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
Drive courteously and defensively. Use seatbelts and headlights. Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. Avoid the endangered nene goose.

STAY ON MARKED TRAILS! Vegetation or cinders may hide deep cracks in the ground. Use caution near cliffs, cracks, and steam vents. The edges of these features are unstable and can be slippery. Keep your children safe.

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).


AVOID HIKING AFTER DARK (cracks, crevasses, and cliffs look like shadows - depth is not evident in the dark).

Volcanic Fumes
VOG page including new Vog informational products and online dashboard

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
The park's coastline does not include safe beaches or swimming areas that visitors may drive to. Expect strong winds, steep and unstable sea cliffs, and high waves.

Volcanic Eruptions
Volcanic eruptions can occur at any time and can be extremely hazardous. Even from a distance, gases and fallout (Pele's hair, pumice, and cinder) can cause lung and eye irritation.

Heed the instruction of park rangers and obey signs on roads and trails.

Never enter closed areas.

Current Eruption

Lava viewing opportunities are constantly changing. Check with rangers in the Kīlauea Visitor Center for current activity and safety information.

Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
3 minutes, 50 seconds

Ranger Shyla explains how visitors can stay "Lava Safe" on the world's most active volcano, Kīlauea,
by following these two simple rules:
1) Be Prepared.
2) Stay out of Closed Areas.
It's Simple!
Additional footage and photos courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Last updated: June 25, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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


(808) 985-6000

Contact Us