Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Hawaii Vacation Blog

Hawaiian Lava Flow at Kīlauea

a group of clouds in the dark
Molten rock on the Big Island

Where to see Hawaiian Lava Flow

Volcanoes offer a spectacular glimpse of the Earth’s power in action, and Hawaii is one of the best places in the world to view these fiery caldrons. Visitors are inspired by hot, liquid rock as it bubbles and spits into the sky. But where is the best place to view this once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian lava flow?

If you want to see Hawaiian lava flow, come to the Big Island and set your sights on the Halemaʻumaʻu crater on Kīlauea. Visitors are welcome to come at any time during the day or night.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

Volcanoes don’t follow a schedule, but there are some reliable facts about lava watching you can count on. During the day, an active volcano can send up notable plumes of smoke, ash, and gas. Hikers may want to join a tour to get access to the best viewing stations. But the most dramatic viewing opportunities come as darkness falls.

That’s because the glow of molten hot rock contrasts nicely against the black volcano. If you visit before sunrise or after 9 p.m., you should be able to witness the actual lava within the pit crater.

Are Volcanoes Dangerous?

Volcanoes have caused a great deal of death and destruction. Kīlauea itself has destroyed more than 700 houses in 2018. However, staying on marked paths and following posted signs will prevent injury, gas inhalation, or other volcanic hazards. Above all, do not step on cliff edges or areas of cracked earth.

Current data suggests that lava eruptions should be contained within the crater, so visiting the volcano is considered a safe activity as long as visitors stay out of closed areas. If you plan to visit, stay apprised of current conditions and check for weather updates on the volcano. Temperatures within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are often cooler than those at sea level.

Why Should I View a Hawaiian Lava Flow?

Hawaii offers numerous activities for visitors to choose from. But volcanic activity is only available for a limited period of time, and may not be happening the next time you visit the Big Island. Many people are in awe of this powerful natural phenomenon, and find themselves feeling more connected to our planet after seeing lava in action.

Give yourself the chance to experience a live volcano. Check out a tour today.

Learn more in the documentary The Power of Volcanos, you can find on Amazon.