Looking for a fun family hike while at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii?? Check out Kilauea Iki Hike Review at Volcanoes National Park! We highly recommend the Kilauea Iki 4 mile round trip Hike for families looking for a hike that is interesting, fun and will give you a real “experience” to explore more of Volancoes National Park. It took us about a 2 hours at a very relaxed pace with tons of time to explore, take photos, and just enjoy ourselves. You’ll feel as if you’ve landed on the moon during this hike!!! The Kilauea Iki hike gives you a chance to go inside a crater and go through the various climate zones to get there – walk across the crater and then climb out. Read on for more info and our Kilauea Iki Hike Review Photos and Video at Volcanoes National Park. We also recommend adding on about 1 mile roundtrip to walk through the Thurston Lava Tube after you finish the Kilauea Iki Hike – it’s all flat and don’t worry you won’t get claustrophobic as this Lava tube is enormous!
Here’s us before we started the hike at the top in the parking lot.
Kilauea Iki Hike Review at Volcanoes National Park
Check out the view from the bottom of the crater on the Kilauea Iki Hike in Volcanoes National Park. This hike is absolutely fascinating and great for families! I’d categorize this 4 mile roundtrip hike as intermediately challenging – check out our video for a peek inside the crater! I love how this hike takes you through several climate zones – from lush rain forest to the floor of the solid but still steaming Kīlauea Iki crater lava lake – it will feel like you landed on the moon!!!!
How Challenging is the Kilauea Iki Hike?
I’d categorize this 4 mile roundtrip hike as intermediately challenging. It took us about 2 hours going VERY relaxed and enjoying ourselves. Tons of time for photos, checking out rocks and pumice, and just enjoying the day! Most of the hike is easy but there is one section where you need to be pretty careful and more cautious climbing down rocks for about 1/4 mile to get to the very bottom of the crater.The trail is VERY well marked and has railings even in many sections throughout the 4 miles. Climbing out and the initial descent were totally easy – mostly flat and lots of switchback trails. And the bottom of the crater as you can see from our photos and videos is totally flat! Just watch out for little cracks and crevices through out the crater floor – there are lots of them – I even slipped in one when trying to take a photo and was walking backwards! Ha – I need to be more careful!
And the ability of plants to survive in the harshest of climates is pretty amazing! These little plants with stunning red flowers were scattered about throughout the base of the crater literally GROWING out of ROCK!
What to Bring with You
Ok seriously it’s only a 4 mile hike so beyond wearing sneakers you don’t need much! But, with kids it’s great to be comfortable and be prepared! When it comes to clothing – wear layers so you can comfortably deal with the various weather issues you might have during your hike given the climate changes you might encounter going from slightly chilly at the top to boiling in the hot sun at the base of the crater! I really was wearing my light jacket at the top and quickly took it off as we descended into warmer zones and then a VERY hot crater! Also, you might want to bring along some light snacks or water if you think the kids need it. And of course – bring a camera! You can also buy a min pamphlet all about the crater – it costs only $1 as a donation. This guide provided lots of insights about the trail and climate changes within this volcano.
Kilauea Iki Hike Photos
Remember you are in a volcano – so look for some steam vents. We actually did see some steam smoking gently at the bottom of the crater from various vents.
Add on the Thurston Lava Tube
After you finish your little adventure – go just a tiny bit farther It’s probably about another 1/2 mile to 1 mile total roundtrip to add the Thurston Lava tube trail to your hike. You can see lots of buses and cars in this area from the parking lot. It’s a must do so definitely go explore! This is a BIG lava tub so no worries about crawling through some treacherous cave. You’ll just walk right on through it and it’s even lit up!
Read about this hike and other fun things to explore at Volcanoes National Park here.