Activities

HVNP Invites Everyone to Celebrate National Park Week

April 15, 2022, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated April 13, 5:26 PM
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A volunteer ranger speaks with with visitors on the caldera floor at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. (Photos by J.Wei/courtesy of HVNP)

National Park Week is April 16-24, and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to celebrate with a fee-free Saturday and slew of other fun-filled and educational events, including the return of ranger programs and the Thomas A. Jaggar living history performance.

“Reconnect with your park and join these fun events during National Park Week,” a press release from the park said.

Events to celebrate the special observance are:

Fee-Free Day: Saturday, April 16, is a fee-free day to kick off National Park Week. Enjoy free entrance to all fee-charging national parks in the U.S., including Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

‘Ohana “sPark Discovery Day”: Your ‘ohana is invited to explore the park and #sParkDiscovery by participating in a fun trading card collection challenge. Start at the welcome tent near the bus parking area at Kīlauea Visitor Center to receive a map with directions to six activity stations within the park. Each station features a fun game, craft or activity. Once an activity is complete, you get a trading card to color in. Collect five of the six cards and return to the welcome tent for a prize.

  • When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
  • Where: Start at the welcome tent near the bus parking by Kīlauea Visitor Center, and Kahuku.
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A Storybook Trail at Kahuku: Kahuku has a new self-guided storybook trail featuring Caren Lobel-Fried’s book, “Legend of the Gourd.” Follow the storyboards along the trail to the top of Puʻu o Lokuana and read the story along the way. At the top of the puʻu, the panoramic view invites you to imagine the path of the gourd vine from Kamāʻoa to Kapuʻa. The storyboards are also translated into ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. Free entrance.

  • When: Debuts during National Park Week. Kahuku is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
  • Where: Puʻu o Lokuana Trail, Kahuku. The entrance is located near the 70.5-mile marker in Kaʻū, about an hour drive south of the main park entrance.
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Stewardship at the Summit: Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plants that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Visit the park website for additional details.

A volunteer ranger leads a guided hike at HVNP.
  • When: 8:45 a.m. Saturday, April 16, and Friday, April 22.
  • Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field on the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai.

Explore the Summit with a Ranger: Take a short walk with a ranger as you explore the summit. Topics vary from geology and ecology to Hawaiian culture. Check at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai for more information about topics for the day and see additional offerings. Free (park entrance fees apply).

  • When: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. Additional programs might be offered. Walk is about an hour.
  • Where: Meet at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Hike Mau Loa o Maunaulu: Discover Mau Loa o Maunaulu, the “Forever Growing Mountain.” Hike with a ranger to the top of Maunaulu lava shield for panoramic views of the 1969-74 eruption that crossed Chain of Craters Road multiple times and dramatically changed the landscape. Learn about volcanology, geology and their effect on the landscape. Develop an understanding of how Hawaiians observed and understood their relationship with these forces. Expect a moderately difficult 4-mile hike over unstable terrain. Participants must be able to complete the hike, bring sun protection, have closed-toed shoes and are required to bring water. Space is limited; get a free ticket at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai the day of the program. Free (park entrance fees apply).

  • When: 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tickets are available starting at 9 a.m. the day of the hike. Hike is about 3-4 hours.
  • Where: Meet at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai.
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A Walk into the Past with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar: Walk back to 1912 and meet the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea volcano. Dressed in period costume, Ka‘ū actor-director Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life, taking participants on a short walk to the crater rim behind Volcano House, near Jaggar’s former lab. Learn what motivated Jaggar to dedicate his life to the study of Hawaiian volcanoes and how his work helps save lives today. Space is limited; pick up your free ticket at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai the day of the program. Free (park entrance fees apply).

  • When: 10 a.m. and noon Friday, April 22. Each performance is about an hour.
  • Where: Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center.

Pu‘u o Lokuana Cinder Cone: Join this one-hour, ranger-guided, 0.4-mile loop and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū and the wide Pacific Ocean from this scenic peak. Free entrance.

Come out for the Merrie Monarch Parade and cheer on park rangers as they march in the parade in downtown Hilo.
  • When: 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, April 16.
  • Where: Meet at Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Entrance is located near the 70.5-mile marker in Kaʻū, about an hour drive south of the main park entrance.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku: A moderately difficult, ranger-guided half-mile, 90-minute hike on Kamakapaʻa Trail. Free entrance.

  • When: 9:30-11 a.m. Sunday, April 17.
  • Where: Meet at Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station.

Birth of Kahuku: Explore the geologic history of Kahuku during this ranger-guided, two-hour, 2-mile hike on Puʻu o Lokuana Trail. Free entrance.

  • When: 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, April 23.
  • Where: Meet at Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station.

Merrie Monarch Parade: Cheer on park rangers and native plant and animal species as rangers march in uniform and costume to celebrate the return of the Merrie Monarch Parade in downtown Hilo.

  • When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 23
  • Where: Downtown Hilo

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua: Learn about the most prominent native tree in Kahuku during this easy, ranger-guided 1-mile, 90-minute walk-and-talk-story program. Free entrance.

  • When: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 24.
  • Where: Meet at Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is excited to again offer scheduled and spontaneous park ranger-guided programs and hikes, as well as other events and programs. For more information about park events and programs beyond National Park Week, check HVNP’s online calendar or stop by the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai or the Kahuku Visitor Contact Station.

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