Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
140.00 ft (42.67 m)
Trail type
1.80 mi (2.90 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Since Kilauea's 2018 and 2021 eruptions, the west vent of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has been the most active and visible lava flow within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Keanakakoi Overlook, lying down a .9 mile walk, is the overlook point where park visitors can often view the lava flow.

Reaching Keanakakoi Overlook requires a 1.8 mile round trip walk - the majority being along the paved Crater Rim Drive which was closed due to damage resulting from the 2018 eruption. Visitors can follow the clearly signed path to reach a final marked section on dirt leading to the edge of the crater, which offers views into the lava lake below.




















During periods of active lava flow, this trail is the most popular place within the park, so visitors should plan ahead for the best experience.

  • At an elevation of around 3700', the air is significantly cooler here, and pants and jackets will make your viewing time a lot more comfortable.
  • The busiest times is immediately after sunset and the first couple hours of darkness. During this time, the park often restricts traffic on the park roads, as there are limited parking spots. Planning to visit the overlook during the daytime or a couple hours after dark will significantly reduce wait times to get a parking spot. 
  • If hiking out after dark, plan on bringing a flashlight or headlamp as the hike in and out is extremely dark.
  • While lava conditions change frequently, binoculars will likely significantly help your viewing experience, since the lava lake is a good distance from the overlook point. The lava flow photo displayed at the head of this listing was taken with a 400mm lens.


Eruption conditions change frequently. Visitors can view the park's Current Conditions website to see the most recent information on viewing the eruption.

One nearby destination located a short distance further past the viewpoint is the Keanakakoi Crater, which contained recent volcanic activity until all lava flow shifted to the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

There are vault toilets at the beginning of the hike, however there is no water and most of the trail is exposed to the sun with no shade.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round



Eruption views.


Limited parking. Can become extremely crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

3,730.00 ft (1,136.90 m)

Highest point

3,770.00 ft (1,149.10 m)


Vault toilet
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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