Sun Exposure & Heat Realated Illness
It can be very hot, sunny and humid, especially during the summer months. Protect yourself from heat related illness by staying hydrated. A water fountain and water bottle filling station is available at the Visitor Center. There are few areas in the park with shade. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Help protect Hawaiʻi's coral reefs by always using reef-friendly sunscreens. More information on reef-friendly sunscreens.
Obey All Warnings & Closures
Warnings and closures are posted for your safety and the safety of the park resources. Please obey any warnings that may be posted due to high surf, winds, or other dangers. Follow the link for more information on Alerts & Current Conditions.
Wear Sturdy Footwear
Walking along the rocky coastline or accessing the tidepools can be physically challenging. The lava rocks are uneven, loose and are sometimes wet and slippery. Wear sturdy shoes and use common sense.The ocean can be unpredictable.
In the Event of an Emergency
CALL 911. In the event of an emergency, your first action should be to call 911. Afterwards, if possible, notify NPS staff and they will respond accordingly. The nearest hospital is located in Kealakekua, approximately 8 miles north of the park on Highway 11.
As you plan your hike on the 1871 Trail, please remember to consider safety. This hike takes you over rugged lava rock, along coastal cliffs, and through areas completely exposed to the harsh Hawaiʻi sun.
Bring Water & Stay Hydrated
A waterbottle filling station is available by the restrooms at the Visitor Center.
Wear Sturdy Footwear
The hike traverses over rugged, uneven lava rock. Sturdy footwear is recommended.
Use Sun Protection
Most areas along the 1871 Trail are completely exposed to the sun. The best way to protect yourself is with a hat, sunglasses, and clothing with sun protection. Please make sure sunscreens are "reef-friendly." Find out more about reef-friendly sun protection.
Stay on Marked Trails
For your safety and the safety of cultural sites, please stay on marked trails.
Give Wildlife Their Space
Observing wildlife is one of the great joys of hiking, but remember to give them their space and never feed wildlife.
While snorkeling is not permitted within the park, the popular snorkeling spot, "Two Step," is located just outside of the park. Find out more about snorkeling in the park. Snorkeling is a fantastic way to explore the underwater world, but it can be dangerous if you aren't paying attention. Please plan a safe snorkeling experience and consider the following safety tips.
Check ocean conditions before entering the water.
Check for high surf and high wind warnings before you leave. When you arrive at your snorkeling destination, check the water conditions before entering the water. When in doubt, stay out.
Snorkel with a Buddy
Snorkeling with a buddy can be more enjoyable and they can assist in the event of an emergency.
Check your equipment before snorkeling.
Defog your mask and check your equipment before entering the water.
Be Aware of the Ocean's Activity
Never turn your back on the ocean. Large waves can appear with little to no warning. Always be aware of the ocean's activity, especially when entering or exiting the water.
Give Wildlife & Coral Their Space
Don't touch or step on corals and stay a safe distance away from all ocean wildlife.
Be Aware of Boat Traffic
The "Two Step" area is primarily a boat ramp, so do your part to stay out of the way of boat traffic.
Last updated: June 1, 2021