Most areas previously closed within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park due to Hurricane Lester are now open.
Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, remains closed this afternoon due to tree hazards, but should open Saturday.
Park rangers opened Chain of Craters Road, all backcountry campsites and trails, the coastal lava viewing area, and Mauna Loa Road under sunny skies Friday afternoon, much to the delight of visitors eager to explore the park during the long Labor Day weekend.
Visitors to the park’s coastal areas are reminded that although the hurricane watch was canceled for Hawai‘i Island as Hurricane Lester moves to the west-northwest, a high surf warning remains in effect for all east-facing shorelines.
“We urge all park visitors to maintain a safe distance from the shoreline, whether viewing lava at the Kamokuna ocean entry, hiking the Puna Coast Trail, or camping at any of the coastal campsites,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We are anticipating surf up to 25 feet tonight and possibly through the weekend,” he said.
The Kahuku Unit will be open on Saturday and Sunday, with no cancellations to any guided hikes or programs.
Backcountry campers are reminded that all overnight stays require a backcountry permit. Permits can be obtained up to 24 hours in advance from the backcountry office, located at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center, and open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.