Crater Rim Trail | Volcanoes National Park | Hawaii (Big Island) Website:https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hike_day_craterrim.htm Know Before You Go: Take plenty of water and plenty of sunblock. This was a hot hike and it’s short on shade in many spots. We found that, as Midwesterners, we burn faster in spots like Hawaii that are closer to the equator. Bug spray is also a good idea because we did find mosquitoes in the rain forest portions. Parking can fill up fast so it’s best to arrive at the park before 9 a.m. Be careful around the edges of the trail as they can be slippery. Length: Variable. This trail used to be 5 miles one way, but you can no longer hike the entire Crater Rim Trail continuously because parts of it fell in when Kilauea erupted in 2018. Time: Depends on how much you choose to hike. Difficulty: Easy. Terrain: Rocky, aggregate, dirt. Dog-friendly: No. Dogs are only allowed in certain parking lots and roads in the park, not on trails. Kid-friendly: Yes, but keep the kiddos away from the edges of the trail and the steam vents.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, so there’s no better place to see the effects of volcanoes on nature. The Crater Rim Trail takes you along Waldron Ledge where you can see into the Kilauea Caldera, the inside of the Kilauea Volcano. You can’t hike the entire trail like you used to be able to because parts of it fell in the last time the volcano erupted. Parts of this trail hike through a lush rain forest that offers a lovely look at the beautiful plant life Hawaii is known for.
This trail allows you to see the aftermath of the 2018 summit collapse and of several eruptions that have happened since then. You can no longer hike the entire Crater Rim Trail continuously because parts of it fell in when Kilauea erupted in 2018.
We hiked this trail and connected with the Kilauea Iki Crater Trail for a spectacular loop walk above and inside the volcano. On the east side we detoured to the Thurston Lava Tube, which allows you to walk through the volcano and see the world lava created. Parking is in very short supply at the Lava Tube so it was a great way to see where a river of lava flowed 500 years ago.
Of all the hikes we did in Hawaii, we found those at Volcanoes National Park to be the most incredible - partially because you only need to walk another half mile and the landscape changes. We chose to do several short hikes instead of one long one so we could see more of the park. We saw a range of sulfur banks, steam vents, lava deposits and rain forest. This park was a gorgeous sampler platter of natural wonders that you can only access in Hawaii.