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National Park in Hawaii | Complete Guide

The National Park in Hawaii is as beautiful as you can imagine. The Aloha state is full of beaches, volcanoes, and many other natural wonders. If you’ve never been, consider making the trip. Many people flock to the famous Waikiki Beach along the south shore of Oahu, but most don’t venture past this area. 

If you want more out of your trip, then you should see one of Hawaii‘s national parks, use this guide. Or start is by going to the website for the Hawaii national park service. And downloading a map of all the parks. There are several throughout the islands. Some are so beautiful that they are on par with Glacier National Park, Zion National Park, or camping in Yosemite National Park.

Let’s look at some of the best national parks in Hawaii that you need to visit! 

The Best National Park in Hawaii That You Can’t Miss! 

Hawaii volcanoes national park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a national park in the U.S. state of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The park encompasses two active volcanoes. Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s largest shield volcano. The park also includes lava flows, rain forests, Thurston Lava Tube, and two national historic sites. Which were once home to Hawaiian royalty. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was established in 1916. The aim is to preserve the area for future generations. Since then, millions of people have visited the park.

Gaping at its unique landscapes and learning about its geological history. The park is a popular destination for tourists.. The park is open year-round. Though some areas are close because of volcanic activity or weather. Visitors can hike through lava fields.

Or explore rain forests and take lava boat tours – for more on tours check out our G Adventure Review – through molten lava flows. Or enjoy the views from one of the many lookout points throughout the park.

To get the most out of this experience, and see all the amazing national historic sites that this park offers. Visit the Kilauea visitor center and talk to a park ranger. 

What to do in Volcanoes National Park

Hike Kilauea iki

Easily one of the best things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is to hike Kilauea Iki

Kilauea Iki is one of the most popular trails on Hawaii’s Big Island. The trailhead is at the end of Crater Rim Drive, near the Thurston Lava Tube. The hike itself is short, only about 2 miles round trip.

But don’t let the length fool you. This is a challenging hike with an elevation gain of almost 1,000 feet! The first part of the trail takes you through a dense forest filled with native plants and trees. After about a mile, you’ll reach the edge of Kilauea Caldera. From here, you’ll have stunning views of Halema’uma’u Crater and Pu’u ‘O’o Crater.

The last part of the hike takes you across hardened lava flows from 1959. These flows are still steaming in places, so be sure to watch your step! Kilauea Iki is an amazing hike that should not be missed on any visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park! There is a chance you’ll even get to see the lava flow down the Volcano’s rocky slopes. You don’t see that is Rock Mountian National Park. 

Kilauea Crater Hawaii

Kilauea Crater, also known as Halemaumau Crater is one of the most popular things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is one of the most popular things to do on the big island. 

Kilauea is an active shield volcano on the Island of Hawaii. The volcano has been in a nearly continuous state of eruption since 1983. Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world, and its eruptions have caused extensive damage to nearby communities. The lava flows from Kilauea have destroyed houses and other structures, and have buried vast areas of land. The volcano has also released large amounts of toxic gases into the atmosphere, which have posed a serious threat to the health of nearby residents.

Despite the dangers posed by Kilauea, many people continue to live in its shadow. Some believe that a volcano is a sacred place and that its eruptions are a sign of divine power. Others simply enjoy living in one of the most beautiful places on earth, surrounded by stunning natural scenery. This crater has been called the Grand Canyon of Hawaii

Thurston lava tube Hawaii

Lava tubes are one of the most fascinating geological features on Earth. These subterranean channels form when hot lava flows underground and the outer layers of the flow cool and solidify, while the interior continues to flow. The result is a tube-like structure that can be hundreds or even thousands of feet long. The Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Big Island.

Formed about 500 years ago, it is one of the largest lava tubes in Hawaii and extends for over 3,000 feet (900 meters). Visitors can explore part of the tube by walking through a short section that has been enhanced with lighting and handrails. Lava tubes are an important part of Hawaiian culture and mythology. According to legend, Pele, the goddess of fire, used lava tubes to travel from her home on the Kilauea volcano to other islands in Hawaii.

Drive craters road Hawaii

Some of the most stunning views on the island of Hawaii can be found along Craters Road. This scenic drive winds its way through the Kohala Mountains. Providing visitors with sweeping vistas of green valleys and volcanic craters.

Along the route, there are several points of interest. Here travelers can stop to explore various lava flows and other geologic features. While the road is accessible year-round. But it is beautiful during March and April when the wildflowers are in bloom. 

Visitors who are lucky enough to experience this natural phenomenon will be treated to a colorful display of native flora. As they make their way along Craters Road. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely drive with breathtaking views. Or an opportunity to explore some of Hawaii’s unique geological features, Craters Road will please.

Kalaupapa national historical park

Kalaupapa National Historical Park is on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka’i. They established the park in 1980 to preserve the history and culture of the leprosy settlement. Which lived on the Kalaupapa peninsula. Visitors can take mule rides down a steep sea cliff to experience this unique place where leprosy patients were isolated for over 100 years. Kalaupapa peninsula was first settled by leprosy patients in 1866.

The isolation hospital and quarantine station were established two years later. For over 100 years! They forced patients to live in this isolated community. And had brief contact with the outside world. In 1969, they discharged the last patient from the hospital and Kalaupapa became a national historical site.

Today, Kalaupapa National Historical Park is open to visitors who want to learn about its fascinating history. Visitors can take mule rides down a steep sea cliff to reach the peninsula. Or tour the former leprosy settlement and visit the gravesites of some of its famous residents.

petrified forest national park Hawaii

Lava Tree State Monument, or the Petrified Forest National Park is a national park in Hawaii that features a forest of petrified wood. The park covers an area of 205 square miles and was established on December 9, 1962. The Petrified Forest is famous for its large deposits of petrified wood. The trees have been turned to stone by the process of per mineralization. In the woods is often brightly colored by minerals that have replaced the original organic matter.

The Petrified Forest has a diverse array of fossilized plants and animals. As well as 60 types of minerals. Besides the petrified wood, visitors can see fossils. They have fossils of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects. These creatures lived in the area during the Late Triassic period.

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is located on the west coast of the Island of Hawaii. The park preserves and protects ancient Hawaiian sites. Including Kaloko fishpond and Honokōhau Settlement. They built the Kaloko fishpond in the 13th century using lava rocks to create a barrier against the ocean.

Today, the pond is home to many species of fish and other aquatic life. They established the Honokōhau Settlement in the 16th century by early Polynesian settlers. The settlement includes several heiau (temples), petroglyphs (rock carvings), andpuʻuhonua (places of refuge).

What to do in Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park

ala kathakali Hawaii

Ala Kahakai is one of the most beautiful and popular trails in Hawaii. The trail stretches for over 175 miles along the coastline of the Hawaiian Islands. It is a popular destination for hikers, nature lovers, and those who appreciate stunning coastal views. The Ala Kahakai Trail traverses some of the most diverse terrains in Hawaii. It passes through rainforests, volcanic craters, deserted beaches, and densely populated areas.

There are many opportunities to see wildlife along the trail, including birds, turtles, and dolphins. The trail also offers panoramic views of Hawaii’s unique landscapes. The Ala Kahakai Trail is a great way to experience all that Hawaii offers. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a stroll, the trail has something to offer everyone. So come on down and enjoy the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands!

Kōkeʻe State Park Hawaii

Kōkeʻe State Park is located on the island of Kauaʻi in the state of Hawaii. The park covers an area of approximately 4,345 acres and is home to a variety of plant and animal life. Kōkeʻe State Park is a popular destination for hikers, campers, and birdwatchers. They established the park in 1932 as a natural preserve.

And has since been expanded to include several hiking trails, campsites, and picnic areas. Kōkeʻe State Park is also home to the ʻŌhiʻa Lehua botanical garden, which features a variety of native Hawaiian plants. Kōkeʻe State Park offers something for everyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. Whether you are interested in hiking, camp ing, birdwatching, or enjoying the beauty of nature, Kōkeʻe State Park is sure to provide an enjoyable experience. Almost of good as camping in Big Sur. .

What to do in Kōkeʻe State Park

Waimea canyon

Waimea Canyon is a gorge that cuts into the volcanic island of Kauaʻi in Hawaii. The canyon is approximately 10 miles (16 km) long and up to 3,000 feet (900 m) deep. Making it one of the deepest canyons in the Pacific. Waimea means “reddish water” in Hawaiian, a reference to the often red soil found within the canyon. The first European to see Waimea Canyon was Captain James Cook on his 1778 expedition along the coasts of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau.

He remarked on its size and wrote that it “must be ranked amongst big things”. Little else was known about Waimea Canyon until 1815, when Russian explorer Mikhail Tolstoy visited Kauaʻi. And became one of the first people to descend into it. In his journal, he described it as being 6 miles (9.7 km) from end to end, with walls that were sheer for their entire height.

But broken by ledges here and there were trees grew out from crevices. Since then, many more people have explored Waimea Canyon and its many hiking trails. Today, the canyon is a popular tourist destination on Kauai. Offers stunning views of cliffs, waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Visitors can also see remnants of old Hawaiian settlements as well as native plant and animal life.

Ku’Ia Natural Area Reserve

Ku’Ia Natural Area Reserve is a beautiful place to explore. Almost as beautiful as Halong Bay Vietnam. And enjoy the outdoors. The reserve is located on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii. And we know it for its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Visitors to Ku’Ia can hike through lush rainforests, swim in pristine waters, and view Hawaiian plant life up close.

Besides its natural beauty, Ku’Ia is also home to a variety of cultural resources. The reserve was once used as a training ground for Hawaiian warriors. And it contains many archaeological sites that provide insight into the history of Kaua’i.

Today, Ku’Ia is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. And it offers something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are looking to experience nature or learn about Hawaiian culture, Ku’Ia Natural Area Reserve will disappoint. So what are you waiting for? Plan your visit today!

What to do in Ku’Ia Natural Area Reserve

Black Canyon Pipe Trail Hawaii

The Black Canyon Pipe Trail Hawaii is one of the most popular hiking trails on the island of Oahu. The trail is located in the Waianae Mountain Range and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Black Canyon railhead is located at the end of Black Canyon Road, and we can complete the hike in about 2-3 hours. The trail itself is fairly easy to follow, but some parts can be challenging. There are a few areas where the trail narrows and gets steep.

But these sections are short and can be easily navigated. There are also a few stream crossings, but these are typically shallow and easily crossed. overall, the Black Canyon Pipe Trail is a great hike for all skill levels. The views from the top of the ridge line are amazing, and you can see for miles in every direction. On a clear day, you can even see Diamond Head! The Black Canyon Pipe Trail is a must-do when visiting Oahu, so add it to your list!

haleakalā national park

Haleakalā National Park is a national park located on the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The park covers an area of 33,265 acres (13,382 ha) and includes the Haleakalā crater. The park is home to many different kinds of plants and animals. Including the endangered Hawaiian goose. The park was established in 1916 as a national site.

In 1961, it was made into a national park. The Haleakalā volcano is the second youngest volcano in Hawaii and last erupted about 200 years ago. The summit of Haleakalā is about 10,023 feet (3,055 m) above sea level. There are two visitor centers in the park: one at the summit and one at Kīpahulu. Visitors can take hiking trails through the crater or to waterfalls in Kīpahulu. There are also ranger-led programs available.

National Park in Hawaii | More Things to do and See

volcano house Hawaii

The unique thing about the volcano house in Hawaii is that it was built on an active volcano. The house is made of lava rock and has a direct view of the lava flow. The lava flow is so close to the house that you can feel the heat coming off of it. The house also has a pool that is heated by the volcanic hot springs, like pools at Las Grutas Tolantongo Mexico.. The location of the volcano house is what makes it so special. It is situated on the side of an active volcano, giving its occupants a front-row seat to one of nature’s most amazing displays. The views from inside the house are simply breathtaking.

And there is nothing quite like feeling the heat from the lava flow while relaxing in your private pool. Are you are looking for a truly one-of-a-kind vacation destination? Then look no further than the volcano house in Hawaii. This unique property offers everything you could want in a tropical getaway… and then some. It’s a stunning location. And it offers luxurious amenities, this is a place you will never forget.

holei sea arch Hawaii

The Holei Sea Arch is located in Hawaii and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. The arch is formed from two massive cliff faces. They have slowly eroded over time until they eventually met in the middle and formed a natural bridge.

The archway itself is over 100 feet tall and 150 feet wide, making it one of the largest sea arches in the world. Visitors to the Holei Sea Arch can either hike to the top of one of the cliff faces for an up-close view of the arch or take a boat tour underneath it. Either way, it’s an unforgettable experience. It is like something you would see in Arches National Park. But in the water.

The big island Hawaii has a rich history, like King Kamehameha, a rich culture, and even beaches, that outshine the best beaches California has to offer. But the real give is the national park in Hawaii that continue to draw visitors from all over the world. So next time you are considering heading to Joshua tree national park, death valley national park, or the great smoky mountains. Instead, think about heading to the big island in Hawaii to experience the national historical parks and volcanoes.

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail

The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a 175-mile corridor that stretches along the coast of Hawaii from Upolu Point in the north to Ka’awaloa Cove in the south. The trail follows ancient footpaths and roads used by Native Hawaiians for centuries. It was established as an official national historic trail in 2000, making it one of the newest additions to the National Park System.

The trail passes through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful and remote areas, offering visitors a chance to experience the island’s rich cultural heritage. Along the way, visitors can explore ancient heiau (temples) and fishing villages, learn about local Hawaiian legends, and take in stunning ocean views.

Honouliuli National Historic Site

The Honouliuli National Historic Site is a U.S. national park located in Western Oahu, Hawaii. The site is home to the largest and longest-operating World War II internment camp for civilians of Japanese ancestry on American soil, as well as a former prisoner-of-war camp.

More about Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, located on the Big Island of Hawai’i, is a natural wonder of the world. The park is home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The park also offers visitors access to one of the most unique ecosystems on Earth.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park  is located on the island of Hawai‘i, and it is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. It features two active volcanoes – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa – as well as hundreds of miles of trails that can be used for hiking and camping. 

More Things To Do In National Park in Hawaii

Aiea Loop Trailhead

The Aiea Loop Trailhead is located in the heart of Hawaii’s lush, tropical landscape and offers stunning views of the surrounding jungle and nearby coastlines. The trailhead is located within the confines of the Aiea National Park and provides access to some of Hawaii’s most breathtaking scenery.

Pu’ukohola Heiau

Pu’ukohola Heiau is a sacred site and national historic landmark located in the resort town of Kawaihae on the Island of Hawaii. It is an important archaeological site for Native Hawaiians, and it has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1962.

Crater Rim Trail

The Crater Rim Trail is a scenic hiking path located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. This 4-mile (6.4 km) out-and-back trail meanders around the rim of Kilauea Caldera, offering breathtaking views of the caldera, Halemaumau Crater, and Mauna Loa. 

Heiau National Historic Site

Heiau National Historic Site is a place of great cultural significance. It is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The site is home to ancient Hawaiian temples known as heiau. These temples were places of worship and ceremony for the Hawaiian people. The site also contains petroglyphs, or rock carvings, which offer a glimpse into the art and culture of the past. Visitors can explore the site and learn about the history and traditions of the Hawaiian people. Heiau National Historic Site is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Hawaiian culture and history.

Volcano Village

Volcano Village is a small community located near the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The village is situated on the slopes of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is home to a variety of accommodations, including vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and small inns. The village is a great base for exploring the national park, which offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and wildlife watching. Visitors can also enjoy the village’s local restaurants and art galleries, which showcase the work of local artists. Volcano Village is a peaceful and unique destination that offers a glimpse into the natural wonders of Hawaii.

Best Hikes in Hawaii

Hawaii offers some of the best hiking experiences in the world. One of the most unforgettable hikes in Hawaii is the active lava hike on the Big Island. The hike offers a unique opportunity to witness molten lava flowing into the ocean, which is a rare and spectacular sight.

Na Pali Coast

Another must-do hike is the Na Pali Coast on Kauai Island, which offers sweeping views of the ocean and towering cliffs. For a different kind of hiking experience, visit the sub-tropical rainforest of the Manoa Falls Trail in Oahu. The hike is a moderate-level trail that leads to a 150-foot waterfall.

The Waihee Ridge Trail on Maui is another popular hike that offers panoramic views of the island.

Waimea Canyon Loop Trail

Finally, the Loop Trail in Waimea Canyon on Kauai is a challenging hike that rewards hikers with breathtaking views of the canyon. Hiking in Hawaii is a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Black Sand Beaches in Hawaii

  1. Punaluu Beach – located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Punaluu Beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Hawaii.
  2. Waianapanapa State Park – located on Maui, this state park boasts a stunning black sand beach as well as sea caves, lava tubes, and blowholes.
  3. Kaimu Beach – also located on the Big Island, Kaimu Beach is a beautiful, secluded beach that is known for its jet-black sand and views of the nearby Kilauea volcano.
  4. Honokalani Beach – located on Maui, this beach is known for its dramatic landscape, which includes jet-black sand, towering sea cliffs, and lush vegetation.
  5. Pololu Valley Beach – located on the Big Island, this beach is nestled in a picturesque valley and is accessible via a steep hiking trail. The beach features black sand, sea cliffs, and a freshwater stream.
  6. Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach – Located on Maui, this beach is a popular destination for its unique black sand, sea caves, and lava tubes.
  7. Kehena Beach – located on the Big Island, this beach is a secluded spot known for its black sand, clear waters, and clothing-optional atmosphere.

The Volcanic landscapes of Hawaii make it a huge draw to travelers from all over the world. And there are tons of crater floors, Sand islands, and Dormant Volcanoes across the country. But Hawaii is also filled with cultural sites worth visiting. And some of these are cultural landscapes, places like Peral Harbor. So whether you are visiting the big island, or any other island in Hawaii. Make sure to check out some of these national parks in Hawaii.

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