Sulphur Banks TrailSulphur Banks - 'Iliahi Trails Loop

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: 1.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 170'


Gear: Standard hiking gear

Weather: NOAA forecast for Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Learn about Hazards

Read my Disclaimer

Learn about Leave No Trace Principles

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

Map: Topographical Map of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Overview: This short, pleasant loop hike begins and ends at the Visitor Center and passes several thermal volcanic features. The loop described below follows the Sulphur Banks to the 'Iliahi Trail. 'Iliahi means 'sandalwood,' and you'll notice a considerable amount of these trees on the trail. The Sulphur gases emanating from these thermal features can cause respiratory distress to those with heart and lung conditions, pregnant women, and young children.

Big Island Hikes has several other hikes from the Visitor Center trailhead. See The Crater Rim Trail, The Waldron Ledge Loop, and The Halema'uma'u Trail.

Steam Vents along the trail

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 a 1/4 mile and park in the Visitor Center parking lot.

'Iliahi Trail

The Hike: Begin at the northwest corner of the Visitor Center parking lot (near the Volcano Art Center). Find the beginning of the Sulphur Banks Trail. This area is called Ha'akulamanu. Volcanic gases seep out of the ground along with groundwater steam. These gases are rich in carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Because of extreme underground heat, it is difficult for many trees to grow in this area. Eventually find boardwalks and then meet Crater Rim Drive. Cross over the road and find the Steam Vents area with a parking lot. Like the Sulphur Banks, this is another area where groundwater steam issues constantly from cracks in the ground. After crossing Crater Rim Drive, find the 'Iliahi Trail heading south. Quickly pass an intersection with the Crater Rim Trail, and continue along the 'Iliahi Trail for a half mile and pass the beginning of the Halema'uma'u Trail. Hike north and intersect the Crater Rim Trail again. This time, hike the Crater Rim trail east toward the Volcano House and Visitor Center. Cross over Crater Rim Road again and you're back at the Visitor Center.

Halema'uma'u from the 'Iliahi Trail