Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Hikes & Events, July 2–8

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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is inviting everyone to find their park from other locations and experience authentic Hawaiian cultural programs, guided hikes, After Dark events and more from Ka‘ū to Volcano to Hilo.

While Kīlauea continues to shake the ground and blast ash from its ever-changing summit crater—causing the partial closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on May 11—park rangers continue to enlighten and engage visitors. Rangers are now offering new and familiar programs for visitors at the park’s Kahuku Unit, Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus and the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo—free of charge.

Upcoming park programs, now through Sunday, July 8, 2018:

The return of After Dark near the park enters its second week at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus! Enjoy “An Evening with Dr. Thomas Augustus Jaggar,” a one-man show presented by historic reenactor, Dick Hershberger and the Kīlauea Drama ​& ​Entertainment Network.

Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar as portrayed by Dick Hershberger. Courtesy photo

More than 100 years ago, Dr. Jaggar founded what is today called the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Jaggar Museum is named for him. Learn about Dr. Jaggar’s reasons for coming to Hawai‘i and the history of his life’s endeavor in this original program written by Hershberger on Tuesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. Free!


Annual Fourth of July Parade in Volcano Village. Park rangers will march in the annual Fourth of July Parade outside the park in wonderful Volcano Village. The parade starts at the Volcano Post Office at 9 a.m. and features food vendors, family fun, crafts, keiki games and more on Wednesday, July 4, at 9 a.m.

Kahuku Unit The Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is located on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, in Ka‘ū, about a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes. Entrance and all programs are free. Kahuku is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The new 20-minute Kahuku Orientation Talks introduce natural, cultural and historic attributes of Kahuku to the first-time or been-awhile visitor, and rangers also share the latest Kīlauea eruption updates. Orientation talks are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Meet at the Visitor Contact Station.

Delve into authentic Hawaiian cultural practices via ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) programs, held every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Kahuku. The programs last an hour and are free. Park rangers and staff from the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association share their knowledge and passion for native Hawaiian crafts:

  • July 7: Lau Hala Weaving. One of the most beautiful Hawaiian fiber crafts, the leaves of the hau tree (pandanus) are woven into useful and decorative purposes.
  • July 8: ‘Ohe Kāpala. Make your mark, and learn to create bamboo stamps with traditional and modern Hawaiian designs.

Kahuku Guided Hikes

Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku offers. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, remnant native forest and volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered Saturday, July 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

‘Ohi‘a Lehua at Kahuku. Courtesy photo

‘Ōhia Lehua. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree, and the threat of a new fungal disease, Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is offered Sunday, July 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Kahuku events are posted to the park website.


Mokupapapa Discovery Center Find you park rangers at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rangers provide free daily eruption updates, and at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., give a talk about all five of Hawai‘i Island’s volcanoes, including Kīlauea. Located at 76 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo. The Mokupāpapa Discovery Center will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus You can also find your park rangers in Volcano at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Rangers are there most days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide talks and answer questions about the current eruption. Free.

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