HVNP Reopens 2 Trails & Mauna Loa RoadFebruary 19, 2019, 4:51 PM HST (Updated February 21, 2019, 4:36 PM)
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reports that two trails have reopened after being closed last year due to impacts from tens of thousands of earthquakes that also damaged roads, buildings and other park infrastructure.
A 7.3-mile section of Ka‘ū Desert Trail from Highway 11 to the Ka‘aha Trail intersection is now open, as is the 4.8-mile stretch to the Hilina Pali Overlook. The park also repaired and reopened a 0.8-mile portion of Halema‘uma‘u Trail that starts at the rainforest summit of Kīlauea near Volcano House, to the steaming caldera floor.
In addition, recent rainfall has doused the fire risk on Mauna Loa Road, at least for now. The road that leads to the 6,662-foot Mauna Loa Lookout is now open to vehicles. Drivers are reminded to follow all speed limits and watch out for other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
“We are elated to reopen these sections of the park to our visitors again,” said Acting Superintendent Laura Schuster. “We continue to make progress in our recovery efforts following the historic eruptive and seismic activity that happened last year and caused us to close for more than four months.”
Additional assessments and repairs continue at iconic park features that sustained serious damage from the 60,000 earthquakes that shook Kīlauea between April 30 and Aug. 4, 2018. Visitors are encouraged to stay informed by checking the park website.