AAA Editor Notes
Chain of Craters Road, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, extends 19 mi. from Crater Rim Dr. at 4,091-foot Kīlauea Summit and ends at a 2003 lava flow. You'll see ancient petroglyphs at the end of the three-quarter-mile Pu‘u Loa (Hill of Long Life) Trail; in order to help preserve them, visitors may not disturb them or take rubbings. The road skirts spatter cones, pit craters and recent lava flows as it descends the summit of Kīlauea toward the sea. Mauna Ulu, a large lava shield created by eruptions 1969-74, is visible from an overlook. At the end of the road, where pavement meets the Pacific, you're treated to an excellent view of the 60-foot-tall Hōlei Sea Arch.
Note: Chain of Craters Road dead ends where it's buried by lava from varied flows. Visit the Kīlauea Visitor Center to check conditions before starting the drive. Restrooms are available, and Volcano House operates a small snack bar at the end of the road.