There are so many things to see at Volcanoes National Park. It is a great representation of what the big island has to offer! The park is HUGE. We really only saw a sliver of it, and we went twice during our stay. I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many rainbows in one area, in all our travels. We never tire of seeing rainbows!
The entrance fee is charged per car at $30 per vehicle. Keep in mind, this gets you entrance to the park for 7 days, so hold onto your receipt. If you’ve never been before, it’s best to go early in the day. If you’re traveling from Kona, Volcanoes National Park is a good 2 hours away. Although the park is open 24 hours a day, if you are unfamiliar with the area you will want to have the light of day on your side, while navigating. Once it starts to get dark, it gets VERY dark, and there are not many stops outside of the park. The best place to start your journey is the Kilauea Visitor Center, where you can speak to the friendly rangers. They will ask you how much time you have and help you put together an itinerary. They’ll also give you maps and great info on the park. Right before the sun goes down, head to the Jagger Museum where you can get an up close spectacular view of the Kilauea Caldera. Make sure you get there early enough because the parking lot fills up quick. Once evening starts to set in you’ll be treated to the beautiful warm glow, which will remind you that you are ON a volcano.
Thurstan Lava Tube Entrance
Steam Vents at Steaming Bluffs
One thing we were totally unprepared for during our visit, was the microclimate at the park. We truly did not pack warm enough clothes- or appropriate gear for rain. Pack a water proof windbreaker and some warm layers. We were actually freezing in most of our shots, but we soldiered on anyway, because volcanoes, rainbows, steam vents, lava tubes!
Holeil Sea Arch along Chain of Craters Rd.
Interested in seeing lava flows up close? To get up close and personal with some real action, you’re going to want to do a lava hike.