End of Chain of Craters Road to Active Lava Flow

HARD 15 reviews

End of Chain of Craters Road to Active Lava Flow is a 3.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pahoa, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

3.1 miles
150 feet
Out & Back


nature trips




no dogs

The trail starts at the official "End of Trail" sign at the End of Chain of Craters Road in Volcanoes National Park. This is the only legal and authorized route to take to see active lava flows and new land formation. This is the continuation of the end of the Chain of Craters Road, across open lava fields, in hot sunny conditions. The hiking is difficult; the terrain is uneven, brittle areas of lava, wide cracks and partially collapsed lava tubes. Remember, lava is as sharp as broken class. Wear proper hiking boots, plenty of water (double your usually needs), it is hot and sun exposed so sun block and a hat is a must. Be sure to pack flashlights and head lamps if you think you may stay past sunset.

3 months ago

We parked on the west end and biked along the trail almost to the end, before getting off our bikes and hiking across the lava field. Biking was fun, but kind of stressful on semi-road bike tires as the road was loose gravel. Hiking was super unique over pahoehoe lava. I wore tennis shoes and ended up with a cut on the back of my calf from a portion of lava that broke off and cut me. Flashlights are a must for the hike back in the dark (you want to see the lava in the dark right?). Also I'd highly recommend a GPS or some sort of light beacon as walking through the pahoehoe lava field in the dark is very directionally disorienting. We had a beacon on the bikes AND a GPS, in the end the GPS helped the most. We left Kona around 3:30pm and go to the lava flow right around 7:45. Be prepared for challenging navigation through the lava field as it has many ridges and valleys. Lava was flowing crazy well when we went, I stood within 3 feet of a large flow for moment.

3 months ago

Rumor has it there is no lava flowing for the past 10 days, per the Park ranger. Some people report having seen it on social media (Instagram #kalapana and #kalapanalavaflow) but we did a 10.5 mi, 4 hour hike to no avail. Another family starting at the same time as us, covering a different portion of the lava field also reported no active flow that they could see. Would definitely call the park before you venture, the bike company told us to climb the ridge. Assured us we would see lava. So we hiked it up. Easy to climb up, not easy to climb down in the dark. We fell and ripped clothing and cut up our legs and arms. Lava splinters hurt! Would definitely do it again, but would also ask Park Rangers next time instead of just the bike sales-people! Definitely bring lots of water, good flashlights/headlamps and a raincoat/poncho, we got poured on while returning home!

8 months ago

Got to witness new earth being created. Stood 10 feet from the lava flow. We left out about 3:30 and stayed long enough for night viewing of the lava. Once it's gets dark the vents underneath your feet light up red when your near the active flow. You feel like your sneakers are going to melt. To go from the east take 130 to the end. From there you can rent a bicycle...highly recommend an electric bike for the 4 miles out on the cinder road. Once from 4 miles out, chain your bike and hoof it another 3 miles through the lava fields towards the hills. You'll find flowing flowing lava there. The hike back in the dark is extremely difficult... navigating through lava field and ankle breaking vents is treacherous. Bring sweatshirt, rain poncho, lots of water, a snack, gloves (lava splinters suck) and a headlamp with extra batteries. Have fun!! It's a stunning thing to see.

Friday, June 09, 2017

In all, this was about a twelve-mile hike and lasted us almost six hours. Unfortunately, we didn't see any lava but it was still a worthwhile hike. Make sure you take plenty of water (3 quarts per person) and snacks.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

To get to the steam plume you can either bike or walk from the east or hike in from the west. We hiked in from the west. Great hike to the steam plume. Not technical at all, but bring plenty of water. It may be raining and cool on top of the ridge, but sunny and hot on the road. The road/trail is cinder all the way in, with a porta-potty about halfway through. It's about 4 miles in on the road, then you'll hit the NPS roadblock. It's then about a mile over lava field to reach the vent. As of JAN 17, you won't be able to see any lava - either going into the ocean or surface. But you'll see a lot of sulfur vents and be standing right over the lava tube. Check with your wife before exploring. AMAZING ocean and lava views all the way in. HIGHLY recommend the hike. Make a reservation at The Rim, for a phenomenal post-hike dinner! ***Wife's Tip Corner: You can do this trail in anything... technically. But highly recommend sturdy shoes, bandana for the vog, and work gloves as some of the lava is very sharp (my husband took his gloves off for a second and got a lava splinter). Ladies - your man might believe he is a volcanologist and go "exploring" over lava vents. I turned my back for one minute and off he went. Recommend a bell or little kid leash.***

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nice drive but ran into government keep out signs half way down dirt road. Not feeling it, we turned around.

Monday, April 01, 2013

I was the one to submit the trail description and location details. All that I have to say is all in there. For those who take on this hike, enjoy the adventure.

3 months ago

4 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

Friday, March 10, 2017