Drive Chain of Craters Road

37.6 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Madison Sankovitz

This is an exceptionally scenic and spectacular drive in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park that leads to petroglyphs and ocean views.

Starting at the Kilauea Visitor Center, this 18.8 mile drive begins its 3,700 foot elevation change by meandering through the rainforest. Follow signs from the visitor center (near the entrance of the park) to Crater Rim Drive. Chain of Craters Road begins off of Crater Rim Drive, 3.3 miles south of Kilauea Visitor Center. If you want to take a side trip, turn onto Hilina Pali Road, 5.6 miles from the visitor center. There you can drive 9 miles to Hilina Pali Overlook to get a nice view of the ocean and see native ‘ohi‘a trees and underbrush. Follow Chain of Craters Road 13.2 miles from the visitor center to Kealakomo Overlook, where you will have a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and an expansive view of the vast lava flow that covered portions of the ancient village of Kealakomo. The lookout is also a great place for a picnic lunch and a great photographic area. This overlook sits on the crest of Holei Pali (cliff). Continue about 6 miles further down the road to Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs, which is the largest petroglyph field in the state of Hawai'i. Here you can see motifs of circles, other geometric designs, and cryptic designs of humans (known as anthropomorphisms). In order to see the petroglyphs, you must walk along the lava to the boardwalk, about 1.5 miles round-trip. Continue about 2 miles further down Chain of Craters Road to Holei Sea Arch (which is at the end of the road). There is a short trail to the ocean and the arch. Currently, the sea arch is about 90 feet. 

Note: Honor the profound importance the petroglyphs hold for many native Hawaiians - past, present, and future. Respect the importance by staying on the boardwalk. 

Read More

Tags

Fitness
Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

about 1 month ago

Great drive

The best drive on the Island of Hawaii. It's got so many spots to stop. Take a camera!

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

One of the best roads

I loved this road because there are so many great places to stop! You can easily spend the whole day here.

Beautiful!

This road was so beautiful. You could see the ocean driving down the volcano and we happened to be there right as the sun was going down over the water and it was stunning. Highly recommend.

Stay Nearby

Hilo, Hawaii

Hawk Of The Heavens | Near Dining & National Park

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Located just 3.5 miles from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, your island get...

From $145/night

Keaau, Hawaii

Tropical Garden Cottage: 2 Studios Near Beach!

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $150/night

Keaau, Hawaii

Tropical Garden Cottage Unit B Near Beach!

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $75/night

Keaau, Hawaii

Tropical Garden Cottage Unit A W/ Outdoor Kitchen

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $75/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike The Kilauea Iki Trail

    The trail begins at the Kīlauea Iki parking lot on Crater Rim Drive. You may go either way from the trailhead. Going left will take you to the Thurston Lava Tube parking lot and then down to the floor of Kīlauea Iki. Going right will take hikers t...

  • Explore the Halema‘uma‘u Crater

    Everyone knows that Hawaii was formed from a series of volcanoes over millions of years. But did you know that you can experience one of them up close? Well, as close as you can while staying safe, obviously. The Halema'uma'u Crater has been activ...

    0.5 miles

  • Bike to the Kalapana Lava Flow

    When we chose to visit the volcanic big island of Hawaii, we knew that seeing an active lava flow was a must do. We decided to go at sunset and into the evening, as the lava flow would be spectacular under the dark night sky - we were right.  Star...

    13.2 miles 150 ft gain

  • Swim at Kehena Black Sand Beach

    This beach lives up to Hawaii’s stunning fame. You can park in the curved area that is set away from the road, or along the street. Follow the little signs down the trail to the beach. It’s a bit of a scamper down some lava rocks to get there, so ...