Drive the Park
Visiting the park by car is easy to do. The two main roads visitors will travel are Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road. All roads in the park are two-wheel drive roadways and do not require four-wheel drive vehicles.
Start your visit at the Kīlauea Visitor Center located just beyond the park's entrance station. The park is open 24 hours a day, year round. Kīlauea Visitor Center is open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Here, you will receive the latest information on trails, ranger-led activities, road conditions, and safety precautions. Because of the dynamic nature of the two active volcanoes in the park, conditions can change rapidly.
"Born of Fire, Born of the Sea" is the featured 25 minute film that is shown in the Kīlauea Visitor Center on the hour throughout the day, starting at 9:00 a.m. with the last film shown at 4:00 p.m..
If you have only one to three hours, explore the summit of Kīlauea Volcano via a portion of Crater Rim Drive. The southern portion (between Jaggar Museum and Chain of Craters Road junction) is currently closed due to fumes posing a hazard to visitors down-wind of the vent within Halema'uma'u Crater. Access is still available to well-marked scenic stops and trailheads (Sulphur Bank, Steam Bluffs, Thurston Lava Tube, Pu'u Pua'i Overlook, Devastation Trail, and Kīlauea Iki.
If you have three to four hours, you may also explore the East Rift and coastal area of the park via Chain of Craters Road. This road descends 3,700 feet in 20 miles and ends where a lava flow crossed the road in 2003. Depending on changing volcanic activity, there may be opportunities for viewing active lava flows from the end of the road.
No food, water, or fuel is available along the Chain of Craters Road. Vault-type toilets are available at Mauna Ulu parking area (3.5 miles from the Crater Rim Drive junction) and at the end of Chain of Craters Road. A picnic shelter, with a beautiful view of the park's coastline, is located at Kealakomo (9.7 miles from the Crater Rim Drive junction).
Did You Know?
The `ohi`a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) is a pioneer plant on new lava and a dominant tree in most mature Hawaiian forests. Honeycreepers, like the `apapane and `amakihi, are often seen sipping sweet nectar from its flowers. More...