East Hawaii News

Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo to reopen next week

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Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo, which have been closed since Sept. 23, 2023, because of a rock fall and partial collapse, will reopen to the public Jan. 16.

Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo. (Courtesy of Hawai‘i County)

“We are excited to welcome visitors back to Kaʻūmana Caves and share this remarkable natural wonder with the world once again,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth. “The safety of all in our community, including our cave explorers, is our top priority, and after assessing the site with local experts, we are confident it is safe to reopen the caves for visitors to enjoy.”

Prior to reopening, the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation plans to post new signage at the popular destination for Big Island residents and tourists, reminding visitors about the inherent risks associated with entering the caves and provides information about how to explore them safely.

Visitors to the cave system are encouraged to use the following clothing and equipment suggestions:

  • Flashlight or headlamp: The caves are dark, so a reliable source of light is important. Extra batteries are also recommended.
  • Closed-toe, sturdy shoes: Choose hiking boots or sneakers with good grip and ankle support, as cave floors can be uneven and slippery.
  • Gloves: Gloves can provide extra protection while navigating the caves.
  • Hard hat with a chin strap: There are many areas with low ceilings and potential for falling debris.
  • Long-sleeved shirt and long pants: These can help protect against scratches and insect bites while exploring the caves.

For more information, call the Parks and Recreation administration office at 808-961-8311.

Hawaiʻi County Parks and Recreation caretakers are pictured after the caves were closed in September 2023. (Courtesy of Hawaiʻi County)


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