HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hikers can now use the entire Kīlauea Iki Trail at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
NPS officials say about half of the trail has been open since April 19, 2019, but the rest of the four-mile loop remained closed for repairs until now.
The Kilauea Iki Trail and many park areas were severely damaged during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption which included more than 60,000 earthquakes at the summit.
“The reopening of the entire Kilauea Iki Trail is one more example of how Hawaii Volcanoes National Park continues the path to recovery from the 2018 Kilauea eruption and the associated seismic events,” stated Acting Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “This recovery would not be possible without the critical support of our park partners. We are grateful for the support the park has received from Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to help with critical repairs. While the path to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, we look forward to reopening more of the park in the months to come,” she said.
One of the park’s most popular trails, Kilauea Iki Trail is a four-mile, moderately-strenuous hike that drops 400-feet (122 meters) from the summit of the crater to the crater floor. A walk along the crater floor transports you to a unique environment. Kīlauea Iki looks fairly tranquil these days but, in 1959 it was a seething lava lake, with lava fountains up to 1,900 feet high.
September 22 will mark the one-year anniversary of the park reopening following an unprecedented 134-day closure due to the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
For more updates and a chronology of park recovery efforts, visit https://www.nps.gov/havo/recovery.htm.
The trail was able to open with financial support of the park’s non-profit partner, the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the park’s trail crew, assisted by trail crew members from other national parks as they repaired the damaged sections of Kilauea Iki Trail including areas of significant rock fall along Byron Ledge.