Guided Kilauea Iki Trail Hike Special

To celebrate the 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service, we started to offer a Guided Kilauea Iki Trail Hike Special! Due to its popularity, we continue to offer it.

Hikers walking across Kilauea Iki crater floor on lava from 1959 eruption

Hiking along the Kilauea Iki floor - photo NPS

Small group of hikers on the guided Kilauea Iki trail hike overlooking Kilauea Iki crater


The Kilauea Iki hike is famous for breathtaking views of the Kilauea Iki crater and the last eruption which occurred in 1959. The trail is the easiest way to access and thru-hike a volcanic crater in Hawaii! Led by our ranger trained interpretive guides, you will descend through a lush rain forest to the floor of the solidified, but still steaming Kīlauea Iki Crater lava lake. At the bottom of the Pu‘u Pua‘i cinder cone, your guide will show you the remnants of the vent that erupted to a height of approx. 1900 feet in 1959! It was the tallest lava fountain ever recorded in Hawaii.

Price: Adult: $159 plus tax, Child (6–17): $109 plus tax
Capacity: 14 guests maximum – reservation required; minimum 4 guests
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging – Steep and rocky, descent & ascent 400 feet (122 m) each way with steps and switchbacks – equivalent to climbing up and down a 40-story building.
Distance: 4 mile (6.4km) loop
Hiking time: Approximately 3 to 4 hours including numerous stops along the way

Pick up: individual pick up time depends on your location:

Kona: between 9-10 am
Waikoloa: (Hilton, Marriott, Mauna Kea, Westin Hapuna, Mauna Lani, Fairmont Orchid, Kolea, Lava Lava Beach Club, private rentals) pick up between 9-10 am
Hilo: between 10-11 am

Airport transfer: We recommend a ride share service uberlyft

Driving time from Kona: 2 h 15 min
Driving time from Hilo: 50 min

Not included: Food, gratuities

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes, water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, and rain gear. Be prepared for hot, dry, wet, and windy weather and steep and rocky terrain

Reservations: Call us at 808-699-6055 or send us an email to

Please note that the tour itinerary may change depending on weather and volcanic conditions.

USA Today Award: The Kilauea Iki Trail was voted #3 Best National Park Hike in the USA!

The hike:
Your guide will lead the group and hike with you along the trail. We make numerous stops to explore the diverse environment and talk about the spectacular eruptions that unfolded here in the winter of 1959.

Topics that we cover along the way:

  • Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess
  • Meaning of Hawaiian place names
  • Deep earthquake swarm & summit tilt
  • Start of the eruption on the night of November 14th, 1959
  • Fissures narrow to single vent
  • 5 week-long eruption with 17 episodes of lava fountains
  • Lava surged 1900 ft (580 m)
  • Lava discharge increases, Pu`u Pua`i forms, lava lake grows
  • Scientific experiments conducted at Kilauea Iki, hottest lava recorded 2,200˚ F (1,217˚ C), toxic fumes
  • Vesiculation pump, summit reservoir, lava waves
  • Tephra, spatter, cinder, pumice, devastation trail
  • Uwealoha (Byron Ledge)
  • Pu‘u Pua‘i and the trade winds
  • Invasive plants, kahili ginger, feral pigs, pa‘iniu lily
  • 800 ft (244 m) deep, forested crater before 1959
  • Lava subsidence terrace, bathtub rings, 50 feet (15 m) lava lake drainback, current subsidence 3/4 inch (2 cm)
  • Scalding hot steam, floating islands, fractures in crater floor, crustal overturning
  • Lava lake cooling rates, boreholes
  • Rockslides from 1975 and 1983 earthquakes
  • Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)


Beginning of the 1959 eruption at Kilauea Iki - Photo NPS

One of 16 explosive episodes at Kilauea Iki in 1959 - Photo NPS

Kilauea Iki 1959 vent, lava lake, Pu'u Pua'i - Photo NPS

Explore steam vents

Luscious clump of o'helo berries

Gaze across the crater

Science meets nature

Lehua buds becoming blossoms

Views at the start of the hike

Crater floor crossing