Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Just Reopened More Trails to Visitors
The NPS just announced the partial reopening of trails after last year's Mauna Loa eruption.
Hikers can finally set foot on a few trails in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park—but be careful what stone you step on.
The National Park Service just announced the reopening of more trails since Mauna Loa's—the world's largest active volcano—most recent eruption, which started on November 27 and ended on December 10 of last year. It was the first eruption in almost 40 years.
According to a statement issued by the NPS, visitors are now welcome to access the Mauna Loa Trail from the trailhead near Mauna Loa Lookout up until Puʻuʻulaʻula (Red Hill). Red Hill Cabin, the announcement notes, is now open, and it requires a permit in case you wish to use it overnight. Above Red Hill Cabin, though, the trail remains closed for now.
While Mauna Loa's status has now been marked as safe (Green/Normal) by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the NPS is reminding travelers to still be cautious when visiting the park, as a few hazards still persist.
Unsurprisingly, lava seems to be one of those. Specifically, hikers should be careful about new lava, which has covered a good amount of the trail, which could lead to visitors getting lost. You should also, quite literally, watch your step. According to the NPS, "thin layers of solidified lava can collapse if walked on causing lacerations or injury by falling into a cavity," and nobody wants that. If that wasn't enough, the NPS warns that "localized pockets of volcanic gas and particles may remain and present a danger to everyone," so just be careful.
It is also important to remember that closed areas are located in remote, high-elevation zones, where weather and visibility aren't typically the best. It's best to steer clear of those areas and follow the rules, or it might become hard for first responders to come get you.
For more information and to stay up to date with the latest alerts and announcements, you can visit the NPS website.
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