How to See Lava in Hawaii, Updated 2022
Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip to See Lava in Hawaii
Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, is erupting again! And you can actually go see it. Here's what you need to know about where to see lava in Hawaii:
- Lava is best seen at night along the south rim.
- You can walk about 1-mile to the Eruption Viewing Area near Keanakākoʻi.
- That’s the closest eruption viewpoint.
- Here you’ll see a lava lake that emits a reddish orange glow at night!
- Viewing is always dependent on eruption activity and weather conditions.
Planning a daytime visit? You can see volcanic gas and steam rising from several viewpoints along Crater Rim Drive!
Here are some tips for your visit if you're planning to see lava at Volcanoes National Park.
- Try to Plan a Night Visit - Trust us, it’s worth it - you can see the lava and it’s glow.
- Check Conditions Before Your Visit - Eruption conditions change daily. You can check conditions here.
- Check the Weather in Advance - Visibility can be low due to fog, vog, or rain clouds.
- 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.
- Expect Delays and Crowds - Loads of people want to see lava right now! 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.
- 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!
Check out our Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Travel Guide for more!
Want to see more in the park? Download our Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Tour!