Photo by Heather Morse on Unsplash

Photo by Heather Morse on Unsplash

How to See Lava in Hawaii, Updated 2024

Shaka Guide

Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip to See Lava in Hawaii

If you're lucky enough to visit Volcanoes National Park when the volcano is awake, here's what you need to know about where to see lava: 

  1. Check Conditions Before Your Visit - Eruption conditions change daily. Check the park website here for alerts and to find the best and safest places to view the eruption.
  2. Try to Plan a Night Visit - Trust us, it’s worth it - you can see the lava and its glow. 
  3. Check the Weather in Advance - Visibility can be low due to fog, vog, or rain clouds. 
  4. Pack Accordingly - At 4,000 feet above sea level, the crater rim can be cold, especially at night. Pack a jacket and layers and wear closed-toed shoes for the walk to the viewpoint. Also, bring a flashlight or headlamp - the trail is dark. 
  5. Expect Delays and Crowds - Loads of people want to see lava, just like you! So come early and please drive safely and slowly in the park. You should expect full parking lots and wait times. It's best to try to avoid the busy viewing times between 4-8 PM. 
  6. Be Respectful - Please respect this sacred landscape. You can do this by staying on marked trails, driving slowly to protect the nene (Hawaii's state bird), and NOT removing any lava rocks from the park.  

Pele - the Goddess of Volcanoes and Fire - is at it again. Learn about the legends of Pele on our Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Travel Guide for more! 

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