Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the most popular visitor attraction in the state, announced today that areas of the park will remain accessible to visitors despite the government shutdown.
The government shutdown, which enters its 23rd day today, is the longest running in U.S. history. Due to the absence of appropriations, some park attractions have been closed, and some park services, including emergency and rescue, have been limited.
National Park Service officials said today they determined they may use Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to restore back park maintenance crews to clean restrooms, remove trash and complete health and safety operations.
Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hawaii Pacific Parks Association also are continuing to provide donations to keep the Kilauea Visitor Center open. Officials said “entrance stations will be open to provide safety and information protection messages to arriving visitors, but entrance fees and camping fees will not be collected.”
Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said in a release: “We greatly appreciate the generous contributions of park partners, especially Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, Volcano Art Center, and Hawaii Pacific Parks Association who have provided tens of thousands of dollars in financial and in-kind donations during the lapse in appropriations.
“Their efforts have contributed significantly to our ability to provide access and basic services to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park,” Orlando said.
Basic park visitor services continue; however, other services may be limited or unavailable, including special events, ranger talks and programs. While much of the park is open, some facilities and areas will remain closed, including Chain of Craters Road, Kulanaokuaiki Campground, all backcountry areas and Kahuku.
Those planning a trip to the park should get the latest updsates at the park’s website at nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.
Accessible areas include:
>> Kilauea Visitor Center (KVC), exhibits, picnic tables, and restrooms.
>> The Hawaiii Pacific Parks Association store in KVC.
>> Crater Rim Drive from the park entrance to Kilauea Military Camp.
>> Crater Rim Drive from the park entrance to the intersection at Devastation Trail Parking Lot.
>> Crater Rim Drive to viewpoints of Halemaumau near Keanakakoi (pedestrians/bicyclists only).
>> Crater Rim Trail between Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp.
>> Volcano House lodging, gift stores and restaurants.
>> Kilauea Military Camp.
>> Volcano Art Center Gallery.
>> Steam Vents and Sulphur Banks.
>> Mauna Loa Road to Kipukapuaulu (vehicles not permitted past the gate at Kipukapuaulu).
>> Mauna Loa Road to Mauna Loa Lookout — pedestrians and bicyclists only.
>> Kipukapuaulu day use picnic area.
>> Kipukapuaulu and trail.
>> Kau Desert Trail to the new “Footprints” exhibit.
>> Escape Road from Highway 11 to Crater Rim Drive (no vehicles).
>> Namakanipaio Campground.