Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses two of the world's most active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. This is a very dynamic natural area with many dangers. Educate yourself as to the hazards. Common sense is not enough. Stay Alert - Stay Alive!
On the Road
Hiking over cracks and holes, loose rock, and thin lava crust greatly increases your risk of getting hurt. Falling on lava may result in severe wounds.
WEAR STURDY SHOES AND LONG LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING PANTS (falling on lava is like falling on broken glass).
Fumes (volcanic gases) are hazardous to everyone's health. Visitors with heart or breathing problems and infants, young children, and pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid being in areas where fumes persist.
The new eruptive vent in Halema'uma'u Crater, Sulphur Banks, and Puʻu 'Ōʻō vent generate high levels of gases that may affect visitors - even those visitors who are healthy.
Concentrations of these gases is often dependent on wind direction. Hawaiʻi's normal tradewind pattern generally blows gases, emitted from the two main vents on Kīlauea, away from most visitor areas. However, even on a tradewind day, fumes from Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Halemaʻumaʻu may cross a roadway or linger in other areas of the park. In this event, close your car windows and run the air conditioning on recycled air and leave the area.
There are times when the park will close due to high levels of volcanic gases. Be flexible - Closures are initiated for visitor and employee safety. Air Quality Monitor.
Near the Ocean
Lava viewing opportunities are constantly changing. Check with rangers in the Kīlauea Visitor Center for current activity and safety information.
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Ranger Shyla explains how visitors can stay "Lava Safe" on the world's most active volcano, Kīlauea,
Last updated: June 25, 2018