Kilauea has been erupting almost continuously since 1983, but the 2018 flow was completely different. The volcano essentially replumbed itself. The park, which had been where the action was all these decades saw the magma source cut off and diverted out onto the flank of the volcano into Lower Puna 25 miles to the east. And as the lava retreated, groundwater seeped into the hot rocks more than a thousand feet below Halema‘uma‘u Crater, flashing into steam and sending coughing fits of ash into the air from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Meanwhile, Lower Puna saw volcano fissures sending curtains of lava into the air, which ran into the ocean.

But all that seems to have ended. There are no surface flows anywhere on the island. Hawai’i Volcanos National Park, battered by countless earthquakes and explosions from Halema’uma’u Crater is quiet now and reopened in September. Hwy 130 is open all the way down to the coast and along the coastline past Kehena Black Sand Beach to where lava covered the road at MacKenzie D-State Recreation Area. But Hwy 132 to the former town of Kapoho is covered over with lava and blocked.

To get more information about the volcano and the incredible story of how the eruption ended, check out the free portion of our Hawaii Revealed app.

Volcano lava flow 


See Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s website for a list of specific closures.

Hawaii Volcano Lava Map

Big Island Lava Flow

Volcano Lava Flow



The lava flow is currently about half way between the park side access and the county side access. It’s slightly closer to the county side. The easiest access to the lava flows is to take the newly scraped lava road 3 miles (each way) to where the lava is flowing. Unfortunately, the road was paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency when lava was threatening another area. Since FEMA carved the road for a different purpose, federal bureaucrats didn’t want you to walk on it, and the park officials were in the unenviable position of being the killjoy enforcers for FEMA’s ridiculous policy. Common sense has now prevailed and you’re allowed to walk on it. Bring plenty of water because it’s hot where you’re going.

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