Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Year Established: 1916
Annual Visitors: 1.26 Million
Size: 335,259 Acres
State: Hawaii

Best Time to Visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

All year!

If you are planning to visit more national parks, check out our complete list of all US National Parks.

Best Experiences in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

  • Thurston Lava Tube Trail
  • Crater Rim and Chain of Craters Road
  • Halema’uma’u Crater

A Brief History

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was created in 1916. It covers 335,259 acres, which is about 523 square miles. To compare, the island of Oahu is 597 square miles.

The park rises from sea level to more than 13,000 feet and includes two volcanoes, Klauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Maunaloa, the world’s largest active subaerial volcano, as well as six of Earth’s climate zones.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is a place with many different environments and landscapes. It’s great for visitors who only stay for one day, but it really pays off for those who stay longer or come back to learn more about its rough lava fields, rainforest plants and animals, lava tubes and craters, coastlines where lava rock meets the ocean, cultural sites, ash deserts, and alpine tundra.

About Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can see two of the world’s most famous volcanoes. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains these two volcanoes which was established in 1916 to preserve the rough natural diamond of Hawaii Island, the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago.

These two volcanoes are constantly reshaping the land around them, so “preserve” might be the wrong word. Kilauea has had almost constant effusive eruptions since 1983. Kilauea and Mauna Loa release hot, dense lava through cracks and craters around the park, like rivers of burning, melting rock. These rivers often flow into the ocean, where you can see lava meeting cold seawater and creating massive plumes of steam as it boils the water.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park visitors must take extreme caution. Volcanic activity is updated frequently on the park’s website, which can lead to closures. The park sits on top of two large rivers. Volcanoes can fissure almost anywhere, often without warning. Careless visitors can get hurt if they ignore safety notices. In 2018 and 2019, tourists who entered closed-off areas were injured. The park offers many activities. This includes a crater rim drive tour with a stunning view from Kilauea, various hiking routes and programs, and classes where you can learn many native skills. Learn about Hawaii’s history from natives.

The 35 Year Long Eruption is Over

Kilauea is an active volcano. It erupted constantly from 1983 to 2018. In 1990, it destroyed a town; in 2018, it destroyed Vacation land in Hawaii and Kapoho. After its most violent phase in decades, the eruption ended in August 2018 and was over by December.

In 2020, Kilauea’s summit erupted again. Lava boiled off a nearby lake to form a new lava lake. Hawaii Mollet Tale National Park still lives on despite occasional lulls.

Hawai’i Volcanoes RV Camping

If you are looking for nearby RV camping options for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park or in Hawaii, consider checking out our other post:

Visitor Information


Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.

Weekly Park Passes

$15.00 per person

$30.00 per vehicle

$25.00 per motorcycle

All passes are valid for up to 7 days.

Annual Park Passes

Hawai‘i Tri-Park Annual Pass – $55

The annual pass is good for entrance fees to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakal National Park, and Pu’uhonua o Hnaunau National Historical Park for the pass holder and the occupants of a single, private, non-commercial vehicle.

America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass

You can also get an annual park pass to ALL National Parks in the United States for $80.
Keep in mind they have Senior, Military, and other discounts available!

Contacting Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Phone Number

(808) 985-6000

Visitor Centers

Kīlauea Visitor Center

The Klauea Visitor Center is a great place to go when you first get to the park. Rangers are on duty every day to give you the most up-to-date information about the weather, hiking trails, things to do, and the ranger-led activities happening that day. In the Klauea Visitor Center, the Hawai’i Pacific Parks Association runs a park store that sells books, posters, and other educational items. 


1 Crater Rim Drive,
Volcano, HI 96785

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Monday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.

Kahuku Visitor Contact Station

The Kahuku Visitor Contact Station is in the Kahuku Unit of the park. It has information about the park, an information desk, and books and gifts from the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association.

The Kahuku Ranch used to be one of the largest cattle ranches in Hawaii. It was on the dangerous slopes of Mauna Loa and produced beef and hides for more than 150 years. Even though ranch life seemed peaceful, it was often interrupted by violent volcanic eruptions that still change the land today. Share the beauty of this 116,000-acre landscape, which has been changed by both people and nature.


Hawaii, United States

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.