• Halema`uma`u Just Before Dawn

    Hawai'i Volcanoes

    National Park Hawai'i

Your Safety

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
Drive courteously and defensively. Use seatbelts and headlights. Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. Avoid the endangered nene goose.

Trails
STAY ON MARKED TRAILS! Vegetation or cinders may hide deep cracks in the ground. Use caution near cliffs, cracks, and steam vents. The edges of these features are unstable and can be slippery. Keep your children safe.

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).

CARRY AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

AVOID HIKING AFTER DARK (cracks, crevasses, and cliffs look like shadows - depth is not evident in the dark).

Volcanic Fumes
Fumes (volcanic gases) are hazardous to everyone's health. Visitors with heart or breathing problems and infants, young children, and pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid being in areas where fumes persist.

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
The park's coastline does not include safe beaches or swimming areas that visitors may drive to. Expect strong winds, steep and unstable sea cliffs, and high waves.

Volcanic Eruptions
Volcanic eruptions can occur at any time and can be extremely hazardous. Even from a distance, gases and fallout (Pele's hair, pumice, and cinder) can cause lung and eye irritation.

Heed the instruction of park rangers and obey signs on roads and trails.

Never enter closed areas.

Current Eruption

Lava viewing opportunities are constantly changing. Check with rangers in the Kīlauea Visitor Center for current activity and safety information.

Did You Know?

The Kamehameha Butterfly is orange and black, with white spots.

Only two butterflies found in Hawai`i are native. The Kamehameha Butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) is Hawai`i's state insect, brightly colored, and larger than the Blackburn's blue (Udara blackburni).