Just 30 miles outside of Hilo is one of the most popular, and majestic, visitor attractions in Hawaii. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to Kilauea volcano, houses one of the most active volcanoes on earth, having created 491 acres of new land on Hawaii Island since 1994. With its landscapes ranging from lush rainforests to silversword dotted deserts, this 333,000-acre park has over 150 miles of hiking trails for you to explore its cultural and natural significance.
Just a 40 minute drive away
The Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo is only 40 minutes away from the park (compared to 2 hours from Kona), making Volcanoes the perfect day trip for guests. Start your morning with breakfast at the hotel, take a leisurely drive to the park, spend the say in nature, and then be back in Hilo to enjoy dinner or drinks and pupus at The Lobby Bar. You can conveniently book your daytime or evening volcano tour at the hotel through the Kapohokine Adventure’s activity desk at the hotel.
What to do at the park
With so much to do at the park, we recommend checking out some of the area’s most awe-inspiring spots. The Kilauea Iki Trail is a fantastic day hike (4-mile loop) where you’ll descend through a rainforest to the floor of a solidified lava lake. Discovered in 1913, Nahuku, also called the Thurston Lava Tube, is a 20-minute walk through a tree fern forest and lighted cave-like lava tube. The Steam Vents, just under a mile outside the Kilauea Visitor Center, is where you can view steamy groundwater rise from the hot volcanic rock. Before leaving the park, head over to the Jagger Museum at dusk for a once in a lifetime experience where you’ll view the glow emanating from the Halemaumau crater.
Ask the Experts
For special tips and information about viewing the lava flow, visit our Q&A page where local area experts answer some frequently asked questions!