Hawaii Volcanoes National Park debuts new ‘Holoholo’ program

HAWAII — Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has a self-guided “Holoholo for the Holidays” program to help park visitors avoid the crowds. The activity at Halemaumau continues to draw the curious with activity on the lava lake’s surface, and with congested roads and parking lots, it’s not too hard to turn into a Grinch.

What You Need To Know

  • Download the NPS app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, search for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and save the park app for offline use
  • Pick up, or print out a certificate, hike at least four of the suggested locations throughout January, engage in each site’s activities, then take a moment to share your thoughts on your experience on the certificate
  • Sign and take it to the bookstore inside Kilauea Visitor Center for a complimentary gift and store discount
  • Take the Pono Pledge to be responsible and respectful of the land, wildlife and each other

The app provides categories on what to see and do, amenities and more, including “Holoholo for the Holidays.” Click on it for a list of lesser-known sites that take you away from the crowds and into the varied landscapes at the national park — rainforest along the rim of Kilauea volcano, rugged lava, or desert landscapes, ranch land and coastal scenes while viewing ancient petroglyphs.

Tips for a more enjoyable park experience are to plan ahead by visiting the park’s website in advance to sketch out a rough plan for the day — not just a Plan A, but a Plan B and possibly C. Download the free NPS app and save it for offline use. Avoid popular sunrise and sunset times and go either earlier or later; the park is open 24 hours a day. Be respectful of the site, of others and yourself. 

With the ongoing activity at Kilauea Summit, be aware of volcanic gas that can move in one direction in one moment, then change in the next depending on the breeze. When on the trails, stay away from sinkholes, steep and unstable cliff edges and cracks in the Earth. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to a number of endangered species such as the nene (Hawaiian goose, Hawaii’s official state bird), io (Hawaiian hawk), uau (native seabird), koae kea (white-tailed tropicbird) and a host of native Hawaiian forest birds.

Cars are the leading cause of adult nene deaths in the park, so officials remind visitors to drive slowly. Park officials also remind visitors not to feed them as they will associate food with people and cars that put them at great risk.