Traveling to Hawaii without a visit to the big island volcano park is a travesty. The volcano is magnificent: In fact, it is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. If you’re staying at Mauna Lani Point, here is all the information you need to plan a day trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Travel Time and Routes
If you’re staying on the west side of the big island, in the beautiful condos at Mauna Lani, you’ll need to plan on a drive of at most three hours. There are two different routes you can take:
- Coastal Route: This route is indirect, but you’ll drive along the coast, which will give you beautiful views of the ocean. It takes a little under 3 hours, but you’ll enjoy much more coastal scenery (learn more about this scenic route).
- Inland Route: The inland route will get you to the big island volcano park in just over 2 hours, so this is the best option if you want to arrive sooner. This route is beautiful as well – you’ll drive through the Hilo Forest Reserve!
Regardless of the route you take to get to the big island volcano park, keep in mind to add some extra time, as you’ll likely want to stop and explore and take pictures along the way!
Where to Go
The visitor’s center is open from 7:45 to 5:00pm daily. This is a great place to start, as you can get information, pick up trail and park maps, ask about guided tours or other special events, and learn about the best to see the lava activity. Next, choose a drive or a hike that is of interest to your group. Be sure to bring lots of water, pack good snacks, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Avoid going off-trail, and be sure to check on current lava flow activity before you begin your hike! For a great list of things to do and see in the park (including places to eat), visit the follow site.
Visiting the Big Island Volcano Park: Enjoy the Moment
Our advice when visiting the big island volcano park is to enjoy the moment. Nothing is more magnificent than watching lava ebb and flow. This is one of nature’s most stunning gifts, and it’s incredible to sit back and watch the beauty unfold. This video captures the magic of visiting the big island volcano park perfectly:
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