Should Haleakala Water Problems Concern Visitors?

Free Entry Hawaii National Parks: Why 4M Visited Last Year

The Hawaii national parks, including two parks that were once called Hawaii National Park for 50 years, are offering free admission to all visitors on select days. These are Haleakalā National Park on Maui and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The normal cost of admission is $30.00 per vehicle.

Here are five times when you can visit our incomparable Hawaii National Parks without an admission charge, as shown below.

  • August 4, 2022 – Anniversary of Great American Outdoor Act
  • September 24, 2022 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11, 2022 – Veteran’s Day
  • January 16, 2023 – Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 15, 2023 – First Day of National Park Week

Founded in 1916 as one Hawaii National Park.

Hawaii Volcanoes National park and Haleakala National Park are the quintessential examples of Hawaii’s beauty. They were originally conceived as one unified park simply called Hawaii National Park. Then in 1961, Haleakala became a separate national park. Nonetheless, the two parks are firmly sistered together in perpetuity.

Hawaii National Parks are rocking it again in 2022.

NPS said in announcing the latest report that “Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is a World Heritage Site cherished by visitors and our community, who come to discover the active volcanoes of Kilauea and Mauna Loa, and the incredible natural and cultural resources that extend from sea level to summit. Visitor spending benefits the island economy, and visitors who recreate responsibly, plan ahead, and respect this sacred Hawaiian landscape also benefit the national park.”

There are eight national park units in Hawaii that saw nearly 4 million visitors last year. They brought a total benefit to Hawaii of $607 million. Last year, 1.7 M returning visitors brought 120M just to the Big Island. That is according to the latest report from NPS.  This year will be even more popular.

Current Kilauea volcano eruption and viewing.

Seeing an eruption in person is something you simply will never forget. In that regard, please share with us your volcano viewing experiences. Your editors will be heading to Volcanoes National Park and provide on-the-ground updates from there this fall.

The most recent Kilauea volcano eruption started on September 29, 2021, in the Halemaumau Crater. As of today, lava is continuing to erupt from a vent in the western wall of the crater. All of the lava activity is confined within the park’s crater.

The current eruption has created an enormous lava lake seen from many overlooks surrounding the Kilauea caldera. Here’s the most recent video from June 15.

Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes have strong feelings of ohana.

Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh said, ‘There is a strong feeling of ʻohana between Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakalā. Both parks kōkua each other, sharing staff to assist with fires, eruptions, increased visitation, or whatever comes up. The only thing that separates us is the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel.”

True that, but we can say from experience that the Alenuihaha is one monster of a channel. Your editors crossed it once in a rather small ship during gusty winds. That’s something you won’t ever forget!

“From mauka to makai, our island communities have deep connections to these special places. August 4 is a day for us to celebrate both parks with the folks who help us mālama ʻāina.” — Haleakalā National Park Superintendent Natalie Gates.

Even if you can’t be there on August 4, or on one of the other free admission days, you can still take part. There are two publications available for free online. “Fire on the Rim: the Creation of Hawaii National Park,” and “Gathering on the Rim: People Build a Park.” These depict the complex and fascinating history of the parks.

Image of sunrise at Mt. Haleakala.

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1 thought on “Free Entry Hawaii National Parks: Why 4M Visited Last Year”

  1. For those who may not be aware, it is always worth noting the NPS has had (for several years) a program aimed at 4th graders to increase their interest in the National Parks. Not every school may do this, but if yours does your 4th grade student can get a free park pass. More details on this can be found at: nps.gov/brvb/planyourvisit/annual-4th-grade-pass.htm

    The NPS also offers a 1 year pass, military pass and several other options and more info on those offerings are available at: nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

    Our National Park System is one of the best things our government has accomplished – and a moment here to remember the contributions of President Theodore Roosevelt.

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