Established in 1916, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park attracts somewhere around 2.5 million visitors a year, displaying 230,000 acres of volcanoes, including the world's most massive volcano, Mauna Loa, and the world's most active volcano, Kilauea. Not only does this offer scientists valuable insights on the birth of the Hawaiian volcanoes, but also gives visitors views of dramatic volcanic activity and landscapes. Tours of all kinds are offered as a way to get a close up view of volcanoes Hawaii has at the National Park, including driven tours, hiking tours, and hiking the 150 miles of trail on your own to see a Hawaii volcano up close.
One driving tour is an 11 mile driven tour called Cater Rim Drive, that highlights include Sulphur Banks, Jaggar Museum, and Steam Vents. The road circles the Hawaii volcano, Kilaua's, summit and passes through the rain forest and the desert. The road provides easy access to scenic stops, where visitors can get out and take short walks to see more of a Hawaii volcano.
Although there are other driven tours available, most visitors prefer to discover the park on foot. No matter if you only have one day to see the volcanoes Hawaii has, or if you have a week, there is a walking tour for you to see a Hawaii volcano closer than a picture. All trail options are clearly marked on available maps, if you prefer to hike without a tour guide.
A highly recommended hiking trail when you want to see Hawaiian volcanoes is the Kilauea Iki trail. It is a four mile trail, estimated two hour hike, that descends 400 feet through the rainforest into a crater. Then you get to hike across lava flows, still steaming from its last eruption in the year 1959.
If you are in good physical condition, and have a fair amount of time to take your hiking tour to see Hawaiian volcanoes, there is a trail that runs to the summit of the Mauan Loa, which is nearly14,000 feet. It is said to be an unforgettable back pack trip, and the hike is 19.6 miles long. It is estimated to take three to four days to reach the summit. If you decide to take this hike, be sure you are properly equipped for winter hiking.
With over half of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park available for hiking and camping, it has proven its recognition of its outstanding natural values. Touring the Hawaiian volcanoes gives the visitors the sense of how Hawaii was born, and how the volcanoes have evolved it over the centuries. Whether you have one day or a week, and whether you are in excellent physical shape or not, there is a hiking trail or driven tour available to suit your individual needs. Camping areas are also available, as well as designated areas on driven tours, where the tourist can get out for short walks, and to get a closer look at Hawaiian volcanoes. In order to take the longer hikes, it is necessary to be in excellent physical shape. It is also recommended to be prepared for winter hiking conditions, as the peaks of the Hawaiian volcanoes is high up. Shorter hiking trails are available for those looking for a day hike, or even less. All trails are clearly marked on a map that is available to all park visitors.