Kīlauea Iki Trail
Kīlauea Iki Trail
5
About
A moderate 4 mile hike into a an old volcanic crater.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Kīlauea Iki Trail and nearby attractions

See what travellers are saying
  • BonB
    Show Low, Arizona494 contributions
    Wonderful hike!
    This trail takes you from the tropical forest through the eerie landscape of the caldera, plus a short side trip through Thurston Lava Tube just across the street from the main trail's end. The 400-foot descent/ascent takes place relatively quickly, so it's not a super easy hike, but more in the moderate range. If you have time for just one hike (as we did), definitely consider this one.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 6 March 2023
  • Terry S
    4 contributions
    It's all about attitude!
    The trek into the crater went rather quickly. The trails had some improvements like an occasional railroad tie or large log embedded, but be aware of where you are placing your feet. The trail was muddy with protruding roots. The walk across the caldera was well marked with NPS cairns placed to guide you. The official cairns are large and obvious with plenty of area to frolic. Please do not build your own little cairns; they could lead hikers into unsafe areas! The caldera walk was challenging towards the end. The climb out of the crater was a bit more difficult. Rain again made the path slick, carved steps were of inconsistent heights with a few at 18 inches or more; thank goodness for hand rails! The ascent seemed to be much steeper and longer (or it may have just seemed that way as this group of senior citizens were starting to tire!). We actually danced like Rocky on the stairs when we reached the top! Just a few words of advice - wear decent shoes that have good grip; allow at least 2 hours, more if you like to stop and observe your surroundings; bring a good attitude.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 9 March 2023
  • Penelope S
    Fernie, Canada10 contributions
    Be prepared for all weather
    We thought because of rain in Hilo & on way that we wouldn’t see anything but the weather changes so frequently that I suggest you give this a try. Although we were there in morning around 9am, I reckon it could be terribly hot in afternoon. We are an active family with a 10 year old & made it in 1 hour 40 minutes with many photo breaks. The signs are very informative on the plants you see & it is so interesting seeing all the ways the lava dries into rock as well as the cracks from earthquakes & fault lines. We all enjoyed this but be prepared for all weather. It was rainy, sunny, windy, rainy again. My pants that turn into shorts were the right choice!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 April 2023
  • Ron R
    Saint Paul, Minnesota112 contributions
    Good workout and cool experience
    We successfully followed the counter clockwise recommendation of others but it would have been just fine to go clockwise. Around 4 mile hike with definitive descent and ascent elements along with hike on crater base. Easy to access from lava tube. Lava tube parking lot usually quite busy so park at trailhead parking lot.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 21 May 2023
  • Sarah B
    Boston, Massachusetts152 contributions
    Unforgettable experience
    A great hike and walk through another planet on the lava field in the crater. Recommend hiking down from the main trail head and up the thurston lava tube side vs starting at the tube because of the intensity of the trail. This gives you a steep path down and gravity helps you, and a gradual, forested path back up, vs trying to go up a brutal, rocky path.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 June 2023
  • REEMaryland
    23 contributions
    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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 August 2023
  • smhr
    Pickering, Canada277 contributions
    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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 November 2023
  • CMelissa
    Vancouver, Canada149 contributions
    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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 December 2023
  • Monty D
    15 contributions
    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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 December 2023
  • ClosetGearhead
    Loei, Thailand3 contributions
    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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 January 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 waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
1,481 reviews
Excellent
1,250
Very good
208
Average
20
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Membermaine07
Portland, ME99 contributions
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 19 February 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, AK1,775 contributions
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 31 January 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.

ClosetGearhead
Loei, Thailand3 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
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.
Written 30 January 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.

kevan j
Norman, OK1,436 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
This is an absolutely fantastic trail. We hiked on a misty, rainy day so everything seemed wet and a bit creepy. We started at the Kilauea Iki trailhead parking lot and hiked the trail counterclockwise (which is what I would suggest if you plan to do the entire loop). The first part of the trail is a beautiful, and mostly flat trail through the rain forest along the edge of the caldera. Periodically views open up and you can see the dried lava lake below. Then, at the far end of the crater, the trail drops down into the crater and you hike back across the dried lava lake. Amazing formations, cracks, upheavals, flowering plants, and vast flat smooth areas. Super cool. I've never experienced anything like it before. The trail then climbs out of the crater (a bit steep, but good trail) and back into the rain forest. We then followed the connector trail back to our car. About 3.5 miles total. I highly recommend this trail. It is definitely in the top ten of all the hikes I've done over the years.
Written 27 December 2023
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.

Monty D
15 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 10 December 2023
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.

CMelissa
Vancouver, Canada149 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
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!
Written 8 December 2023
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.

smhr
Pickering, Canada277 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 14 November 2023
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.

Meg F
Los Angeles, CA7 contributions
Aug 2023
Very enjoyable hike but wear good hiking shoes and I brought walking sticks which were very helpful.
Written 8 August 2023
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.

REEMaryland
Maryland23 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 1 August 2023
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.

Sarah B
Boston, MA152 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
A great hike and walk through another planet on the lava field in the crater. Recommend hiking down from the main trail head and up the thurston lava tube side vs starting at the tube because of the intensity of the trail. This gives you a steep path down and gravity helps you, and a gradual, forested path back up, vs trying to go up a brutal, rocky path.
Written 12 June 2023
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.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,290
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Kīlauea Iki Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Kīlauea Iki Trail

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Kīlauea Iki Trail: