3 Best Hikes Near Volcanoes National Park In Hawaii

Sulphur Banks Trail (Leisure)

Published on February 28th, 2019

Hawaii is renowned for holding some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Among the most popular vacation activities for those staying in luxury rentals are visits to Volcanoes National Park.

The Park is home to some of Hawaii’s greatest wonders and garners a remarkable 2 million visitors per year.

Volcanoes National Park possesses numerous trails suited for everyone from the most experienced hikers looking for a challenge to beginners. The park’s proximity to many luxury vacation rentals makes it a popular Hawaii vacation destination.


1. Sulphur Banks Trail (Leisure)

Sulphur Banks Trail (Leisure)

Sulphur Banks Trail, also known as Ha’akulamanu, is a remarkable sight and one well-suited for easy-going hikers. Due to intense geothermal energy produced by nearby underground volcanic activity, the trail has few trees, cracks that pour out steam, and beautiful mineral deposits vibrant with color.

Sulphur Banks Trail is a favorite for bird-watchers, too. Since the trail’s redesign in 2005 and further maintenance in 2017, the area is now wheelchair-accessible with a paved boardwalk and pathway. Groundwater steam and volcanic gases stream from the fissures in the earth, making this trail one for unusual smells.

But the gases also form astounding crystals, and the sulfuric acid formed from the gases turns the formed lava into clay. This clay has a unique red and brown coloration, as it is rich with iron oxide. There are truly few sights like it.

Because of the gases emitted from the ground, visitors with heart or respiratory problems, pregnant women, and young children may want to choose another hike.


2. Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs Trail (Intermediate)

Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs Trail (Intermediate)

Pu’u Loa, which can be translated as “long walk,” is one of Hawaii’s famous sacred sites. The trail is nestled in the southern side of the volcano Kilauea.

The site contains over 23,000 carved images, called petroglyphs, in hardened lava. The artistic renditions include humans, geometric designs, and canoe sails. The site is a volcanic pressure dome surrounded by fields of ancient pahoehoe lava bedrock.

Pu’u Loa’s main site has an elevated boardwalk to give visitors a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. It is accessible by a parking area and has an emergency call box at Milepost 16.5 on Chain of Craters Road. The distance from parking to the boardwalk is 0.7 miles over mostly flat pahoehoe bedrock.


3. End Of Chain Of Craters Trail (Experienced)

End Of Chain Of Craters Trail (Experienced)

End of Chain is for more experienced hikers, winding for over 10 miles to a dead-end. Starting at the “end of trail” sign on End of Chain of Craters Road, the trail is the only legal route to go see active lava flows or new land formation.

Because of this, the trail is the only authorized way to see some of the most incredible sights in Hawaii. This makes it a favorite destination for many people staying in vacation rentals.

End of Chain is a popular locale for backpackers, bicyclists, and nature trips. End of Chain of Craters Road is inaccessible to vehicles. The trail features a cave and views of cliffs and the coastline.