End of the Road

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Sort of. The road ends where the lava says it ends, having consumed this coastal section of Chain of Craters Road repeatedly since 1969. Currently there is a small ranger shack, pit toilets and a small concession stand at the turnaround. Parking is limited to the shoulders as you approach; evening lava-hunters (and their vehicles) have disappeared since the lava stopped in 2018.

Sadly, the iconic pahoehoe (smooth flowing lava)–ensconced 'Road Closed' sign is gone. It was removed in 2014 so bulldozers could punch in a new $5.1 million gravel emergency access route to Kalapana – which was promptly buried again in 2016. Cyclists and pedestrians are welcome to carry on to Kalapana – 8 miles east.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park attractions

1. Holei Sea Arch

0.05 MILES

Constantly brutalized by unrelenting surf, the coastal section of Chain of Craters Road has sharply eroded lava-rock pali (cliffs). Visible from near the…

2. Puʻu Loa Petroglyphs

1.56 MILES

The gentle, 1.3-mile round-trip to Puʻu Loa (roughly, 'hill of long life') leads to one of Hawaiʻi's largest concentrations of ancient petroglyphs, some…

3. Kealakomo

4.44 MILES

About halfway along Chain of Craters Road is this coastal lookout (elevation 2000ft), with picnic tables and commanding views. That inky black snake's…

4. Old Pulu Factory

6.32 MILES

Ancient Hawaiians used pulu, the golden, silky fibers found at the base of hapuʻu (tree fern) fiddleheads, to dress wounds and embalm the dead. In the…

5. Puʻu ʻOʻo

6.45 MILES

Puʻu ʻOʻo vent saw the longest-lasting and most voluminous of the Kilauea's eruptions, oozing an estimated 80 to 160 million gallons of lava per day, or…

6. Makaopuhi Crater

6.59 MILES

This jaw-dropping, mile-long crater is the largest in the East Rift Zone. Although once accessible by road, it's now 5 miles along the Napau Crater Trail,…

7. ʻAlae Lava Shield


The once-awesome ʻAlae crater did not go easily. The Mauna Ulu eruption had just filled the 1440ft-wide and 540ft-deep crater with a lake of molten lava…

8. Mauna Ulu

8.36 MILES

In 1969, eruptions from Kilauea's East Rift Zone began building a new lava shield, Mauna Ulu (Growing Mountain). By the time the flow stopped in 1974, it…