September 2021-2022 eruption

Webcam

Current Eruption Conditions for Kīlauea Volcano

View the webcam to see the state of the current eruption. Camera location is off-limits to the general public because of significant volcanic hazards.

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Check the volcano eruption status before you visit.

Viewing conditions can change at any time. The eruption has experienced several infrequent pauses where no lava or night-time viewing was visible for up to three days. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

 

Where are the Best Eruption Viewing Locations?

If the weather is clear, eruption activty including active lava is currently visible from many areas and overlooks surrounding Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera). Eruptions change significantly over time and locations called "the best" in the past may not be the best viewing locations today. Consider factors such as traffic, long waits, long walks, and crowds when selecting where to view the eruption during your visit.

Use the drop down menu below for information on the six best viewing locations. Check out a park map and Plan Your Visit page before arriving at the park to select your itinerary and options. Or better yet, download the new NPS mobile app.

Please note parking lots are often full. If you are planning to see the glow at night, pack your patience and expect traffic delays, full parking lots, and walking extra distances to access overlooks. Don't forget to bring a flashlight! Check the parking page to find out when each parking lot is typically full.

Pros: ample parking, short walk, lava often visible

Located at the site of the former Jaggar Museum, Uēkahuna is the closest eruption viewpoint accessible by car. After you enter the park, continue driving straight heading west for about 2.75 miles on Crater Rim Drive. The road will end at the Uēkahuna (old Jaggar Museum) parking lot. An observation area is accessible to the east via short walk on Crater Rim Trail. The lava lake is visible 200 yards (180 meters) east of Uēkahuna along Crater Rim Trail near a small concrete foundation. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

Where to park: at the Uēkahuna (old Jaggar Museum) parking area
Walking distance: 800-900 feet to the east of the parking lot over mostly paved terrain with some elevation gain
Distance to Halemaʻumaʻu: about one mile
Restroom: Yes

This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night! 
To reach Kīlauea Overlook, continue driving west on Crater Rim Drive for just over two miles after entering the park. Turn left after the sign reading "Kīlauea." This location is about a half mile east of Uēkahuna and may serve as overflow parking if Uēkahuna parking is full. The lava lake is occasionally visible in this area depending on eruption conditions. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

Where to park: Kīlauea Overlook parking area
Walking distance: 300-400 feet over uneven terrain
Distance to Halemaʻumaʻu: just over one mile
Restroom: Yes

This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night!

This is the most crowded eruption viewing location. 

  • Expect full parking lots and lengthy wait times due to heavy visitation and traffic congestionespecailly between the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • WARNING: This is a relatively long, unlit hike over areas with earthcracks. Do not attempt this hike at night without a flashlight (cell phones are not substitutes for flashlights). Due to the longer walking distance, hikers may be exposed to high levels of sulfur dioxide. Check the air quality before starting the hike.

To access Keanakākoʻi, turn left just after the entrance station and drive south on Crater Rim Drive for about three miles until you reach the intersection with Chain of Craters Road. Turn right and park at the Devastation Trail parking area. After parking, walk back towards the intersection and turn right on Old Crater Rim Drive. Continue walking for just over one mile. Do not enter closed areas. Although this location provides the best views of active lava, it is the most difficult to access. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.
 
Where to park: Devastation Trail parking area (limited parking) or Puʻupuaʻi parking area. 
Walking distance: approximately 1 mile one-way, 2.5 round-trip over mostly paved terrain if parked at Devastation Trail or approximately 1.5 miles one-way, 3 miles ound-trip if parked at Puʻupuaʻi. 300 yards of this trail is over loose rocky cinders and an uneven surface.
Distance to Halemaʻumaʻu from viewing location: approximately 0.5 miles
Restrooms: Yes, at Devastation Trail parking area, no restroom at overlook
 
Wahinekapu is accessible from the Steam Vents parking area which is located one mile west of the park entrance on the left. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

Where to park: Steam Vents parking area
Walking distance: 600-700 feet over uneven terrain
Distance to Halemaʻumaʻu: approximately 1.75 miles
Restrooms: No

This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night! 
Pros: ample parking, short walk, indoor viewing

One of the easiest and most convenient places to view the eruption is from inside or just outside the Volcano House hotel along Crater Rim Trail. Visitors can watch from comfort inside while dining or from behind Volcano House along an established overlook. Park at the Kīlauea Visitor Center and walk accross the road down a lit pathway. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

Where to park: park at the Volcano House or Kīlauea Visitor Center, just after the entrance station.
Walking distance: approximately 600-800 feet
Distance to Halemaʻumaʻu: approximately two miles
Restroom: Yes
 
Pros: ample parking, moderate paved walk, incredible lava views

To access Kūpinaʻi Pali overlook, park at the Kīlauea Visitor Center on the right just after the entrance station. Cross Crater Rim Drive and walk south on Crater Rim Trail. This is one of the least crowded and more private viewing locations. Lava is often visible from this location. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

Where to Park: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Walking distance: about one half mile over mostly paved terrain
Distance to Halemaʻumaʻu from overlook: approximately two miles
Restrooms: No

This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night! 
 
 
People stand along a cliff overlook looking down into a crater with smoke billowing out.
Visitors watch the eruption plume from Uēkahuna Overlook just after sunrise on September 30.

NPS Photo/J. Wei

What can you see in the day?

Visitors arriving during the day can view the volcanic gas, active lava, and steam from the eruption within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Koaʻe kea, white-tailed tropicbirds, are often observed flying above the crater.

The eruption is visible from Kaluapele, the summit caldera, along open areas of the rim. Lava is now visible at many areas around the caldera. Viewing is dependent on eruption activity and weather conditions.

 
People standing at a cliff overlook at night with bright orange light glowing from a crater and orange clouds of smoke.
Visitors near Keanakākoʻi crater on the south side of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) look towards Halemaʻumaʻu on October 2.

NPS photo/J.Wei

What can you see at night?

The massive lava lake made of molten rock casts a magnificent reddish orange glow into the dark sky. The glow reflects onto the gas plume wafting out of the volcano, and to any clouds above the summit crater, Halemaʻumaʻu. Jagged crater walls are illuminated, showing the scars from the 2018 summit collapse.

Active lava is now visable from many overlooks around Kaluapele, the summit caldera. Viewing is dependent on eruption activity and weather conditions.

Bring a flashlight, raingear, and warm clothes!
 

Eruption Viewing Tips

  • The park is experiencing very high visitation. Expect unplanned temporary closures of popular parking lots and roads when they become full. Avoid arriving between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and come at an unconventional time, like 4 a.m., or after 8 p.m.
  • Park landscapes are sacred places for many people. Please be respectful and allow others to practice their culture privately.
  • Maintain social distance of 6 feet from others and wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, visit another day.
  • Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time. Stay on marked trails and overlooks, and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
  • Hazardous volcanic gas can be a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children, and pregnant women. Check the air quality before and during your visit.
  • Slow down and drive safely. Expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points like Uēkahuna (formerly the Jaggar Museum) and Devastation Trail parking lot.
  • Check the weather. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the summit of Kīlauea can be raining and cold at any time. Bring a rain jacket; wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight if visiting at night. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure views.
 
Man in crouched position holding a bundle wrapped in leaves and flowers overlooking a crater.
Cultural practitioner presenting hoʻokupu (offering) at Halemaʻumaʻu.

NPS Photo/D. Boyle

More than just an eruption

While Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, known for many celebrated past eruptions, it is also a sacred landscape filled with wahi pana (legendary places) such as Uēkahuna, Puʻuloa, Kaʻauea, and others. Your visit can be more meaningful by learning about some of the deep connections with Native Hawaiian culture. Explore this website to learn about the Hawaiian volcano deity Pele and the many moʻolelo (stories) associated with these incredible lava landscapes.
 
 

Before and after eruption comparison

View looking down into deep large crater with dark brown surface and large flat bottom. View looking down into deep large crater with dark brown surface and large flat bottom.

Left image
KWcam image taken on September 29, 2021, at 3:20 p.m. HST. This image shows the lava lake that was active within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea from December 2020 until May 2021 just prior to a new eruption beginning.
Credit: USGS webcam image

Right image
KWcam image taken on October 2, 2021, at 6 a.m. HST. This image shows the ongoing eruption within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea. The eruption began the afternoon of September 29, 2021.
Credit: USGS webcam image

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory KWcam at Kīlauea's summit has captured changes within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea's summit, due to the eruption that began on September 29, 2021. At approximately 3:21 pm, HST, new fissures opened at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. These fissures opened east of the large island near the center of the lava lake that was active within Halemaʻumaʻu crater from December 2020 until May 2021. The first image was taken on September 29, 2021, just before the eruption began; the second image was taken the morning of October 2, 2021, and shows the continuing eruption and growing lava lake. USGS webcam images taken from closed areas within the park. 

 

Eruption Chronology

Eruption chronology courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

  • On September 29, at 3:30 pm HST, three fissures opened east of the large island near the center of the lava lake that was active within Halemaʻumaʻu crater from December 2020 until May 2021. The new fissures generated lava flows on the surface of the previous lava lake surface.
  • At approximately 4:43 p.m. HST, another vent opened on the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater.
  • The new eruption is generating a vigorous plume of volcanic gas. The volcanic gas, which includes sulfur dioxide (SO2), interacts in the atmosphere with oxygen, moisture, dust, and sunlight over minutes to days and forms volcanic air pollution, or VOG, which can be transported downwind. An estimated 85,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide emissions were generated during the first day of the eruption, dropping to an estimated 20,000 tonnes per day on September 30 and 12,900 tonnes per day on October 1.
  • Lava was slightly visible from multiple open areas of the park on the night of September 30.
  • By October 1, the growing lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu is estimated to have risen roughly 89 feet (27 meters) since the eruption started on September 29. The estimated area of the lake is about 134 acres (54 hectares).
  • On October 2, USGS field crews measured lava fountain heights of approximately 7 meters (7.7 yds) from the main vent and 1.1-2.2 yards (1-2 meters) from the southernmost vents. Occasional fountain height bursts have been observed over the past 24 hours, including a burst this morning with estimated heights of 55-66 yards (50-60 meters).
  • Lava continued to erupt from multiple vents within Halemaʻumaʻu through October 3 and 4. During that time, the lava lake rose approximately 6.6 feet (2 meters). Due to the location of vents, the lava lake is not level across its surface; areas closer to the vents are higher in elevation. Sustained lava fountain heights of 16-33 feet (5-10 meters) were observed.
  • On October 6 observers noted that the lava lake level rose approximately 2 meters (7 ft) over the past 24 hours with a total rise of about 31 meters (102 ft) since lava emerged on September 29. The total thickness of lava filling Halemaʻumaʻu is now 256 meters (840 ft ) with a lake surface elevation of approximately 774 meters (2539 ft) above sea level. The west vent continues to have the most vigorous fountain with sustained lava fountain heights of about 14–15 meters (49 ft). The lava lake has risen above the base of the vent and the fountain has built a spatter rampart around most of it. Another vent continues to be active in the southern part of the lake with lava fountain heights averaging 3 meters (10 ft). Due to the location of vents, the lava lake is not level across its surface. Areas closer to vents in the west and south part are about 1–2 m (3–7 ft) higher in elevation compared to the north and east end of the lava lake. Crustal foundering, a process by which cooled lava crust on the lake surface sinks into the hot underlying lake lava, is observed on the active surface of the lava lake. The active lava lake surface is perched 1 meter (3 ft) above a 20-meter-wide (66 ft) ledge that extends outward to the Halemaʻumaʻu crater wall.
  • October 10, 2021. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit off-shore southwest of the island of Hawaiʻi, rattling residents. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the earthquake was centered about 27 km (17 miles) south-southeast of Nāʻālehu at a depth of 35 km (22 mi). The earthquake had no significant observable affect on Kīlauea volcano except for a few rock falls.
  • October 15, 2021. The activity of the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu crater decreased over the past week. Lava continues to fill the western half of the lava lake from the erupting western fissure. Much of the eastern half of the lake surface has cooled and formed a solid crust. The lava lake measures approximately 1,035 m (3,396 ft) long in the east–west direction and 745 m (2,444 ft) wide in the north–south direction. SO2 gas emission rates remain elevated and were measured at approximately 5,400 tonnes per day.
  • October 19, 2021. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists estimated 4.2 billion gallons of lava (15.9 million cubic meters) have filled the lava lake since the summit eruption began three weeks ago on September 29. The lava lake has filled the crater to about 46 meters (151 ft) since lava emerged on September 29.
  • October 24, 2021. The rising lava lake was oberved for the first time from Kīlauea Overlook and continues to be visible from Uēkahuna and near Keanakāko‘i.
  • October 26, 2021. Low lava fountains a few meters (yards) tall were common. Sometimes fountains would reach up to 12 meters (39 ft). The cone was measured at 25 meters (82 ft) above the active lava lake surface. Lava is ponding within the cone and flows down the spillway—which is about 7 meters (23 ft) long—supplying lava into the lake below.
  • November 1, 2021. The northeastern end of the lava lake has now risen high enough to start covering the lowest portion of the down-dropped block on the north side of Halema‘uma‘u. The down-dropped block several hundred feet beneath the main caldera floor was formed during the 2018 Kīlauea caldera collapse.
  • November 8, 2021. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that a deflation event is occurring at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. There is no spatter or fountaining lava coming out of the west vent. Volcanic gas emissions decreased dramatically, down to 250 tonnes/day compared to 2500 tonnes/day last week.
  • November 12, 2021. Activity has returned to levels observed prior to the brief decrease in activity.
  • November 13, 2021. Small collapse of the spatter cone at night within Halemaʻumaʻu crater provides better views of the fountains in the west vent.
  • November 15, 2021. A lava break-out from the edge of the lava lake allowed lava to flow onto the surface of the down-dropped block on the north side of Halema‘uma‘u
  • December 4, 2021. The rate of lava decreased sharply, potentially marking a pause in the current eruption. A small portion of the vent cone collapsed at about 5PM, though there appeared to be no effect on the eruption directly due to the collapse.
  • December 6, 2021. All of the instrumental data and observations indicate the eruption is paused. This is the fourth and largest such slow down or pause since the eruption began on September 29 and none of the prior events lasted more than 24 hours before resumption of normal eruptive activity. The summit has showed slight re-pressurization, but tremor levels are below previous levels during the eruption.
  • December 6, 2021. The west vent resumed with normal eruptive activity around 7 p.m. The summit showed an increase of deformation followed by eruptive activity.
  • December 14, 2021. The eruption resumed following a short pause on December 13.
  • December 21, 2021. Rapid deflationary tilt began yesterday, December 20, 2021 at about 11 AM and flattened out early this morning. Volcanic tremor associated with the eruption has virtually ceased and earthquake activity remains below background.
  • December 22, 2021. The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano resumed ending a 2-day pause in activity.
  • December 28, 2021. The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano resumed ending a 2-day pause in activity.
  • January 19, 2021. The ongoing eruption underwent nine main pauses, which first started occurring a little over a month ago. There may have been a few smaller and shorter pauses, when the lava lake didn't completely crust over, starting as early as November.
  • April 14, 2021. The eruption has produced 17.5 billion gallons since it started. Lava has risen another 99 meters (325 feet) since it began in September. The current size of the lava lake surface is 219 acres. For perspective, the former lava lake that drained out in the 2018 summit collapse was about 10 acres.

Last updated: May 18, 2022

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