Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Fact Box

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Established 1916
333,000 acres
Visitation (2006) 1,612,246

Evidence of Hawaii’s volcanic past—and present—is visible throughout the islands that make up our 50th state. But nowhere is Hawaii's legacy of fire more apparent than at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the southern edge of the Big Island. In and near the park, lava flows from the Kilauea volcano enter the Pacific Ocean where the lava hardens to black volcanic rock that adds to Hawaii's acreage with every passing year.

Elsewhere in the park, it's possible to view ancient petroglyphs, hike across the floor of a dormant crater, view steam vents, and take a stroll through a primeval rain forest to an equally ancient lava tube. Wildlife are fairly abundant here, including some endangered endemic species like the Hawaii honeycreeper and the Hawaiian goose (nene).

The park is easily viewed by car. The Crater Rim Drive takes visitors around the dormant crater, with plenty of places to park and walk around, and the Chain of Craters Road takes visitors down the volcano to the ocean and the hike to the lava flows. To really get a feel for this dynamic and fascinating landscape, you'll definitely want to spend some time outside of the car, and there are a number of trails to suit anyone from the casual day-tripper to the dedicated hiker.


  • http://www.npca.org/parks/hawaii-volcanoes-national-park.html