Despite turnout upon reopening, park visitor numbers down

Visitation to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park might take more time to recover.

While initial turnout looked promising, park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said the number of people who entered the park from Sept. 22-Oct. 22 was down 31 percent from the same period last year.


The park, except for the Kahuku Unit, was closed for about four months as the Kilauea summit was rocked by earthquakes and collapse events associated with the recent lower Puna eruption.

Ferracane said most of the park is open except for some main attractions — Jaggar Museum and overlook, Kilauea Iki trail and Thurston lava tube.

Visitation is often variable, she said, and the absence of lava inside the park could be a reason the number of visitors is down.

While it’s unclear if Jaggar, which sustained substantial damage, will reopen, some of the exhibits from the museum are still planned to be displayed in Pahoa.


Matt Purvis, Mainstreet Pahoa Association president, said they will be displayed at a location next to Kaleo’s restaurant. No opening date has been announced.

Ferracane said some of the exhibits will be transferred Nov. 8.

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