Volcano Tour:  Kilauea Volcano Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips departing daily. 11 - 12 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Kings’ Shops.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; All ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Continental Breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $179.00, plus tax. Child (12 and under): $159.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, long pants, and a light jacket.

Full Description

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an inspiring and precious place. It is listed as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere preserve.  Once at the park we will see splendid native rainforest, visit a lava tube, discover remarkable volcanic formations and experience an incredible diversity of geography and climates.  Through detailed geologic and natural history interpretation, short walks and driving, we explore and learn about the world’s most active volcano. A picnic lunch is served en route during our adventure through the park.

You’ll really get an idea of how big the Big Island is during the course of this tour. And you’ll appreciate that someone else is doing the driving. Starting out from our headquarters in Kona, we travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea. Turning onto the Saddle Road that traverses the island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, you’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub-alpine dryforest and rainforest (with striking features such as cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes and kipuka). We’ll stop for a short break and continental-style breakfast.

Continuing on, we drop down to near sea-level on our way through Hilo where we begin the final climb to the summit of Kilauea and the lush entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the way back, we’ll travel along the Hamakua Coast and pass through Waimea before returning to Kona. By the end of the day, you’ll have traveled over 300 miles and experienced an elevation change (we go up and down a few times!) of over 30,000 feet.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of less than one mile.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Except for the lava tube exploration, the trails are relatively level. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend approximately 30 feet.
  3. Will we get to see active lava? Due to the dynamic nature of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Volcano, active lava viewing conditions can change daily or even hourly. The best chance to see the active lava flow is on our Twlight Volcano Adventure. Please contact our office staff for the most current volcano conditions, or visit the Eruption update page via the hyperlink in the Links section.

 

Comments

We appreciate your comments! If you've taken a tour and would like to share your feedback, please leave a comment. If you have questions regarding tour specifics, like times, reservations or other details prior to your tour, please use the contact form.

By Chris Colvin on 2014/01/02

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By Sonal on 2013/10/04

Hi, we are a group of 8, including my parents in 60s and 2 childres ages 7 and 4. What would you recommend us do as far as tours are concerned. We will be on the island for only 4 days. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] A great tour for families is our Kohala Waterfall Adventure.  It includes an easy waterfall hike, swim and a shopping stop in the plantation town of Hawi.  It’s also on the shorter side, around 6 hours round trip from the Kohala resorts.  Our full-day volcano tours are also a good option.  We typically stop every 60 - 90 minutes to explore.

By Roger Kauffman on 2013/09/29

We are planning to take the twilight tour but prefer to be centered on the Hilo side of the island.  Do you have pickup in that area or do we need to have housing in the Kona area for the time of our tour?
Thank you,

Roger

[Hawaii Forest & Trail:] We can arrange Hilo pickups on both of our full-day Volcano excursions.  Call us toll free at your convenience and one of our Guest Services Representatives will be happy to discuss the details with you.  You can reach us until 9:00 pm nightly at 1-800-464-1993.

By erelene on 2013/04/11

DO you pick up at hotel in kona ? Particually the COurtyard
[Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Yes, we have a morning shuttle that picks up at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Beach Hotel for the Kilauea Volcano, Kohala Waterfall and Kohala Zip & Dip Adventure tours.

By peter raynham on 2013/03/23

we hope to visit big island in oct 13, where is the best area to stay in to pick up your volcano tour, we will only have one full day in hawaii, thanks peter. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] We have pickups available for our Kilauea Volcano tour at all major resorts and hotels in Kona and Kohala.

By Yang on 2013/03/16

We have 9 people, three elderly in their early 80s (in good health) and two kids who are 9 and 11. Would this be a good tour for us? We will be flying from oahu to Hawaii Island. Where should we be catching the tour, in hilo? And how far is that from the airport?
Thanks.
Yang [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] This is a great tour for your party.  We typically do shorter hikes and walks on this trip, but if the group is up for it, we can also do longer moderate hikes like Kilauea Iki.  To get the most out of the tour, we do recommend starting in Kona.  Please call us toll free at 1-800-464-1993 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to work out the best itinerary.

By Tera on 2013/01/29

Hi. I’m interested in booking one of the volcano tours. I’m worried because my daughter has a serious food allergy to dairy and nuts. Would there be food without cheese, milk, cream, butter, etc and nuts available? I appreciate honesty since her allergy is severe not mild. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Hi there, we’re usually able to accommodate most food allergies, but we do use outside caterers.  If it is a severe allergy, it may be best to bring along food you know is safe to prevent any chance of a reaction.

By Efi on 2012/07/15

Hi there,


planning to do this tour in Sept can you confirm if tour includes Jaggar Museum,lava tube, Visitor Center, and Halemaumau Crater. does the tour travel on Crater Rim Drive   [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Yes, those are all scheduled stops, conditions permitting.  We do travel on Crater Rim Drive, although the road is currently closed south of Jaggar Museum to Chain of Craters Road.

By Aimee on 2012/07/02

Hi, we are going to be travelling to Hawaii in October. We have two small children 18months and four, is this a good tour to take them or is there something else you would suggest? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Our most family friendly activity is our Kohala Waterfall adventure.  It’s shorter with less time in the vehicle.  Please call our office toll-free at 1-800-464-1993 and we can discuss some options to accommodate you and your family.

By Leisa Anderson on 2012/06/22

Hello I would like to book the Kilauea Volcano Adventure Tour and would like to know how I would get to Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters from Keauhou Beach Resort, 78-6740 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona as I will not be hiring a car. Is it within walking distace or is there a bus that goes along this route? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] You’ll want to take a cab, as the Keauhou Beach Resort is about 10 miles from our office.  We can drop you off at the end of the tour.

By Emily on 2012/06/16

We are planning to book the Twilight Volcano Adventure of July 8th. We will stay in Aston Shores at Waikoloa. Do you have pickup arrangement at this hotel? Thanks, Emily. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Your closest pickup location would be about 1/2 a mile away in front of Roy’s Reastaurant at the Kings’ Shops.

By Bob Lundin on 2012/06/15

We will be staying at Hilton King’s Land.  Where will I meet the tour and where can I park the rental car? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] The pickup for this tour is at Roy’s Restaurant in the Kings’ Shops.  There is plenty of parking available there.

By Bonnie Sofranek on 2012/06/15

Is there bathroom facitities on the tour bus? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] We do not have restrooms on board our vans.  However, we typically stop every 60 - 90 minutes and stops usually include a restroom.

By sonia on 2012/06/10

Does this tour include a visit to the Jaggar Museum and a drive around the crater rim? Thanks. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Yes, Jaggar Museum is on our list of “must see” spots including:  a lava tube, Visitor Center, and Halemaumau Crater.  Crater Rim Drive is currently closed from Jaggar Museum to Chain of Craters Road due to increased volcanic activity.  We travel as much of Crater Rim Drive as we can.

By YUMIKO on 2012/06/04

I am planning to take part in volcano tour(day time).What time does the tour start?

And I am not good at listening English.Does it bother you? [Hawaii Forest & Trail] The tour departs our Headquarter store at 6:50 am.  Our guides do their best to communicate effectively.  If you’re looking for a specific language tour, please email us as another operator may be a better fit.

By Manny Kay on 2012/05/26

We are a party of 7 and are arriving on a cruise July 10 this year and will be in Hilo for one day. We are interested in a tour of the volcano park but your tour description lists the tour at 12 hours. Do you have a shorter tour, mor elike 8 hours? 
[Hawaii Forest & Trail:] The 12 hour tour length is from the tour start in Kona, about 2.5 hours from Hilo.  If you’re catching the tour in Hilo, the tour length will be closer to 6 - 7 hours.

By Ann VanDePol on 2011/09/18

Before I book a tour with you, could you pls explain how I would arrive at the ‘Waikoloa Kings Shops’ so I can pick up your tour to the volcanoes when I am staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village?  Is this ‘Kings Shop’ in the Hilton complex???  If not, how do I get there without renting a car??

Hawaii Forest & Trail:  Hi, Ann.  We actually have a pickup available at the Hilton!  For folks not staying at the Hilton but in the Waikoloa area, they can meet most tours at either the Kings’ Shops or Queen’s Marketplace.

By Diana on 2011/07/06

Since we want to see the lava flow and walk through the lava tube, do you recommend the twilight tour? What time does the twilight tour begin?

REPLY FROM HAWAII FORET & TRAIL:
Yes, your best chances to see molten lava are on our Twilight Volcano Adventure, although if conditions permit, we will access the flow on our daytime Kilauea Volcano Adventure, too.  The Twilight departure times vary through the year, but leave between 10:30 am and 11:00 am.

By Pat Kramer on 2011/04/22

I did a tour by myself driving to the volcano and back from Kilua-Kona last week. It was exhausting! Also, when I was on the volcano, I asked a Park Ranger where the Kilua Iki trail began. He gave me completely wrong info which led to my getting lost and walking about a mile out of my way. I ended up not having enough time to do the hike so I do recommend going with this group. It sounds like it would have been a lot more pleasant an experience for me. All told, it was not a great day at the volcano due to what I just described!

By Amy Kirkwood on 2011/04/06

My travel agent has booked me on this tour for 11th August 2011.  I am staying at Royal Kona Resort.  Will you be picking me up from my hotel as I will not have a vehicle.  If not what are pick up arrangements and at what time?

HAWAII FOREST & TRAIL:  Hi, Amy.  Great to hear you’ll be joining us this summer.  You’ll want to check in at our headquarters about 15 minutes prior to departure.  We’re approximately 10 minutes north of the Royal Kona Resort, on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, acorss from Honokohau Harbor behind the Tesoro Gas Station.

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