Eruption Viewing


Current Conditions of Kīlauea Summit Eruption

View the webcam to see the state of the current eruption up-close. Camera location is off-limits to the general public because of significant volcanic hazards. Scroll down for all available webcams.

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Witnessing the crust of an active lava lake being dragged into seething fountains is unforgettable. While an eruption is an exciting experience, keep in mind you are observing a sacred event. The summit of Kīlauea volcano is a wahi kapu (sacred landscape) surrounded with storied places. Your visit can be more meaningful by learning about the deep connections between Native Hawaiian culture and this landscape.


Where are the Best Eruption Viewing Locations?

The current eruption at Kīlauea volcano, within Halema'uma'u crater, has generated an immense lava lake. Lava is currently visible from many areas and overlooks surrounding Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) within the national park. Viewing conditions can change at any time depending on eruptive activity and weather conditions such as fog or rain. Air quality at Kīlauea is affected by volcanic sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5). People with pre-existing respiratory conditions are especially sensitive to poor air quality and should check the air quality alert before visiting.

Consider factors such as viewing experience, long waits and crowds, hiking ability, and available time when selecting where to view the eruption. Check out the park map and download the new NPS mobile app to help you navigate during your visit.
Map of eruption viewing areas in the park.
While the lava lake is a powerful and popular sight to behold, avoid the peak time at sunset. If there is no parking where you want to go, visit another area or try again later. The park is open 24 hours a day (click for full-size image).

Gaze into the depths of the eruption from the summit

Lava lake within a volcanic crater. Lava lake within a volcanic crater.

An excellent overlook to see a section of the lava lake is from Uēkahuna, the bluff near the former Jaggar Museum. More parking is available here.

NPS Photo/J.Wei - Photograph taken with 150 mm telephoto lens

Where to park:  Uēkahuna (old Jaggar Museum) parking area or Kīlauea Overlook.
Walking distance: 900 feet to the east of Uēkahuna parking lot over mostly paved terrain with some elevation gain. 1000 feet to the west of Kīlauea Overlook over mostly paved terrain with some elevation gain.
Eruption distance: 1 mile.
View: A sliver of the lake surface is occasionally visible on the east portion of the lava lake. The primary draw is the overwhelming red glow from the lava lake that illuminates the jagged crater, showing the scars from the 2018 summit collapse.
Amenities: Parking (105 stalls total), Restroom, Easily Accessible, Information Available


2. Overlook near Keanakākoʻi Crater


Plan ahead for one of the most popular viewpoints

Lava lake within a volcanic crater. Lava lake within a volcanic crater.

This is the most crowded viewing location. Expect traffic delays and full parking lots between the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. due to heavy visitation. Pack your patience. 

NPS Photo/J.Wei- Photograph taken with 150mm telephoto lens

Where to park: Devastation Trail parking area (limited parking) or Puʻupuaʻi parking area (limited parking).
Walking distance: 2 miles round-trip over mostly paved terrain if parked at Devastation Trail. 3 miles round-trip if parked at Puʻupuaʻi. 300 yards of this trail is over loose rocky cinders and an uneven surface.
Eruption distance: 0.5 mile.
View: The lava plunges down a cascade into a smaller pit, where the lava is highly agitated. Lava fountains 10 to 30 feet in the air from the lava lake along its edges.
Amenities: Limited Parking (58 stalls total), Restroom at Trailhead, Information Available.


3. Kūpinaʻi Pali (Waldron Ledge) from Crater Rim Trail


The least crowded and most private viewing location.

Lava lake within a volcanic crater. Lava lake within a volcanic crater.

The least crowded and most private viewing location. Lava is often visible from this location. 

NPS Photo/J.Wei - Photograph taken with 300mm telephoto lens.

Where to Park: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Walking distance: From Kīlauea Visitor Center cross Crater Rim Drive and walk south on Crater Rim Trail.
Distance: The eruption is viewable from two miles away.
View: Lava is visible as surface plates from the active lake surface are dragged into the lower cavity of the crater. A small standing wave, about 1 meter tall, is visible from the outlet.
Amenities: Parking (125 stalls total), Wheel Chair Manageable and Easily Accessible, Picnic, Information and Restrooms at Visitor Center.


Eruption Viewing Tips

  • As the lava lake rises within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, so does visitation! That is why we encourage visitors to get here early in the morning, not just to avoid the crowds, but to behold the breathtaking views of your park in the morning light. Avoid arriving between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at popular parking destinations like Devastation and Uēkahuna.
  • Don't forget the essentials! Carry a headlamp if you plan on visiting the eruption at night. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and a rain jacket for inclement weather.
  • Do NOT go into closed areas! The closure marked by rope lines, and hazard signs protects you from potentially lethal volcanic fumes, sudden and unpredictable rim collapses, hidden earth cracks, and much more. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kīlauea volcano began erupting on September 29, 2021, at approximately 3:21 p.m. HST in Halema‘uma‘u crater. Lava continues to erupt from a single vent in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. All lava activity is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Seismicity and volcanic gas emission rates remain elevated.
As of August 2022, the lava lake is approximately 282 acres in size. The lava lake is largely crusted over, but has a silvery surface appearance on the active portion of the lake. Lava enters the lake at the west end and flow steadily towards the east end, where the crust is consumed along the lake margins. Since the beginning of the eruption lava has filled Halemaʻumaʻu crater with over 27.4 billion gallons of lava. 
The spatter, blobs of lava thrown into the air by expanding gases, ejects anywhere from 10 to 30 feet into the air.
The temperatures of molten lava range from about 1,300 to 2,200 °F (700 to 1,200 °C). The surface of the lava lake is approximately 930 °F (500 °C). Live thermal image of Halemaʻumaʻu and the lava lake is visible on the USGS webcam
Scientist using a monitoring device atop the edge of a volcanic crater

What's Going On With The Volcanoes?

Get the latest update on volcanic activity.

A lava lake in a volcanic crater


Get a live look inside the park, courtesy of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Trees shrouded in fog

Weather and Climate

Be prepared for the island's unpredictable weather.

Two hikers on a road with a distant snow-covered mountain


Many hazards exist in this dynamic landscape. Be prepared and informed so your visit is safe and enjoyable.

Last updated: September 20, 2022

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