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 Crater Rim Drive, an 11-mile road that encircles the summit caldera, passes through desert, lush tropical rain forest, traverses the caldera floor, and provides access to well-marked scenic stops and short walks. (Crater Rim Drive is closed between Jaggar Museum and the Chain of Craters Road junction due to volcanic activity in Halemaʻumaʻu crater).
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 2003 lava flow crossed the road. 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.
Did You Know?
The two types of Hawaiian lava differ in appearance but are chemically alike. Pahoehoe has a smoother and ropey surface where a`a is jagged and clinkery.