New video shares tips for visiting Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park during busy holidays

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Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park welcomes almost 2 million visitors each year, and there is one thing park visitors can count on during the holidays: crowds.

From Thanksgiving through January is the park’s busiest time of the year, and extremely high visitor concentrations, traffic delays and no available parking at popular places during peak hours are common during those about two and a half months.

A park ranger directs holiday traffic along Crater Rim Drive at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. A helpful new video shares ranger tips on how to plan ahead for the best park experience during the busy holiday season. National Park Service photo by Janice Wei.

A new video shares tips from park rangers for how to plan ahead for the best park experience during the holidays and not let festive congestion dampen your spirits.

Click here to watch the video.


Those tips include:

  • Know before you go. Visit the park website ( for eruption updates, alerts, what to do and more before you arrive. You can also download the free National Park Service app to help you explore the park.
  • Be flexible. The park is open 24 hours a day. The busiest time is between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Popular overlooks and parking lots are often full. Kīlauea summit is the main destination for most visitors, but there are many places to go in the park. Have alternate destinations in mind, and strongly consider arriving before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Be respectful. Kīlauea and Mauna Loa are sacred and cherished landscapes. Be considerate of others and use your indoor voice at overlooks. Leave your mobile sound system at home. Point flashlights and headlamps at the ground to avoid blinding others.

The park encourages everyone to share the new video with anyone who plans to visit. With planning and flexibility, everyone can have a safe and memorable visit to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park this holiday season.


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