Kīlauea Iki Trail from Kīlauea Visitor Center

Map of Kīlauea Iki Trail denoted by a dotted line.
The red dotted line indicates the trail towards Kīlauea Iki Trail from the visitor Center. The orange dotted line indicates an optional trail into the caldera to Kīlauea Iki crater.

NPS Photo

Hike from the Kīlauea Visitor Center for a more scenic and less traveled route to Kīlauea Iki crater

This trail leads to panoramic views of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) from the Kūpinaʻi Pali (Waldron Ledge) portion of Crater Rim Trail. At one point in time, this stretch of trail was part of Crater Rim Drive, the road that encircled the summit caldera. However, on November 16th, 1983, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the island, decimating parts of the road. Large chunks collapsed and deep cracks developed, rendering it impassable. The road was re-routed to its current path and the portions left behind is the trail you see today.

After, descend through a lush rainforest to the solidified lava lake on the floor of Kīlauea Iki crater. Peer into the vent that erupted to a height of 1900 feet during the eruption of 1959 located below Puʻupua‘i cinder cone.

  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging - Steep and rocky, descent & ascent 400 feet (122 m).

  • Hiking Time: Plan for approximately 3 to 4 hours

  • Directions: From Kīlauea Visitor Center: 5.3 miles (8.5 km) round-trip spur (cherry stem) and loop. Take Crater Rim Trail towards Kūpinaʻi Pali (Waldron Ledge) from Kīlauea Visitor Center. This leads to the Kīlauea Iki Trail loop. Consider hiking two craters for the hike of one by connecting Halemaʻumaʻu Trail (indicated by the orange dotted line, see map). This will add another 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to your hike.

  • Bring: Water, food, hat, sunscreen and rain gear. Be prepared for hot, dry, wet, windy weather conditions and steep and rocky terrain.

Read more about one of the most striking eruptive events of the 20th century

Last updated: December 6, 2021

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