Volcano Tour:  Twilight Volcano Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Afternoon trips departing daily. 12 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; 8 and up recommended.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water. Picnic dinner, snacks, assorted beverages, bottled water, and hot cocoa.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, flashlights, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $189.00, 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

The excursion begins as we travel between two of the world’s largest mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.  The region between these volcanoes is locally known as the Saddle and is home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the world.  After a brief stop for lunch at Mauna Kea State Park, we continue east towards Hilo.  Included in the day’s itinerary is a stop at one of two lava tubes.  Lava tubes are caves that once carried molten rock from the eruption site down towards the ocean.  In addition to offering fascinating insights into how Hawaii’s eruptive history, these passages also offer excellent opportunities to test our trusty flashlights on a subterranean adventure. 

Leaving Mauna Loa behind, we make our final ascent to the summit of Kilauea inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Our Interpretive Guides will lead you through the must-see spots and hidden gems of this World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Preserve. As conditions change daily, we tailor your experience to the current eruptive events.  The summit caldera, steam vents, cinder fields, and native rainforests are all on our “must see” list.

After exploring the natural wonders of this World Heritage site, we’ll check current conditions to see which eruptive site is most active.  Our choices are Kalapana to witness the awesome power of lava as it enters the ocean at sunset, or Halemaumau Crater which contains a hidden lake of molten rock which glows after dark.  Also included in the evening’s itinerary is a delicious picnic dinner.  This is an incredible way to experience the dynamic energy of Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of up to 1.5 miles. The walk to the lava viewing area is approximately .5 miles over uneven terrain.
  2. Is there elevation gain?
  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. We will do our very best to get you as close as is safe and legal.

 

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 Kathy Lubetich on 2014/06/14

We took the twilight volcano tour with Taj as our guide on Tuesday, June 10 th- he was an exceptional tour guide- so knowledgeable about volcano information, plants & trees, Hawaiian culture etc. He is amazing ! Thoroughly enjoyed it. He goes the extra mile to take you special places & share his personal experiences. We are so glad we did it with him & not on our own. Thank you!

Kathy & John
Sent from my iPad

By Peter & Christine on 2014/06/08

We did the ‘Twilight Volcano Tour’ with Johnny just yesterday and it was an incredible experience from start to finish, nothing was too much trouble for Johnny who had a deep passion and knowledge of the volcanoes, botany and the local Hawaiian history. 

We highly recommend this Tour with Johnny as your Guide, it is a long day to the other side of the island and I felt safe and confident to be delivered safety back to our Resort.

By Paul & Judy Stirling on 2014/05/29

We took the Twilight Volcano Tour May 25, 2014.  It was a fantastic experience!  Mark, our guide, tailored the trip to our group & pointed out some native bird species when he found out that we were interested in birds.  The glow of the crater at night was especially what we were after & we were not disappointed.  Thanks for a wonderful time.

By Andrew on 2014/05/26

I went on the Twilight Volcano Tour a few weeks ago. Our guide Justin did a wonderful job with a combination of friendliness, knowledge, and aptitude. His information level about the islands and its history/topography/vegetation surpassed what I found in The Bishop Museum and other sources. The food for both meals was also shockingly good. Hawaii Forest & Trail makes sure you have a great experience.
I do want to mention that it’s possible your tour will not have enough people and you’ll have to switch, I recommend contacting them 2-3 weeks before to check on this. The PM tours seem to have more people so keep that in mind and make sure your plans are flexible enough to allow this.

By david carthy on 2013/11/23

Will be coming to Big Island in March/14, staying at Fairmont Orchid, Kohala.  Where is the nearest pick up point and, for the Twilight Tour, departure time and approx return? David Carthy [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Yes, the Twilight tour picks up at the Fairmont Orchid.

By Grace on 2013/10/21

We will stay in Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
and want to do this tour.  I am wondering if you will be able to pick up from this hotel. Thanks. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Aloha Grace.  We don’t have a pickup currently for this tour frrom the King Kamehameha Beach Hotel, but we’re just a short taxi drive north.  We can drop you off after, though!

By Alison Gagliardo on 2013/09/17

I will be visiting the Big Island in 2 weeks.  If I book this tour now is there a refund guaranteed if the weather does not hold up? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Keep in mind that we’ll cover over 300 miles on this tour, so it’s no unusual to encounter some rain along the way.  We go rain or shine and typically only cancel if it’s not safe to travel. If we cancel the trip due to weather, we’ll issue a 100% refund.

By Deepti on 2013/08/30

Does the tour include access fee to the park, jagger museum, and other regional attractions? Thanks! [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Yes, the tour is all inclusive and covers access fee for the day to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, along with lunch, dinner, souvenir waterbottle, beverages, and use of our trail gear (walking sticks, daypacks, warm wear and raingear.)

By Ursula on 2013/07/23

Does this trip also include the Jagger Museum?  Other than the lava flow what is the difference between this trip and the Kilauea Volcano Adventure?  Thanks [Hawaii Forest & Trail:]  Yes, we stop at Jaggar Museum during our visit to the summit area to see Halemaumau Crater.  The Kilauea Volcano tour typically has a bit more time to visit the native ranforest areas inside HVNP, and we also try and stop by our stewardship plot to help remove invasive weeds.

By Pedro on 2013/07/21

A couple of friends and I will be staying at the Kilauea Military Camp. is it relatively close to drive to either of the pick up points for the tour from there? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] You’ll actually be staying inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, so you’ll miss the drive over and the drive back.  We can pick you up at the Park Visitor Center, however, which is about 5 minutes from KMC.

By Jeanine and Paul on 2013/06/21

We went on the twilight valcano adventure this past week with our tour guide Matthew on June 19th. Me and my husband had a wonderful experience of exploring Hawaii’s history, wildlife and landscape. Matthew was very knowledgable and made the 12 hour trip fun, exciting and comfortable. We made several stops along the way and explored areas of the island we would have never seen on our own. Matthew was able to answer any questions that we may have had and was full of information. We got to see a lava tube and explored inside the cave. We made a short stop at rainbow waterfalls. We got to see the halemaumau crater, inside Hawaii’s national park and saw the lava glow at night. We also saw the devil’s throat and the aftermath of a fissure eruption. Just to name a few… It was a great experience all around.

By Rachael and Tim Mcconaghie on 2013/06/16

We spent only 3 short night on the The Big Island as part of our honeymoon and the Twilight Volcano Tour was definitely the highlight! It was a very full day where we got to see so much of the island, its fauna and flora and some lave glow. Our guide Eugene was fantastic with the prefect mix of friendliness, humour and amazing facts, we will never cross Madame Pele! I was so disappointed that we left our 2 drink bottles on the bus as they were a wonderful memento. A all round fantastic tour.

By Doug on 2013/05/23

We want to do this tour when we visit Hawaii this Christmas, but my wife has asthma. We need to know how rigorous the hike is and whether if the tour gets close enough to the volcanoes that the fumes might effect her.
[Hawaii Forest & Trail:] We typically keep the walks to just around a mile maximum.  Regarding the gasses from the volcano, conditions can change daily, sometimes hourly as the winds are very dynamic here.  Normal weather conditions have the trade winds blowing from the east which tends to keep the National Park pretty clear.

By Diana on 2013/05/06

Hello I am considering doing this tour, but wondering where the pick up is located in Kona.  I am staying at Kona Pacific in Kona.  What time do you leave for the twilight tour vs. the day tour for the volcanos?

Thank you Diana

[Hawaii Forest & Trail:]  For this tour, you’ll meet us at our headquarters which is about 2 miles north of downtown Kailua Kona.  The departure time for the Twilight tour does vary with the seasons, from about 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The daytime volcano tour departs at 6:50 am.  We can drop you off at the end of your tour.

By gloriaNY on 2013/04/23

We ( me and my 12 year old daughter) will stay in Uncle Billy’s Kona Hotel from July 9 to July 14. I am wondering if you will be able to pick up from this hotel.
WE are interested in the Twilight Volcano Adventure. [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] Aloha! Unfortunately, the Twilight Volcano tour does not have a pickup available at Uncle Billy’s Kona.  Please take a taxi to our office about 5 minutes north, across from Honokohau Harbor.  We’d be happy to drop you off at the end of the tour!

By Linda Bagzis on 2013/04/09

Prior to booking a tour, I need to know if it is possible for you to have a meal without tomatoes or tomato sauces for me, since I am allergic to tomatoes. We really want to do the twilight volcano tour, and others. Thanks for taking time to answer my question!
Linda [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] We can make special requests for both lunch and dinner to exclude tomatoes. We regrettably cannot guarantee that tomatoes will never touch any of the food in your meals, so you may want to consider bringing your food if your allergy is severe.

By Jen on 2013/04/05

GREAT tour, my sister and I enjoyed every bit of it. Our tour guide Taj Flora was AWESOMELY AMAZING and a very passionate person.I’ll be back soon with friends and would definitely do this again, and hopefully this time, it won’t rain as much. =) We also took the waterfall tour with Hawaii Forest and Trail, and was also worth doing.

By Erin on 2013/03/27

I am traveling with 3 children (5, 2, and 4 months). Would the volcano tour be appropriate? My older children are accustomed to walking around.
Thanks [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] 4 months might be a little young for our volcano tour as the trip is typically 10 - 11 hours from the Kona side.  The Kohala Waterfall Adventure is our most family friendly activity.

By Catherine Turner on 2013/03/07

We are making a trip to Hawaii in May and are looking into doing one of your tours.  I have two questions… Do you see any waterfalls on the twilight volcano adventure and is this tour good for a family with children ages 13 and 9? [Hawaii Forest & Trail:] On the Twilight tour our focus is Kilauea and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park so waterfalls are not part of the normal itinerary.  This tour would be great for your family.  We stop every 60 - 90 minutes to do some exploring at different sites - perfect for young naturalists!

By Eric & Sonia on 2013/02/17

My wife and I went on the Twilight Volcano tour with Chris. The tour was absolutely fabulous! For a start, equipments were sufficiently provided to us, including jackets for the cold night and walking sticks to assist with our walk.

Chris is extremely knowledgeable. He basically gave us very interesting facts about the island including its history, the plants, climate and the lava formations in the island. Chris also took us to various interesting spots of where lava used to flow and a clear sight of the lava glow at the Halemaumau Crater.

We totally enjoyed the tour and wouldn’t mind doing the Forest Trail walk the next time we are in the Big Island. We were very well looked after and provided with a lot of information about the island.

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