Camping in Volcanoes National Park

by Julie Blakley on February 24, 2008

by Julie Blakley | February 24th, 2008  

hawaii-volcanoes-national-park-postcard-60s.jpgWant to say you braved camping in the shadow of two of the world’s most active volcanoes? While visitors will be safe from spewing lava (there is no erupting or flowing lava within the park boundaries), you can spend more than just a few hours exploring 70 million years of volcanism and stay the night in Volcanoes National Park. There are several options for visitors who wish to stay in the park, ranging from roughing it on an overnight wilderness hike to drive-in camping to staying in one of the Volcano House Hotel cabins near Volcano Village.

Wilderness Camping

Those interested in exploring the park through a challenging overnight hike must be in top physical condition and be prepared with proper winter gear. Permits are required (but free!) to camp overnight. Permits, maps and trail information can be found at the Kilauea Visitor Center.

If you going to brave the wilderness for the night, make sure you are prepared with all the essential gear, including:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Trail Map
  • Open fires are prohibited in the park, so a cook stove is necessary
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Biodegradable soap and toilet paper
  • 3-4 quarts of water per person per day
  • Boots
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat
  • Good sleeping bag (temperatures can drop below freezing in some areas of the park).
  • Rain gear
  • Tent with rain fly

Also remember that Volcanoes National Park has a delicate ecosystem with many native plant and animal species so remember to pack out whatever you pack in!


Drive-In Camping

There are two drive-in campgrounds at the park, which are free with the payment of entrance into the park. Both campgrounds are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make get there early and remember there is no guarantee to finding a spot.

Namakanipaio Campground
camp_x220.jpgLocated 31.5 miles south of Hilo on Highway 11. Situated in a large, open grassy area with tall eucalyptus trees and ohia trees, campers can find a spot nestled among the shade of the trees. There are restrooms, potable water, picnic tables and bbq pits. The campground is located at 4,000 ft. and is cool and damp year round, so bring warm clothing and a good sleeping bag. Temperatures range from 60s to 70s during the day and 30s to low 50s at night.

Kulanaokuaiki Campground
Located 5 miles down Hilina Pali Road at 2,700 ft. There is no water at this campground, so make sure you bring enough for your stay. There are 8 campsites at this small campground, with outhouses and picnic tables. No fires or pets are allowed. Daytime temperatures range between 60 and 90 and between 40 and 60 at night.

Volcano House Hotel

*Unfortunately this Hotel is closed and scheduled to reopen in 2012*
These are rustic cabins located at the Namakanipaio Campgroundcamp_cabins_x2201.jpg. Each cabin sleeps 4 with one double bed and two twin bunk-style beds. While the cabins are protected from the weather, the cabins are not heated and can get cold at night. Bring warm clothing. Each cabin also has a picnic table and a bbq pit. Showers are also available.

Reservations are required. For information email: volcanohouse@hawauuantel.net or call (808) 967-7321.

For those campers who want to rough it without totally roughing it, showers can be rented. Call (808) 967-7321 for more information. There are also a variety of restaurants located in Volcano Village along with 2 small grocery stores, a hardware store, laundromat and a hardware store.


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: