Nāulu and Nāpau trails to reopen Saturday (Aug 13) at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


click on map for larger view

click on map for larger view

Hawai‘i National Park, HI – Two popular hiking trails within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will reopen for day use on Sat., Aug. 13, once new safety signage and hiker registration stations are in place. Park management temporarily closed Nāulu and Nāpau trails Aug. 3 to evaluate potential hazards caused by a new eruption along the west flank of Kīlauea’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent.

Both trails, which originate at points off Chain of Craters Road, will open for day use only, from sunrise to sunset. Nāpau Campsite, the terminus of the trails, remains closed to overnight campers.

“We closed these two remote east rift zone trails to evaluate their safety for the public, and install signage at the Nāpau Crater Overlook,” said Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno. “We’ve determined it’s safe to reopen for public enjoyment during the day; however we will continue to monitor the area closely. Those with respiratory or heart conditions, young children, pregnant women and the elderly are advised not to attempt these strenuous hikes due to the potential for elevated S02 levels in the area,” Magno said.

Fire management teams are working in the area, using helicopters to transport crew and equipment. The public should not approach the crew or helicopters, and should stay on trails at all times, Magno said.

Hikers need to be prepared, and must register at either Kīlauea Visitor Center (open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.), or at the newly installed registration boxes , logging their name, cell phone number and start and finish times. The new registration boxes are located at the start of Nāulu Trail, and on the Nāpau Trail between Pu‘u Huluhulu and Mauna Ulu. For detailed information about the trails and how to prepare, visit http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hike_napau.htm

Nāpau Trail is a difficult 14-mile round trip trek that passes through uneven pāhoehoe lava flows, Hawaiian rainforests, Pu‘u Huluhulu, Mauna Ulu and Makaopuhi Crater. It also affords magnificent views of Nāpau and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō craters. Hikers can expect to complete it within six to nine hours. Nāpau Trail is closed to all entry beyond the Nāpau Campsite due to unpredictable and dangerous volcanic activity.

Nāulu Trail is a challenging 10.4-mile round trip hike across ‘a‘ā lava flows from the Mauna Ulu eruptions and meanders through rainforest. It connects to the Nāpau Trail and offers a shorter route to the Nāpau Crater Overlook, with uphill elevation gain of approximately 800 feet. Hikers can expect to complete the trail in about 5 ½ hours. Once at the Nāpau Crater Overlook, hikers can gaze across the flow field towards Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. At press time, the lava flow fields in the foreground were 1.5 miles away from the overlook.

Both hikes are backcountry hikes through the Nāpau Wilderness Area within Kīlauea’s fascinating east rift zone, and are located entirely within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory closely monitor KÄ«lauea for impending signs of volcanic changes. For eruption updates, visit http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS Weather Alerts

  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.