Kilauea Volcano Lava Hike Tour

Volcano
Transportation Available
Meals Included
Woman hiking lava fields

Highlights

  • Rare opportunity to view flowing lava up-close
  • Virtually the only place in the world you can see lava creating new land
  • Hike from private land closer than public parking, saving 4+ miles round-trip
  • Guide ensures your safety & comfort and tells stories of Hawaiian mythology
  • Sunset as backdrop, and darkness provides optimal contrast to lava
  • Hiking gear, dinner, snacks, and drinks
From
$179 per adult
  • Pickup Afternoon
  • Duration 6 - 12 hours

Overview

Experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness up-close and feel the heat of flowing lava! You’ll hike through solidified lava fields at the base of Kilauea Volcano before reaching the recent lava flows. Depending on the conditions that day, you will likely observe surface lava flows coming down the volcano and creating new land in front of your eyes. The lava has become accessible recently for the first time in years, so don’t miss out while nature’s spectacle lasts!

May 2018 Update

As of late March 2018, the lava flow is no longer safely and legally accessible for any tour and therefore this tour has not been running. You may want to consider another volcano tour (which includes lava viewing in the Park).

Tour Details

You will be led by a highly trained guide in a small group who will ensure your safety and that the tour is conducted in a way that is legal, responsible, and culturally sensitive. The guide will also inform and entertain you about Kilauea from a scientific, historical, and cultural perspective. The hike departs from an exclusive private parking area which is 2 miles closer to the flow, reducing a long 12-14 mile hike from the public parking area to current surface flows to a more doable 8-10 miles round-trip.

For your comfort and safety, walking sticks, flashlights, binoculars, day packs, protective gloves, bug spray, water, and rain ponchos are provided. In addition to drinks and snacks, the tour will stop at a local favorite restaurant for dinner (included in price). The hike starts south of Hilo, but the default meeting location is Hilo, or pick-up service is available from Kona and Waikoloa (see map below) for $33.60/person and includes a deli lunch.

This is typically a 4+ hour, 8-10 mile round-trip hike in order to get as close as possible to lava on land. This includes about 45-60 minutes of lava viewing and some breaks. About 1/2 of it is on uneven lava rocks; the other half is on a gravel road. The lava rocks are up-and-down, but the overall elevation gain is not significant (i.e. no hills to climb or steep surfaces). Closed-toe shoes are required, preferably athletic sneakers or hiking boots (even better). No children under the age of 13.

Booking Tips

NO AVAILABILITY? If at least a couple days in advance, please email us (contact@travelshack.com) so we can look into the possibility of adding this tour on an additional date. Please include the # of people in your party and all possible dates that would work for you.

Want to consider other volcano tours, perhaps without a long strenuous hike? Check out our other options.

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TravelShack's Choice

Why we recommend this option over others
Review by TravelShack Team
  • The most reputable and one of the longest running tour operators on the Big Island (almost 25 years)
  • Known for knowledgeable and professional guides, including experts in volcanology and history
  • Departs from private land closest to the flow
  • Pick-up service from Kona and Waikoloa (not just volcano side of island)
  • Provide food (lunch, dinner, snacks) so you don't have to worry about bringing your own
  • Comfortable first-class van transport (no back of a pick-up truck)
  • Small group of only 5-12 people
  • Fully licensed & permitted with the National Park (tours that are not must bypass parts of the easier gravel road)
  • Provide full set of hiking gear and plenty of water for your safety and comfort
  • Biking on gravel road to lava ocean entry frequently results in injuries and is particularly challenging in the dark (for optimal lava viewing)

Location

  • Volcano
  • Hilo, Kona, Waikoloa
Hike Location
Kalapana area in South Puna

Tour Times
Pick up 12-3:45 pm, return 8:30 pm - 12:30 am, depending on location & time of year. See FAQ for details.
Guidebook Reviews

Hawaii Big Island Revealed Guidebook:

It is a humbling experience to stand there and observe Earthly creation, like seeing the planet during its fiery adolescence. There are not many places on this planet where you can walk on ground younger than you are, where you can be assured that there is absolutely nothing alive beneath your feet except for the earth itself. We've been there when people from all over the world stand in awe, tears streaming down their cheeks as they tell their children, "You may never see anything like this again in your lifetime.

Lonely Planet Guidebook:

Top-notch ecotour outfitter with knowledgeable guides

Moon Guidebook:

Wonderful company with an excellent environmental ethic—the tours are highly recommended

Fodor's Guidebook:

This locally owned and operated outfit has built a reputation for outstanding nature tours and eco-adventures. Sustainability and cultural sensitivity is a company mission. They have access to thousands of acres of restricted or private lands and employ expert, certified guides who are entertaining and informative.

Frommer's Guidebook:

Well-trained guides narrate the entire trip, offering extensive ecological, geological, and cultural commentary (and more than a little humor). Tours are highly personalized to meet the group’s interests and abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Recognized at the local, state, and international levels as a leader in sustainable tourism
  • Certified by the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association
  • Donates to and partners with local environmental and community organizations
  • Reusable silverware, containers, and water bottles to reduce waste
  • Educates and is sensitive to the deep cultural significance of the volcano
Terms and Conditions
Cancellation Policy
  • No refunds after 48 hours prior to tour
Tax added at checkout:
  • 4.166% Hawaii sales tax (GET)
Restrictions (no refunds given if not followed):
  • No pregnant women or children under 13
  • Must be able to walk up to 8-10 miles on unpaved terrain, about half of it rocky/uneven.
  • Due to constantly changing conditions, lava viewing is not guaranteed. However, if the lava flow changes before the tour starts and it is no longer expected to be seen, the tour will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund.