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Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park - BEST Places to Picnic

P.O. Box 52
Hawai`i National Park, HI 96718-0052

Visitor Information
(808) 985-6000

WELCOME to Hawai�i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai�i Volcanoes National Park displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution -- processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with unique ecosystems, and a distinct human culture. 

The park highlights two of the world's most active volcanoes, and offers insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and views of dramatic volcanic landscapes.

Places to Picnic:

  • Hilina Pali Overlook
  • Holei Sea Arch
  • Kealakomo
  • Kipukapuaulu
  • Mauna Loa Lookout
  • Namakanipaio

Archeological Sites

Over 300 archeological sites have been discovered in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. These sites can be found from the coastal lowlands to the alpine zone. Click on the links below for detailed information on some of these sites.


Caves within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park are predominately lava tubes, although there are other types of subterranean voids including sea caves, earth cracks, pit craters, volcanic vents, rift magma chambers, caves caused by inflation of lava sheets, and tree casts. Associated with many of these features are sensitive resources that include invertebrates, cultural remains, paleontological deposits, and unusual geologic formations. 

Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) is open every day to the public. Pua Po'o, another lava tube cave, is open to the public only through pre-arranged Ranger led tours every Wednesday. Please call the Visitors Center for reservations. Due to the sensitive and fragile nature of cave resources all other caves within the Park are closed to the general public as well as Park staff not involved in the direct management of the caves. 

Approved research permits are required for those interested in doing research in caves as well as for interpretive or educational purposes.

Cultural Landscapes

The Cultural Landscapes Inventory (CLI) is a comprehensive inventory of all historically significant landscapes within the National Park System. This evaluated inventory identifies and documents each landscape's location, physical development, significance, National Register of Historic Places eligibility, condition, as well as other valuable information for park management. 

Inventoried landscapes are listed on, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places, or otherwise treated as cultural resources. Click on the links below for detailed information on some of Hawai'i Volcanoes documented landscapes.

Nature and Science Overview

Well-known for its volcanic significance, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is also one of the most fascinating biologic landscapes in the world. Located over 2,000 miles from the nearest continental land mass, the Hawaiian Archipelago is the most geographically isolated group of islands on Earth. The Park sits on the southeastern edge of the youngest and largest island at a latitude of 19�N. 

Stretching from the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet to sea level, the Park protects a wide diversity of ecosystems and habitat for numerous native Hawaiian species such as carnivorous caterpillars, happy face spiders and colorful Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Hawaiian plants and animals began to evolve over 70 million years ago in nearly complete isolation and over 90% of the native terrestrial flora and fauna in Hawai'i are found only in the Hawaiian islands. 

This level of endemism surpasses all other places on Earth� even the Galapagos Islands. Consequently, the Park is a fantastic laboratory for the study of biogeography and evolution within the Pacific Islands.

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