When it comes to natural wonders, the Hawaiian Islands have got you covered. From its lush rainforests and white-sand beaches to its breathtaking waterfalls and volcanoes, there's no shortage of places to see in Hawaii. But one spot that stands out from the rest is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, this sprawling national park is home to some of the most fascinating geological wonders and wildlife. Here, visitors can visit Halema'uma'u Crater and see steam rising from the lava lake bubbling inside — or even witness a fiery lava flow firsthand! If you're looking for a more adventurous way to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there are plenty of ways to get down and dirty (or at least muddy) without leaving yourself open to any real danger. Sounds amazing, right? Let’s get a closer view of this park!
Things To Do at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Here’s a list of super fun activities you can do at this amazing park:
Hike Through Different Trails
From Kahuku Unit to Kamakapa’a Trail, Hawaii Volcanoes Park is home to some of the most scenic trails that provide stunning views of lava flows and other volcanic features from multiple perspectives. You can hike a short distance through grassy meadows and watch as steam rises from cracks in the ground, or you can trek for miles up steep slopes and see lava flows from above. It all depends on your preferences, but one thing is certain — no matter what trail you choose, you’ll be in awe of the power and beauty of nature.
Watch the lava flow at Kilauea
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, that are erupting with red and glowing lava. The park offers several ways to get up close and personal with this incredible phenomenon: witness a live webcast of the volcano’s lava lake, explore the area on foot or by guided tour, or take a boat tour around the island to see the lava from all angles. Just make sure you're prepared for heat and humidity!
Drive the Chain of Craters Road
If you really want to get adventurous while on the Big Island, drive the Chain of Craters Road instead of taking a guided tour bus. Stretching 18 miles, this road will take you through the awe-inspiring Devastation Trail and past multiple sites where lava has broken through the surface so you won’t get bored.
Snacks to Pack For Your Trip
If you are planning on doing some hiking while visiting the park, then you will need some fuel to keep you going up and down those steep trails. This means packing some delicious snacks with you. Here’re some of our favorite snacks.
Fish jerky is a great protein-rich snack to take with you on your trip. It's easy to eat, tasty, and doesn't spoil easily. It also comes in different flavors, so if one isn't your favorite, there are plenty more options to choose from.
Energy Bars or Trail Mix
Packed with nuts, grains, and dried fruit — along with some chocolate — energy bars and trail mix provide a healthy dose of carbohydrates for sustained energy throughout the day without weighing you down. Many brands offer gluten-free options as well as other varieties designed for specific dietary needs, such as low sugar content or high fiber content.
Whole Grain Tortillas
Whole grain tortillas make another good choice for bringing with you on your trip because they're lightweight and easy to carry around without making a mess inside your backpack or purse. You can use them as wraps for sandwiches or just eat them plain out of hand when hunger strikes!
Fruits provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals that can help boost your immune system and keep you going throughout your hike or tour around the volcano. This can be anything from apples or bananas to oranges or grapes. Just make sure that they're easy to carry in your backpack or purse so that they don't go bad before you reach your destination.
Tuna Salad Pouches
If you'd rather have something savory instead of sweet, tuna salad pouches are another option for lunchtime meals during your visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. These are convenient to pack and easy to eat in one go.
Tips For a Successful Trip
Here are some tips for a successful trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:
- Plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of information before visiting regarding the eruption view tips, current conditions, directions and transportation, entrance fees, and parking.
- Make sure to bring snacks and water. There are no supermarkets or restaurant chains for miles around Hawaii National Park.
- If you don’t want to wait for parking spots, then you can visit Kahuku Unit. This area is never crowded so you can explore nature without any disruptions.
- While there are paved paths in most areas of the park, they can be uneven and rocky in places; make sure your sneakers are up for it. There's nothing worse than blisters when you're trying to enjoy yourself on vacation!
- Wear comfortable clothing and don’t forget to bring along an umbrella, sunscreen and of course, your camera!
If you're looking for a vacation that's off the beaten path, then look no further than Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where the towering peaks of Mauna Loa and Kilauea are a sight to behold. You can hike, bike, or drive around these fiery mountains, all while taking advantage of the incredible views they offer. And if you're feeling extra adventurous, there's a chance to hike around the coastline and see what happens when hot magma meets cold water. Whether you come here for a day trip or spend a week exploring the island's volcanoes and rainforests, this is an experience that can't be missed!