Kalapana Lava Viewing Area


About Kalapana Lava Viewing Area


Depending on the current state of eruption and the Hawaii Civil Defense safety levels, the Kalapana Viewing Area is a great place to see Kilauea perform. For safety reasons, authorized tours cannot take you any closer than the Hawaii Civil Defense allows. A short walk over rocky terrain may be anywhere from one-fourth mile (.5 km) to 1 mile (1.6 km) to reach the farthest point possible of the viewing area. (Photo: roy.luck/Flickr) ***Please note: Lava sighting is not guaranteed, we cannot promise youll see active flows on your tour. When the lava is flowing we will find the best viewing location for your tour. Stops at the Kalapana Viewing Area are not guaranteed and may or shortened in length due to poor visibility.***


Kilauea emerged from the sea sometime between 50 – 100,000 years ago. Fast forward a thousand centuries, and Kilauea begins a constant eruption cycle from 1983 to 2005. In 1990, the town of Kalapana was demolished by lava flows, destroying town buildings and disrupting beaches. Recently, new lava activity has been recorded in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. However, active lava sighting is not guaranteed on any tour of the Big Island volcanoes.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Big Island
  • Duration: Varies entirely on timing, location of viewing area, weather, and lava flow status. Lava sighting is not guaranteed, we cannot promise youll see active flows on your tour.
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picture opportunities, sometimes there are local vendors.
  • Insider Tip: The viewing area has some of the best evening shows of the volcano, especially when there is active lava.
  • Fun Fact: Past lava flows still remain in this area.
  • What to Expect: Black sand beach; Past lava flows; Kalapana Town; Kilauea from the distance