see the Volcano but will be coming back so that's not an issue. We had planned to drive directly to volcano which should get us there by 10 if we leave early? On the way back I had presumed we would take highway 19 north of Hilo and sightsee on the way home after a bit of time in Hilo

. If we wanted to see the south coast , that could be another day trip? Does this sound rational? The one thing i am finding an issue - people say you should book your stay(in volcano or hilo) far in advance, however if you are watching the weather to decide when to go - that wouldn't work.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

Re the weather, all you can do is be in touch with the forecast the day prior and make choices accordingly. Two days in a row can be very different from each other. A storm could be finishing up or coming in:

In general, I do not recommend doing Hamakua on the way back, because the light gets dim at the end of the day as it is east facing slope of Mauna Kea. This is less true in summer when the sun's arc is to the north and you do get late in the day sun.

It is also common for rain to blow in around 4 PM or so, although early morning rain is also common.

Also your lodgings won't be available until likely 3 PM, l, so it does not hurt to do Hamakua on the way over.

My favorite direction for the Saddle is east to west. I would go home that way.

British Columbia
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7. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

ok, thanks everyone, i never thought about doing our sightseeing the way over and the volcano the

way back, that's a good thought.

8. Re: time in volcano - 1 day enough

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