Top 10 Tips for Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
There are so many sights to see when you’re visiting Hawaii. From the history of Pearl Harbor to the lush Road to Hana on Maui, it’s hard to choose what you should do and see. But if you’re interested in some really unique tourism, consider volcano activities on the Big Island. This is the island home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and one of the world’s most active volcanoes—Mount Kilauea. You’ll want to spend some time here, so here are 10 tips for visiting Volcanoes National Park:
- First, be sure to see Mount Kilauea! It’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been erupting since 1983. In those 30+ years it has created more than 500 new acres of land on the Big Island. You don’t want to miss this volcano—it’s the anchor of the park.
- Be sure to also see the other volcano in the park, Mauna Loa. This volcano is much older and larger than Kilauea. Measured from its base—more than 18,000 feet below sea level—to its summit, this volcano is taller than Mount Everest and it’s also the single largest mountain in the world. This giant is a sight to see and has some harsh hiking that makes for a challenging and rewarding journey.
- Book a tour of the park on a website like DiscoverHawaiiTours.com. It’s great to do a day on your own, but you’ll get much more out of the experience if you book a tour. The guides will give you loads of information you wouldn’t have found without an experienced tour guide.
- Wear sensible shoes because you’ll do a lot of walking. Some hikes are longer than others and you can always choose to stay back at the mini coach if you’re on a tour. But you’ll want to get the most out of the park, so you’ll likely do quite a bit of hiking.
- Wear sun block and bug spray. Hawaiian mosquitoes are not what you’re used to. They will eat you alive if you’re not prepared! You’ll also want a hat to shield your face from the strong island sun.
- Don’t take anything. It should go without saying, but you should never take anything from a national park. If you want a way to remember your time there, take photos or hit the gift shop at the park station.
- Make sure you see the petroglyphs. There is an area of the park with more than 23,000 images carved into the lava rocks by Hawaii’s ancient inhabitants. This is a very cool way to see how history meets geology!
- Bring snacks. Even if your tour includes lunch, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and there won’t be anything around for you to stop and get a snack. If you’re the type to need a granola bar, be sure to pack your own.
- Also bring plenty of water. Parts of the park are forest and other areas are desert. You’ll want plenty of water to stay hydrated no matter which climate zone you’re hiking through.
- Have your camera ready. There’s a reason the United Nations named this park a world heritage site. You’ll discover some amazing sights and want to document your time there!
Written By: Leo Malagon