Today marks a year since the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park reopened its doors to visitors following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption that destroyed homes, closed roadways and disrupted the lives of the community. Now, the park has marked another milestone.
Officials completely reopened the popular four-mile Kīlauea Iki Trail, about half of which was badly damaged by the eruption and thousands of earthquakes related to last year's event.
The trail is a moderately strenuous hike, starting at the crater rim and dropping 400 feet to the crater floor. Hikers can now walk through tropical rainforest but as recently as 1959 the area saw lava fountains shooting as high as 1,900 feet, the park said in a media release.
The Friends of the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and park trail crew members repaired parts of the trail that were damaged, including clearing rocks that fell along a part of the trail known as Byron Ledge.
"The reopening of the entire Kīlauea Iki Trail is one more example of how Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park continues the path to recovery from the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and the associated seismic events,” said Acting Superintendent Rhonda Loh. "While the path to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, we look forward to reopening more of the park in the months to come.”
Other parts of the park remain closed and under repair, including Crater Rim Drive stretching from the Kīlauea Military Camp to Kīlauea Overlook. The Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku) and nearby parking are undergoing a safety evaluation and Jaggar Museum is shuttered indefinitely.
More information on what is open and closed is available on the National Park Service website.