Area Closures, Advisories, Drones/Unmanned Aircraft & Other Policies
January 20, 2018 - Due to the lapse in federal appropriations and the ongoing eruption of Kīlauea Volcano both at the summit and from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent, portions of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are closed for visitor safety.
The open areas include Highway 11 through the park and Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu (Kīpukapuaulu Trail, the day use area and tree molds are open). Ka‘ū Desert Trail is open to the Footprints exhibit shelter. However, access may change without notice, and there are no NPS-provided services. Backcountry permits will not be issued and overnight camping will not be permitted.
The hazardous geologic processes and the immediate threats to visitor health and safety necessitate the restriction of access to areas that are volcanically active. These closed areas include the entire summit area of Kīlauea, Crater Rim Drive, Chain of Craters Road and the active lava flow within the park boundary.
Guests at Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp have 48 hours to depart the park (Monday morning). Volcano Art Center Gallery is also closed.
Again, we reiterate that hazards associated with the active volcano pose a significant risk to the safety of visitors in the absence of National Park Service staff.
December 12, 2016 - Closure of a portion of Eruption Area
Until further notice a portion of the area near the coastal lava flow known as 61g and described below will be closed by direction of the park Superintendant. The closure is based on the potential for airborne debris being projected up to 300 meters from a collapsing lava bench. Flying debris is a safety concern for the public and employees. This closure will be in effect until there is no longer a danger.
Area to be closed: A 300 meter section within the boundary of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that is marked with posted signs notifying the public of the closure, where possible will be augmented by a rope barrier. Due to the constant shifting of lava benches and ocean entries, this area is subject to change and is therefore only referred to by the current location of posted signs.
October 25, 2017 Update - The Kahuku Unit Upper Paddocks Remain Closed: The Kahuku road and upper paddocks remain closed to the public at the cross gate due to Rapid 'Ōhi'a Death (ROD). Serveral trees have been confirmed to be infected with ROD in the lower paddocks below the cross gate. Currently ROD has not been found in the upper paddocks. The closure is necessary to prevent the spread of ROD to the upper paddocks. The Forested Pit Crater trail and Kona trail are not accessible.
May 7, 2015- All areas immediately adjacent to Jaggar Museum extending from the developed parking lot and visitor use areas are closed due to hazardous conditions. These include steep cliffs, earth cracks and trip hazards. Areas will be delineated on the ground with signs, barrier devices or a combination of these and may be extended or changed based on assessments of NPS personnel and approved by the Superintendent or her designated representative.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Policies
Drones / Unmanned Aircraft Policy
Superintendent's Compendium 2017 (pdf - 2.46MB)
Status of the Park: Park is OPEN - Some Closures are in effect:
Currently the Chain of Craters Road is OPEN and the trail to Puʻu Huluhulu is OPEN. Both the Nāpau Trail beyond Puʻu Huluhulu and the Naulu Trail are OPEN (permit required).
Be aware that high levels of SO2 and/or smoke could occur at anytime. This is a very active area and subject to sudden closure.
The following restrictions remain in effect:
Portions of the Park are Closed
Advisory on Potential Closures:
The prevailing northeast tradewinds generally blow fumes from the volcano away from visitor areas. However, during times of weak winds or winds from the south (the opposite direction), volcanic fumes may impact visitor areas, prompting the park to close. Please be flexible and alert.
What should you do when you notice hazy/smoky/smog-like conditions (VOG)?:
Park rangers monitor air quality and will advise visitors when the situation prompts a closure. When a closure is ordered, please leave the area in an orderly manner with everyone's safety in mind. See: Visitor Alert - SO2 Advisory
Last updated: January 20, 2018