The popular and FREE Kalapana Lava Viewing Area in coastal Puna is now open three hours earlier, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, last car allowed in at 8 p.m. The County of Hawai’i enlisted private security firm, Jan Guard Hawaii, to begin management of the area last month. Currently, lava is not reaching the ocean, but a new trail allows visitors to hike out to view the mesmerizing glow and movement – conditions permitting – of the slow-moving surface flow above the pali (cliffs).
Visitors should wear sturdy, closed-toe athletic shoes or hiking boots, bring plenty of drinking water, and carry a flashlight if planning to stay after dark. Call the Kalapana Lava Viewing Hotline (808) 961-8093 for current conditions or visit http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php for Kīlauea Volcano eruption updates.