Following months of closures, Volcanoes Park is returning to life

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Volcano House, above, and other services inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are now reopened after shuttering for more than four months during volcanic activity.
Volcano House, above, and other services inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are now reopened after shuttering for more than four months during volcanic activity.

Amenities and accommodations continue to reopen to visitors as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park proceeds on its march toward regular operations following months of volcanic activity this summer.

The majority of the park on Hawaii Island was closed for four months, the longest shutdown in its history, and while the park held a reopening on Sept. 22, many of the lodging, dining and camping options remained off limits. Still, an average of 1,806 people have visited the park each day since the reopening, according to park officials.

The Volcano House reopened to guests on Oct. 6, and its restaurant overlooking Kilauea summit, the Rim, started serving dinner again at the end of last month. The hotel also manages the park's Namakanipaio Campground, and hotel management expects to fully reopen the campground and A-frame cabins the first week of December.

The park's Kulanaokuaiki Campground and Hilina Pali Road up to the drive-in campground both reopened on Oct. 19. Past the campground, the road was severely damaged by earthquakes and remains closed to vehicles. Hikers and bicyclists (on nonmotorized bicycles only) are permitted to use the road to reach Hilina Pali Overlook and Hilina Pali and Kaaha trails.

Most backcountry campgrounds and trails are now open in the park, including Mauna Loa and Napau. Pepeiao Cabin and the Kau Desert Trail past the Footprints shelter remain closed. Also closed are Kilauea Iki Trail and the popular Thurston Lava Tube, which continues to be analyzed for potential hazards. All trails going into Kilauea caldera remain closed along with sections of Crater Rim Trail.

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