Many visitors enjoy the beauty of Ala Kahakai's historic, rugged, shoreline trails and vistas. However, recreating in natural areas has inherent dangers and responsibilities. This information will help you have a safe and responsible visit so that future visitors, can enjoy the park to its fullest. The safety of our visitors is very important to the management and staff. Here are a few safety tips for your visit along the trail and the national park sites it traverses:
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.
The trail's coastline include safe beaches or swimming areas that visitors may drive to. Expect strong winds, steep and unstable sea cliffs, and high waves. 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). Avoid hiking after dark. Cracks, crevasses, and cliffs look like shadows - depth is not evident in the dark.
Be prepared for exercise. Visiting all of the trail is quite a bit of walking. Obtain a map of the sites and plan appropriately.
Dress Appropriately for the Season
There are good walking distances between some of the vista view points. For the hotter months, wear light airy clothing and wide brim hats for protection from the sun. In winter months, you'll want to layer-up your clothing. Check the weather the day of your visit.
As you take in the history around you, don't forget to drink water or other re-hydrating liquids. You can dehydrate in any season.
Footwear should be comfortable with treaded soles to prevent slipping.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Some of the stones and boulders can be slippery when wet, stay on the pathway as you go along each marked trail, step carefully.
Watch for wildlife. They can be fun to observe. However, for your safety: Do Not Feed any wildlife in the trail or parks!It is illegal to feed wildlife, including squirrels and birds. Feeding wild animals makes them dependent on people, and these animals sometimes end up biting the hands of people who try to feed them. Diseases and/or parasites may also be transmitted from animals to humans.
The island of Hawaii is usually a peaceful paradise. Stay aware of your surroundings, stick with your buddy or group, and designate a rendezvous point in case you get separated. Be sure to have cell phones available with the battery fully charges.
Tell a park ranger and call 911. If a lost child is found by park rangers, they will contact the local police.
If in one of the national park sites contact the site park ranger for assistance. They can provide guidance for many situations including emergencies.
If an emergency arises, call 911.