• Halema`uma`u Just Before Dawn

    Hawai'i Volcanoes

    National Park Hawai'i

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Day Hike - Kīlauea Iki

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Tiny people (just to the right of center) hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail
NPS Photo
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On the floor of Kīlauea Iki

NPS Photo

Kīlauea Iki Trail
Kīlauea Iki Trail starts in the rain forest on the crater's rim. The trail descends 400 feet through the rain forest, with native birds in the canopy, to the crater floor. Hikers will cross the still-steaming crater floor, past the gaping throat of the vent that built Pu'u Pua'i cinder cone, and return to your starting point via the crater's rim.

Of interest: Rain forest, birds, insects, 1959 lava lake, steam vents, cinder and spatter cone.

  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • Distance and hiking time: 4 mile / 6.4 km loop, 2 to 3 hours
  • Distance from Visitor Center to trailhead: 2 miles.
  • Trail begins at the Kīlauea Iki parking lot on Crater Rim Drive. You may go either way from the trailhead. Going left will take you to the Thurston Lava Tube parking lot and then down to the floor of Kīlauea Iki. Going right will take hikers through the rain forest on the crater rim and down to the crater floor.
  • Bring: water, snacks, raingear, sun protection. Expect wet and windy weather and steep and rocky terrain. Follow the ahu (rock cairns) across the crater floor.

Kīlauea Iki Trail Guide (pdf 1.22mb)

Link to: Lisa Frein's journal of her hike on the Kīlauea Iki trail (2003).


Hiking Tips (pdf-217KB)


Did You Know?

Waha`ula Visitor Center surrendering to lava.

From 1983 to 1991, lava flows repeatedly invaded communities on Kīlauea's coastal south flank burying eight miles of highway and destroying 181 houses and a visitor center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.