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Kilauea Volcano’s lava lake rises to new heights Monday (April 27)


The large lava lake in Halemaumau crater on the summit of Kilauea Volcano has risen to record heights threatening to overflow onto the crater floor. Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are being treated to a great view of the action.

Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Halemaumau Overlook Crater lava lake rose to within seven feet of Halemaumau’s floor according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory daily update Monday, April 27, 2015.

The summit of Kilauea Volcano continues to inflate and seismicity in the area remains elevated. Traffic during the evenings for visitors to the lookout has been busy but was calm Monday morning with light winds and hazy views of the lava lake.

The USGS/HVO has a set of Halemaumau Overlook Vent webcams providing recent images of the lava lake at hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cams/

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park viewing the eruption need a National Park pass or pay an entry fee. Parking can get crowded at the Jaggar Museum. (Kilauea PDF Map Link)

Lava watchers should bring binoculars as the lake is on the far side of Halemaumau. If visiting at night warm clothes should be worn due to very cool temperatures and unpredictable weather which may include rain and fog.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Info

Rise in Lava Lake Creates Surge in Visitation

Tips for an optimal viewing experience

Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Thousands of additional visitors are flocking to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to witness the large lava lake steadily rise at the summit of Kīlauea volcano.

Over the last several days, visitors waited up to 30 minutes or longer to park. To ease traffic once the Jaggar Museum and Kīlauea Overlook parking lots fill up, rangers are currently redirecting vehicles during peak visitation hours to park at the Kīlauea Military Camp ball field. From there, visitors can hike one mile to the Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest and best vantage point to view the spectacular lava lake.

“Visitors should come prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable park experience,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We encourage people to avoid peak hours, and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. if possible, or they will likely wait in line for parking. The park remains open 24 hours a day,” she said.

Tips for an optimal viewing experience:

  • Be prepared to hike one mile each way between Kīlauea Military Camp ball field and the Jaggar Museum observation deck on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in the parking areas.
  • As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in the Jaggar Museum or Kīlauea Overlook parking lots. Choose another picnic location so others have a chance to view the eruption.
  • To observe viewing and weather conditions, monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from HVO.
  • High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. Kīlauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawaii SO2 network website.

In addition, the public is reminded that park entrance fees apply and that the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited in all national parks.

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