Kīlauea Iki Trail
Kīlauea Iki Trail
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A moderate 4 mile hike into a an old volcanic crater.
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  • REEMaryland
    23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unreal hike around and across one of the craters of Kilauea.
    Moderate length hike with somewhat challenging, steep ascent/descent at the west end of the crater, but very much worth it to walk across a lava lake that had last erupted in 1959. We started by hiking around the northern rim of the crater. The occasional views into the crater are striking, made more remarkable by the sight of people hiking across the crater floor. We appreciated getting a glimpse of the hike to come. We stopped for a quick peak over the main caldera at Byron's ledge, then descended down into Kilauea Iki. The geology of the crater is amazing. The west end of Iki is dominated by ʻaʻā lava. About 1/4 of the way across the lava becomes smooth pāhoehoe. The bottom of the crater is quite alien and the transition of the lush jungle of the rim to the nearly barren crater floor is breathtaking. Various sections of the crater floor show the heaving and settling that occurred after the lava cooled. Be sure to take a hat, sunscreen, and water. There is no shelter in the bottom of the crater. There is also no bathroom, so be sure to make a pitstop at the parking lot.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 1, 2023
  • smhr
    Pickering, Canada298 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful hike. Must do if you are in the Big Island
    Its a long hike but definitely worth it. For the hike, you need to be in decent physical shape but not necessarily in great shape. The path is steep. It took us about an hour to go down the base of the crater and come back up. Along the way, you will find amazing plants. I will strongly recommend to not rush it and take in the scenery. The hike is beautiful. For parking, you may want to park at the Lava tube because the start of the hike and the lava tube are easily accessible from there. Even if you park at the lava tube, you should hike to the iki trail's parking lot as there are a no. of look out points along the way. Its about 15 mins to get from lava tube to Iki trail's parking lot. The Iki trail is within the Hawaii Volcano National Park. So the entrance fee of $30 that you will need to pay at the park's entrance is all that's needed. The entrance fee gives you access to the park for 7 consecutive days.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 14, 2023
  • CMelissa
    Vancouver, Canada190 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique hike - highly recommended
    Incredibly unique hike through a diverse range of ecosystems and volcanic landscapes. Pick up a guide book for the trail for $2 at the Visitors Centre. The moderate hike takes 2-3 hours depending on pace and how many stops/photos you take. The lava tubes are along the route, so recommend the short walk through the tubes as well. Highly recommended to experience the crater first hand while you're in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 7, 2023
  • Monty D
    66 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hiking a volcano
    The Kilauea Iki Trail was as impressive as I had hoped. You’ll start at the trail head and have 2 choices: down through the rain forest to the volcano floor or along the rim. Going down the volcano side, through the rain forest, is a bit of a trek. It’s somewhat steep and nothing is level – it’s all down: when going down and it’s all up: when going up. On this morning it was cool, but I can see it turning hot – bring water! The forest had a calming effect for the hike and every once in a while, there was a view. Along the rim, there a fair amount of vista views – the trail was relatively flat, but I’d still wear good hiking shoes. Check out my pic of the caution sign. Also I have a pic of my foot alongside of a steep edge of the trail – no railings here. At the bottom of the volcano, see my pics. it was like being on the moon: desolate and eerily quiet. In one my pics, you can see the trail beyond my hat. This is an interesting and diverse trail that you won’t find in many places.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 10, 2023
  • ClosetGearhead
    Loei, Thailand5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Like a different planet!
    This is a must-do in Hawaii Volcano National Park. It’s as close to what I imagine walking on Mars, or the moon, would look like. Hiking boots would be best, but tennis shoes will do. Definitely start in the west, rather than the east, as the west side is quite steep and rocky. Going up those rocks and huge steps will definitely be harder than going down them. Also recommend starting early in the day, as the sun can be quite brutal across the crater. We started at 7:45, finished at 9:45. Very rewarding hike.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 29, 2024
  • Mike P
    Anchorage, Alaska1,661 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Hike
    This is a great experience! Walking clockwise, you switch back down, approximately 600 feet to reach the floor. Walking across the floor is easy until you reach the other rim. You climb up a series of stairs, and switch backs to reach the top.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 31, 2024
  • Glw31416
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Unforgettable Moderate Huke
    A hike that shouldn’t be missed. Go early to get a parking space. We went counter clockwise which is the best direction. Don’t miss the Lava Tube at the rim. You can also park at the Visitor Center which adds some flat length. 400 ft vertical elevation change and uneven surfaces makes it a moderate hike. Lots of families so it is not hard if you are in fair shape. Rain forest at the top and desert at the bottom so wear layers. The National Park is chilly most of the time at the rim. Bring water for the hike.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 11, 2024
  • Face_The_Elements
    Edmonton, Canada346 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic hike but dress for the change in weather!
    This rainforest trail was thrilling and exciting to hike the rim then onto the face of a live volcano. We travelled counterclockwise through a lush path along a flat trail then to down along a steep and rocky drop into the crater. The route across is lead by rock piles to mark the path which is helpful because there are some rock hopping and weaving to make your way across. As you continue on the trail it turns into finely ground gravel and flattens out before it turns uphill to loop out. The step sections are switchbacks so go slow. Make sure you wear hiking shoes and bring a raincoat and water bottle for the trek.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 19, 2024
  • anil686
    Dallas, Texas35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Hike
    Amazing hike. Just as advertised in the reviews and description - a 3.6 mile loop with 2 difficult sections - a relatively steep descent (stairs that are uneven) and an ascent that is also steep with uneven height between the steps. Outside of that, a moderate hike with some footing issues with volcanic dust/rock but fairly easy. Took us (we are fast walkers), about 90 minutes to do the loop and take some pictures. Beautiful scenery. Parking at the lava tube was packed (it was noon or so when we got there). Recommendation would be to park at the overlook and start the trail there. Pack some snacks (nut bars, trail mix, etc, with water bottles). Was warm (85 degrees) but we are from Texas and the heat was very manageable. Wish I had more time in the park - would have done a few more trails too. We only did the sulphur banks and this trail. There are several others that would probably be very beautiful as well.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 10, 2024
  • SanFrancisco2020
    San Francisco, California74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Please do not skip this trail. It is a must do and unforgettable hike across the crater.
    Everything said about HVNP and this trail is absolutely true. Incredible landscape. A must do hike. For the average person who does not exercise, this is going to be a moderate hike. By the time we walked across the crater and started the ascent back up, my elderly parents (age 75 and 80) had a difficult time ascending the steep steps and required some assistance, but they both managed to finish this hike. We took around 4 hours. I would do this hike again!
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 15, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,490 reviews
Excellent
1,258
Very good
209
Average
20
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Annabell O
California434 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Solo
This hike is stunning! From the lush rainforest along the rim down into the crater, and then across the surreal landscape of hardened lava rock, to the fairly steep ascend back to the rim, the sense of Pele's powerful presence is all around.
Going counter-clockwise seems to be the better direction to go, but either way you're in for an unforgettable experience.
Written June 16, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SanFrancisco2020
San Francisco, CA74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Everything said about HVNP and this trail is absolutely true. Incredible landscape. A must do hike. For the average person who does not exercise, this is going to be a moderate hike. By the time we walked across the crater and started the ascent back up, my elderly parents (age 75 and 80) had a difficult time ascending the steep steps and required some assistance, but they both managed to finish this hike. We took around 4 hours. I would do this hike again!
Written June 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana D
21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
This is a beautiful hike with gorgeous views that are next to impossible to capture in photos. Part of the hike is through forest and nice to do when it is very hot. Part - about a mile is through the bottom of a crater and did not feel hot at 15:00 due to quite strong winds.
Make sure you use sunscreen. The hike is not difficult at all if you are physically fit. If I had a running buddy I would have run at least part of it. In fact, my husband and I saw a young couple running it.
Written June 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

anil686
Dallas, TX35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Amazing hike. Just as advertised in the reviews and description - a 3.6 mile loop with 2 difficult sections - a relatively steep descent (stairs that are uneven) and an ascent that is also steep with uneven height between the steps. Outside of that, a moderate hike with some footing issues with volcanic dust/rock but fairly easy. Took us (we are fast walkers), about 90 minutes to do the loop and take some pictures. Beautiful scenery. Parking at the lava tube was packed (it was noon or so when we got there). Recommendation would be to park at the overlook and start the trail there. Pack some snacks (nut bars, trail mix, etc, with water bottles). Was warm (85 degrees) but we are from Texas and the heat was very manageable. Wish I had more time in the park - would have done a few more trails too. We only did the sulphur banks and this trail. There are several others that would probably be very beautiful as well.
Written June 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marsha Nager
Kalaheo, HI40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Incredible walk! Birds and Tree Ferns every where. And you might get lucky to time the volcano eruptions in the distance.
Written April 27, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Face_The_Elements
Edmonton, Canada346 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This rainforest trail was thrilling and exciting to hike the rim then onto the face of a live volcano. We travelled counterclockwise through a lush path along a flat trail then to down along a steep and rocky drop into the crater. The route across is lead by rock piles to mark the path which is helpful because there are some rock hopping and weaving to make your way across. As you continue on the trail it turns into finely ground gravel and flattens out before it turns uphill to loop out. The step sections are switchbacks so go slow. Make sure you wear hiking shoes and bring a raincoat and water bottle for the trek.
Written April 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveller_123
San Francisco, CA910 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
The hike is not hard, it is best done with water and some snacks. This is the best way to see the crater unless it’s too hot. Lot of folks on the trail.
Written April 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Glw31416
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
A hike that shouldn’t be missed. Go early to get a parking space. We went counter clockwise which is the best direction. Don’t miss the Lava Tube at the rim. You can also park at the Visitor Center which adds some flat length.

400 ft vertical elevation change and uneven surfaces makes it a moderate hike. Lots of families so it is not hard if you are in fair shape. Rain forest at the top and desert at the bottom so wear layers. The National Park is chilly most of the time at the rim. Bring water for the hike.
Written March 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Membermaine07
Portland, ME96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
If you prefer a steeper trail up or down, the loop to the right has the steeper entrance to the crater. Either way it's not too hard unless you can't do big steps.
Written February 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike P
Anchorage, AK1,661 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
This is a great experience! Walking clockwise, you switch back down, approximately 600 feet to reach the floor. Walking across the floor is easy until you reach the other rim. You climb up a series of stairs, and switch backs to reach the top.
Written January 31, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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KĪLAUEA IKI TRAIL (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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