Hawai'i State News

Park service extends comment period on congestion solutions at Kīlauea summit area

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Photo Courtesy: National Park Service

The comment period to provide input on a plan that will address congestion, safety, resource protection and improve the visitor experience in the busy Kīlauea summit area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has been extended to March 31.

The park enourages input, especially from those who hold a deep connection to Kīlauea, who participate in cultural protocol, and recreate or conduct business within the park.

The Kīlauea Summit Area and Corridor Management Plan will identify management strategies and solutions to reduce conflicts among cars, buses, motorcycles, bicyclists (including e-bikes) and pedestrians on park roads and trails that traverse the popular and often-crowded summit of Kīlauea volcano.  


An online newsletter describes the desired conditions of the project, the issues the plan will address, and project goals, and will be available for comment at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/kilaueasummitcmp.

The public comment period began Feb. 22 and was extended to March 31. This comment period is the initial phase of the plan and future opportunities to provide input will be announced as the plan develops.

Since 2008, following the first significant summit eruption since 1924, park visitation has soared with most visitors drawn to areas between Uēkahuna and Devastation, including Nāhuku lava tube, Kīlauea Iki, Kīlauea Visitor Center, the entrance station and the overall summit corridor. The high concentration of vehicles and people in a relatively small area often results in full parking lots, lines of traffic at the entrance station, crowded overlooks, resource damage and frustrated visitors.  


Major damage to Crater Rim Drive and the loss of buildings and infrastructure during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and summit collapse has exacerbated park congestion, especially during eruptions, and the busy winter and summer holiday travel seasons. The park lost Jaggar Museum, a portion of Crater Rim Drive, Halema’uma’u Overlook and ‘Iliahi Trail due to the eruptive events that year.  

The need for, and development of, a Kīlauea summit site plan was included in the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park 2016 General Management Plan.  

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