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Entrance fees set to rise at Hawaii's three national parks. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park still mostly closed

Entrance fees set to rise at Hawaii's three national parks. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park still mostly closed
Visitors hike through the massive crater at Haleakala National Park, located in the upcountry of Maui. Fees will rise Friday and again in 2020. (Tor Johnson / Hawaii Tourism Authority)

The three national parks in Hawaii that charge entrance fees will be increasing the price starting Friday. The Hawaii Annual Tri-Park pass that provides access to all three parks will jump from $30 to $50, with an additional $5 increase planned for Jan. 1, 2020.

The pass covers unlimited admission for one year to Haleakala National Park on Maui plus Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (most of which is closed because of the dramatic eruption and seismic activity from Kīlauea Volcano) and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, both on the island of Hawaii.

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Large carved statues known as kii surround a temple once used by chieftains at Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.
Large carved statues known as kii surround a temple once used by chieftains at Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. (Tyler Schmitt/Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau)

A new annual pass specific to Puuhonua o Honaunau, priced at $30, will also be available Friday. Regular park admission will also climb to $15 per vehicle, with the added revenue helping support long-delayed improvements at the historical park.

Often overlooked, Puuhonua o Honaunau — near the village of Captain Cook, about 20 miles south of the Kona airport was, in ancient times, a residence for Hawaiian chieftains. Kii, carved wooded statues, surround the sacred Hale o Keawe temple.

A park ranger leads guests on a walk through the Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located roughly an hour's drive from the main entrance, it is the only portion of the park currently open.
A park ranger leads guests on a walk through the Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located roughly an hour's drive from the main entrance, it is the only portion of the park currently open. (Janice Wei / National Park Service)

Visitors who don’t make frequent trips to the parks may purchase individual park passes that are good for seven days. However, those passes will also increase in price.

Current and 2020 fees cost $25 (rising to $30) for vehicles, $20 (rising to $30) for motorcycles and $12 (rising to $15) for bicycle riders or pedestrians.

At least 80% of fees are used in the park at which they were collected.

Two-thirds of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — the area surrounded by the currently-erupting Kilauea volcano — remains off limits. A park spokesman said the closure will continue until scientists determine it is safe to reopen.
Two-thirds of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — the area surrounded by the currently-erupting Kilauea volcano — remains off limits. A park spokesman said the closure will continue until scientists determine it is safe to reopen. (Tor Johnson / Hawaii Tourism Authority)

The main unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been closed for more than 20 days, with “no end in sight,” park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said. The park has been rocked by violent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that have destroyed more than 70 homes.

Ferracane said the decision to reopen the park and declare the area safe rests with scientists at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

The park’s Kahuku Unit, about a one-hour drive south from the main entrance, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located along the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano, it offers visitors hikes across the large lava bed from an 1868 eruption and through native forests.

The awesome power of nature is seen in this May 6 photo of magma spewing from the crater of Kilauea volcano. Two-thirds of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed to visitors, and even most staff have relocated to Hilo.
The awesome power of nature is seen in this May 6 photo of magma spewing from the crater of Kilauea volcano. Two-thirds of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed to visitors, and even most staff have relocated to Hilo. (Janice Wei / National Park Service)

Admission fees for visitors who go now are being waived while the other two-thirds of the park remain off limits.

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