April 22, 2014 - Temporary Closure of Mauna Loa Strip Road
During the week of the 51st Annual Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawaii, travel on the Mauna Loa Strip Road in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be restricted to hiking, biking and official motor vehicle traffic only. More »
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses two of the world's most active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. This is a very dynamic natural area with many dangers. Educate yourself as to the hazards. Common sense is not enough. Stay Alert - Stay Alive!
On the Road
Hiking over cracks and holes, loose rock, and thin lava crust greatly increases your risk of getting hurt. Falling on lava may result in severe wounds.
WEAR STURDY SHOES AND LONG LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING PANTS (falling on lava is like falling on broken glass).
The new eruptive vent in Halema'uma'u Crater, Sulphur Banks, and Puʻu 'Ōʻō vent generate high levels of gases that may affect visitors - even those visitors who are healthy.
Concentrations of these gases is often dependent on wind direction. Hawaiʻi's normal tradewind pattern generally blows gases, emitted from the two main vents on Kīlauea, away from most visitor areas. However, even on a tradewind day, fumes from Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Halemaʻumaʻu may cross a roadway or linger in other areas of the park. In this event, close your car windows and run the air conditioning on recycled air and leave the area.
There are times when the park will close due to high levels of volcanic gases. Be flexible - Closures are initiated for visitor and employee safety. Air Quality Monitor
Near the ocean
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.