The Shutdown Isn’t Stopping Tourists From Flocking to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The government shutdown hasn’t stopped people from visiting national parks, and across the US, the administration’s decision to leave the parks open while the government that cares for them is shut down has created havoc. In Hawaii, one of the most visited parks in the US, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is still seeing a strong influx of visitors.
With the shutdown leaving the park without any visitor services, no one is collecting entrance fees. Tourists are still coming in large numbers to the park to catch a glimpse of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald. But they are left with only a few “accessible spots” in the park with the closure of Chain of Craters Road, with far less opportunity for those looking to visit the iconic Kilauea volcano.
Parts of the park were already closed after Kilauea’s eruption in May of 2018, giving tourists even less flexibility to explore HVNP. The government shutdown is affecting more than aspiring hikers and travelers. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which is responsible for monitoring the volcanic activity in the park, has been reduced to a “skeleton crew” of eight scientists, according to Tina Neal, HVO scientist in-charge, reported the Hawaii Tribune Herald.
While the park isn’t getting entrance fees, local businesses are staying afloat thanks to the continued tourism. Ira Ono, owner of Volcano Garden Arts and Cafe, told the Hawaii Tribune Herald that as long as the park is “barely open” then “we’re okay.” Concern for the financial stability of local businesses comes on the heels of Kilauea’s eruption, leaving the main park area at the summit closed for 134 days.
At HVNP, visitors are fighting for the limited space in the parking lots. The Hawaii Tribune Herald reported that visitors are parking on the curbs and even in the grass — one visitor even getting stuck in the mud while doing so.
The HVNP released a press release on Dec. 21 listing the park’s spots that remain open. According to the press release, the park will remain as accessible as possible while complying with the law.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees