Crater Rim Drive
Take the Crater Rim Tour around a portion of the summit caldera, through rain forest and desert, and peer or hike into a crater that erupted just 50 years ago. There is access to scenic stops and short walks along the drive.
The best place to start the tour is at the Kīlauea Visitor Center. Films shown throughout the day provide an introduction to the park and volcanology. Ask at the information desk about ranger-guided walks, hikes and other programs. Located nearby is the Volcano Art Center, housed in the historic Volcano House sm which was built in 1877. This former lodge hosted many 19th century visitors to Kīlauea and is now a gallery for local artists and craftsmen.
Before starting out in your car, you may want to take an easy one-mile (roundtrip) hike on the Earthquake Trail. Early in the morning on November 16, 1983, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook a section of Crater Rim Drive into the caldera. Crater Rim Drive has been rerouted and the old cracked roadway is now a gentle paved walking trail that is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. The trail begins at the exit of the Volcano House sm parking lot and offers fine views of Mauna Loa and Kīlauea Caldera.
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Did You Know?
Kīlauea Volcano has erupted lava almost continuously from its east rift zone since 1983. These lava flows have added about 500 acres of new land to the southern shore of Kīlauea and covered 8.7 miles (14 km) of highway with lava as deep as 115 feet (35 m). More...