Day Hike - Crater Rim Trail

A Section of Crater Rim Trail
A Section of Crater Rim Trail

NPS Photo

Crater Rim Trail
Crater Rim Trail by the Jaggar Museum

NPS Photo

Crater Rim Trail

The 11-mile (17.7km) Crater Rim Trail circles Kilauea's summit caldera. Please note: A section of this trail (from Jaggar Museum south to Keanakāko‘i Crater) is closed due to the current eruption in Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Hiking here is an awe inspiring journey through an active volcano. The breath of gasses and steam bear witness that Pelehonuamea (Pele of the sacred land) still resides here. Rich with native plant and animal life, active volcanism, and Hawaiian deities of a living culture, hikers will marvel at diverse scenic vistas, desert terrain, and lush rain forest.

Steam Vents
Steam Vents Along the Crater Rim Trail

NPS Photo

Of interest: Plants, birds, insects, desert, rain forest, steam vents, caldera, craters.

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Distance and hiking time: 11-mile loop (the section from Jaggar Museum south to Keanakāko‘i Crater is closed due to the current eruption), all day (allow ½ hour per mile plus stopping and viewing time)
  • Elevation: 4,000'
  • Hikers may access the trail from many locations along Crater Rim Drive.
  • Bring water and food. Be prepared for hot and dry, and wet and windy weather. Scorching sun, biting winds and pelting rain can occur in the same hour.
  • Note: expect concentrated sulfur fumes are emitted from Halema'uma'u Crater and nearby areas. Hikers with asthma, heart or breathing problems should avoid these fumes.
  • Cliffs, earthcracks, and steam vents have unstable and slippery edges. Keep well back for your safety.
  • Hiking over cracks and holes, loose rock, and thin lava crust greatly increases your risk of getting hurt. Falling on lava can result in severe wounds.
Koa Grove
This Section of Crater Rim Trail Passes Through a Koa Grove

NPS Photo

Note: A portion of Crater Rim Drive, between Jaggar Museum and the Chain of Craters Road junction is closed indefinitely due to the fumes and ashfall from the vent that opened within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater in March 2008. The section of Crater Rim Drive from Chain of Craters Road to Keanakāko'i Crater is open to foot traffic.

Last updated: September 15, 2017

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