Thomas A Jaggar Museum


It is rare to have the opportunity to see volcanic science live and in person, however at the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum this rarified access to the volcano observatory and the tools of volcanic science mix with the live action eruptive display of the nearby Halema'uma'u Crater. Whether you are a budding volcanologist or just a curious traveler you can get a quick education into the special world of Hawaii's volcanoes, making for a greater understanding of the natural force that built these Hawaiian Islands.

Highlights: Visit the only volcanic science museum in the world with an active volcano erupting next to it. Stay for sunset and watch the orange glow from the eruption illuminate the steam and gas cloud billowing from the nearby crater.
Hours: Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 6 pm (though hours vary by season and volcanic activity. Summer 2014 closing time was 7:30 p.m.)
Hazards!: Fumes from the ongoing gas eruption are rich in sulfur dioxide gas so be aware of wind direction and fumes. Sturdy closed-toe footwear will best protect you if you are planning to walk and explore the trails into the lava. Beware the lava rock can be jagged and sharp edged easily cutting into exposed areas of the body.
Fee: Free with $10 per car park entry, receipt good for 7 days re-entry.

Built in its current location in 1985, the "Jaggar Museum" pays homage to its' founder and his passion for studying the volcano, a science we now refer to as volcanology. The original observatory founded in 1912 by Dr. Jaggar was the first of its kind in Hawaii, and has led to over a century of up close monitoring of the volcanoes on the slopes of Mauna Loa.

Hands on displays highlight the mythology, and science of the Hawaiian volcanoes' eruptions and their cultural and scientific significance. Real-time seismographs show the subtle motion of the volcano you are standing upon, and rangers on duty outside on the observation deck can help you interpret what is happening currently with this evolving natural wonder.

Live Kilauea Caldera Panorama Camera:

Ph: 808-985-6000

Directions: The Thomas A. Jaggar Museum is located in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The Park is located on the island of Hawaii

  • From Hilo: travel 28 miles via HI-route 11 driving southwest for 45 minute. Look for the signs for "Hawaii Volcanoes National Park" just past the 28-mile marker. Entrance will follow on the left. Upon entering the park follow the signs for "Jaggar Museum"
  • From Kailua-Kona: travel 96 miles southeast on Highway 11 (2 to 2 1/2 hour drive), or 125 miles through Waimea and Hilo via highways 19 and 11 (2 1/2 to 3 hours). Approaching mile markers 32 through 29 follow signs for "Hawaii Volcanoes National Park" looking for right turn mile after mile marker 29. Upon entering the park follow the signs for "Jaggar Museum"


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