Park Rangers Offer Helpful Tips as Volcano Visitors Surge
As thousands of additional visitors swarm to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to catch sight of the rising lava lake in Kīlauea volcano, park rangers are offering helpful tips to optimize their viewing experience.
Over the last several days, visitors have waited up to 30 minutes or longer for parking, according to park officials. To ease traffic and parking woes, visitors are being redirecting during peak hours to park at the Kīlauea Military Camp ball field, where they can hike one mile to the Jagger Museum lookout to view the lava.
Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando says people should avoid peak hours, and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m., is possible. She noted that the park remains open 24 hours a day.
Here are some useful tips provided by park rangers:
- Be prepared for a one-mile hike each way between Kīlauea Military Camp ball field and the Jaggar Museum lookout on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in parking areas.
- As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in the Jaggar Museum or Kīlauea Overlook parking lots.
- To observe viewing and weather conditions, check the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams.
- High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. Kīlauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawaii SO2 network website.
The park is also reminding the public that park entrance fees apply to all visitors and that the use of drones are prohibited in all national parks.