Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Safety Tips

 

Contents:


Hiking
Volcanic Fumes
Along the Coast
On the Road
Volcanic Eruptions

The park, situated on two active volcanoes, contains hidden hazards which may be life-threatening.  Stay alert and heed these warnings:

Hiking
STAY ON MARKED TRAILS.  Avoid cliffs, earthcracks, and steam vents;  the edges of these features are unstable and can be slippery.  Hiking over cracks and holes, loose rock, and thin lava crust greatly increases your risk of getting hurt;  falling on lava can result in severe wounds.   Always wear sturdy closed-toed walking shoes and long pants.  Lava fields are shadeless and hot.  Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses and drink plenty of fluids.   Carry at least one quart of water per person.

Volcanic Fumes
Heed warning signs.  Fumes are hazardous to your health.  Persons with heart or respiratory problems and infants, young children, and pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid Halema'uma'u Crater, Sulphur Banks, and other areas where volcanic fumes are present.

Along the Coast
Expect strong winds, steep sea cliffs, high waves, and unpredictable surf conditions.

On the Road
Drive courteously and defensively.  Watch for pedestrians, bicyclists, and Nene (the Hawaiian goose).  Remember; park roads are scenic drives, not freeways.  Observe posted speed limits.

Volcanic Eruptions
Eruptions can be extremely hazardous.  The area around erupting vents is closed to travel.  Even from a distance fumes and fallout (Pele's hair, pumice, and cinder) can cause lung and eye irritations.  Heed the instruction of rangers and obey signs on roads and trails.

 

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