It was an overwhelming feeling for many at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park today.
“This is just a stupendous day,” said park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane. “After being closed for 134 days, the Park opened this morning.”
HVNP reopening at 7 a.m., three hours earlier than they planned. Admission was free at National Parks across the country today for Public Lands day.
One Volcano resident remembering the last day the Park was open on May 10.
“I went back up to Jaggar Overlook, knowing it would be the last time for an unknown period of time. And the glow came up, and then just went out—like a candle being blown out,” said Eleanor Dunn.
“I did a countdown here for the Park,” she said laughing. “I love this place and I’m so very happy it’s open,” she said.
Visitors from around the world were happy to be on Hawaii island for the big day.
“We really want to see something like this, because we don’t have a chance in Germany to see great stuff like this. We’re lucky it’s the first day it’s open again,” said a visitor from Germany.
Others disappointed there was no lava in the park.
“I expected a lot of flowing lava, just mindset, but I guess it’s a lot different since the explosion,” said a visitor from Washington. “The steam vents all around are pretty cool to see the volcano is still active,” he said.
Several thousand people came to the Park today. Ferracane tells KHON2 parking was hard to find near the summit between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., but she was grateful it was a beautiful day.
“We are so elated to be standing here today welcoming back Park visitors and staff,” she said.
The park is open 24-hours again. However, staff is still asking visitors not to hike at night as there are cracks and sinkholes on some of the trails.