Day Hike - Kīlauea Iki

Kīlauea Iki Trail
Tiny people (just to the right of center) hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail

NPS Photo

Kīlauea Iki Hikers
On the floor of Kīlauea Iki

NPS Photo

Kīlauea Iki Trail
Descend through a lush rain forest to the floor of the solidified, however still steaming Kīlauea Iki Crater lava lake. Peer into the 1959 vent that erupted to a height of 1900 feet located below the Pu‘u Pua‘i cinder cone.

Of interest: Walking through a rain forest, viewing native birds, walk on the 1959 lava lake, view steam vents, cinder cones and spatter cones.

  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging - Steep and rocky, descent & ascent 400 feet (122m).
  • Distance and hiking time: 4 mile (6.4km) loop. Approximately 2 to 3 hours.
  • Distance from Visitor Center to trailhead: 2 miles (3.2km).
  • Trail begins: At the Kīlauea Iki parking lot on Crater Rim Drive. You may go either way from the trailhead. Going left will take you to the Thurston Lava Tube parking lot and then down to the floor of Kīlauea Iki. Going right will take hikers through the rain forest on the crater rim and down to the crater floor.
  • Bring: Water, food, hat, sunscreen and rain gear. Be prepared for hot, dry, wet, windy weather conditions and steep and rocky terrain.

Ahu (stacked rocks) mark the trail across the crater floor. Please do not disturb them or build new ones.

Kīlauea Iki Trail Guide (pdf 921KB)

Link to: Lisa Frein's journal of her hike on the Kīlauea Iki trail (2003).


Last updated: September 18, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718


(808) 985-6000

Contact Us