A family camping trip to Volcano National Park in Hawaii is a great way to experience what Hawaii is like without spending a lot of money. There are two active volcanoes within the park, and they are two of the most active volcanoes in the world. There are lots of exciting things to see and do inside the park, including seeing the unique formations left by the lava and hiking up to the top of one of the active volcanoes.
Other activities that are appropriate for all ages in the park include hiking through the park, interactive exhibits and displays about volcanoes, lectures and presentations like “After Dark in the Park,” a nightly presentation of topics related to Hawaiian native culture and other cultural exhibits and presentations. There is a lot more to see inside Volcano National Park besides the volcanoes. The wildlife in the park is amazing because the park is in a tropical rainforest, the only one in U.S. territory. There are thousands of species of plants, birds, and other animals. You can also visit sea turtles and other wildlife in their natural habitat, experience a little bit of native Hawaiian culture and relax in the glorious tropical weather of Hawaii.
It’s recommended that if you want to hike up to the volcano craters or get close to the volcanoes that you join a ranger-led hike. There are some special safety precautions that you will need to use hiking close to an active volcano so going on a pre-selected path with an experienced guide will make sure that your family stays safe. There are guided volcano hikes offered for free at regular intervals so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that fits into your schedule.
Back country hiking in Volcano National Park is by permit only, so if you and your family want to camp or even hike out in the wilds of the park you will need to stop by the Visitor Center and register for a permit before you go. This is for your own safety and so that the park rangers know how many people are out hiking in the back country at any given point of time. Permits are free.
There is a $10 entrance fee per vehicle to get into the park. That admission fee will get you into the park for seven days so you won’t need to pay another admission fee if you leave the park and return another day. In Volcano National Park there are no other fees. Campsites are free, and are first come first serve so if you want to get a good campsite you need to stake a claim for your site as soon as you get to the park.
There aren’t a lot of amenities on site when camping in Volcano National Park but the nearby town has laundry facilities, a market, a nice choice of restaurants and some reasonably priced hotels and bed and breakfasts if you decide that you need at least one night in a hotel. Because a trip to Hawaii involves more travel than a lot of other national parks often families will arrive and stay in a hotel the first night while they regroup and gather their gear for the actual camping part of the trip.