Pele’s home, Halemaʻumaʻu crater, is one of the most enchanting places on earth and we’re lucky to have the lava flowing steadily and safely again.
Viewing the active caldera can get confusing, especially at night, so I put together this short guide to help photographers and looky-loos alike visit safely and responsibly.
Lava viewing directions:
From the HVNP font entrance, make the first left past the gate and take Crater Rim Dr. all the way until you reach a T in the road. Take a right into the parking lot and get ready for a short (~2mi) hike. Map of viewing area below.
While it’s true you can see some of the action from the Jagger museum side, I highly reccomend skipping that viewing angle entirely.
Before going, check the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s website for any closures, warnings, or more info on exploring the park. All the staff, and people in general are really helpful up there so don’t be timid if you’re lost.
Reccomended viewing times:
My favorite overall time to go is around 11pm because I lean more towards astro photography and enjoy dodging crowds. If you’re a sunset chaser you can never go wrong with that but you will be fighting crowds so be aware. If you’re a go-getter sunrise is the one.
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