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Keanakākoʻi Keanakākoʻi Crater

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

"Most of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to increased and damaging earthquakes, corrosive volcanic ash, and continuing explosions from Halema‘uma‘u, the summit crater of Kīlauea Volcano." Read More from the National Parks Service.

Round Trip Mileage:  2.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 250'

Gear: Standard hiking gear

Weather: NOAA forecast for Keanakākoʻi Crater

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Fee: $25 per car, $20 per motorcycle, or $12 per pedestrian/bicycle

Map: Topographical Map of Keanakākoʻi Crater

Overview: Keanakākoʻi means "cave of the adzes" because kahuna kākoʻi (carving experts) sought the hard basalt rock in the crater to create tools. Lava covered the ancient adze quarry in 1877, burying it forever. This hike travels past Keanakākoʻi Crater and ends at an overlook of the southeastern side of erupting Halema'uma'u Crater. This is the closest one can currently get to Halema'uma'u. This hike actually follows a portion of Crater Rim Drive that was closed in 2008 when the current eruption began. Sulfur dioxide from the eruption can cause respiratory distress to those with heart and lung conditions, pregnant women, and young children. The trade winds will normally carry gas away from this area, but stay aware for changing winds. This hike is open from 7am - 7pm.

Big Island Hikes has other hikes from this trailhead. Read about the Devastation Trail and the Byron Ledge Trail.

Halema'uma'u Crater in front of Mauna Loa

Getting to the Trailhead: Find the entrance to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park a few miles to the west of the town of Volcano Village. Pass through the entrance and drive straight ahead for less than 100 feet and turn left onto Crater Rim Drive. Follow Crater Rim drive until it intersects Chain of Craters Road. Do not take Chain of Craters Road - Turn right and park at the Devastation Trail parking area.

The Hike: From the Devastation Trail parking lot, hike back toward Crater Rim Drive. At the intersection of Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road, head west past a road barrier onto the closed portion of Crater Rim Drive. Walk the closed road for just over a mile through koa and ʻōhiʻa forest and find Keanakākoʻi Crater to your south. The hike continues a bit to a marked overlook set off by fences. This is the end of the hike - do not leave the marked area. Take in the big views of Halema'uma'u and looming Mauna Loa. Return the way you came.

Keanakākoʻi Crater