Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopens walk-thru lava tube, rainforest trail

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) announced the reopening of Nāhuku on Friday, March 26, 2021. Nāhuku, also known as the Thurston Lava Tube, has been closed since March, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Park officials say, there are now one-way signs along the trail to keep visitors moving in the same direction through the native rainforest, into the lava tube and back through the rainforest.

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A superintendent at HNVP said, staff are excited to reopen the attraction that was formed over 500 years ago.

“We are excited to again share the incredible experience of walking through native rainforest into a lava tube that was formed during a Kīlauea eruption more than 500 years ago. The one-way flow reduces social distancing conflicts in the cave and on the trail, and we are relying on visitors and our community to recreate responsibly. Please wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be achieved.”

Rhonda Loh, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park superintendent

Nāhuku is lit from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is open 24 hours a day. Officials advise bringing a headlamp or flashlight during dark hours. Restrooms are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. near the lava tube and a new vault toilet is also available at the Kīlauea Iki parking lot.  

The lava tube was closed after the 2018 eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea. Large rocks were dislodged in the celling during the eruption and new cracks appeared. Crack monitors have been installed and a low-hanging rock was marked off to prevent visitors from injuring their heads.

Click here for more information on Nāhuku

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