Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Offering History Tours Through The Volcano House

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New & Old. Park Ranger Travis Delimont stands outside the 1877 Volcano House (now the Volcano Art Center), which was relocated to this location in 1921 as part of a major renovation of the Victorian-inspired Volcano House. NPS Photo Art by Jay Robinson.

You're invited to take a walk through history at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, where rangers are interpreting the history of the famous Volcano House, one step at a time.

A new, one-hour, ranger-guided walk takes visitors on a fun, anecdote-filled journey through the various incarnations of the Volcano House, which “officially” began in 1846 as a grass house on the rim of Kīlauea Caldera. Visitors can participate in the new trek starting Friday during a public open house of the iconic hotel, which celebrates the grand opening of the property following a multi-million dollar renovation.

Dubbed the “History of Volcano House,” the guided walk will be offered at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. The walk and open house are free, but park entrance fees apply.

Park Ranger Travis Delimont, who developed the program as a way for visitors to understand and appreciate the fascinating past – and present – of the hotel, includes a stop at a hālau near the Kahua Hula – similar to the 1846 structure. Then it’s a short walk to the 1877 Volcano House that today serves as the Volcano Art Center.

Along the way, visitors learn about the colorful characters and stories that punctuate the history of this historic hotel. The program ends at the “new” 1941 Volcano House, where guests can once again spend the night on one of the world’s most active volcanoes, dine with views of erupting Halema‘uma‘u Crater, and enjoy a hot beverage in front of its famous fireplace, or outdoors on newly constructed crater-view decks.

“The Volcano House hotel has always captivated people. Its rich and eclectic history has contributed to the personality of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park today. There are many interesting stories and characters along the way, and we want to share them with everyone,” said Ranger Delimont.

Can’t make the festivities Friday? This walk is offered at various times throughout the week. Check the bulletin board outside Kīlauea Visitor Center after 9 a.m. for daily hikes and programs. The 33-room hotel is owned by the National Park Service, and is managed under contract by Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC.