Entrance fees at Hawaii’s national parks will be waived this weekend and on Mon., Jan. 16 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday. (The holiday, which marks the birthday of the civil rights leader, is observed on the third Monday in January.)
In addition to the three-day freebie, the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (pictured, right) will waive entrance fees on Sat., Jan. 21 in honor of the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s 100-year anniversary.
A free Hawaiian Volcano Observatory open house is slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 21 at the observatory, operated by the U.S. Geological Survey on a bluff just west of Kilauea volcano’s summit caldera. It will feature presentations and demos detailing how scientists track both volcanic and earthquake action. Also, the event offers a chance to chat with scientists who get close to volcanic action. The observatory is located within the national park, but is typically not open to the public. For information on the HVO open house, click here.
A news release issued by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park notes that several ranger-led hikes and programs will be held on the fee-free dates. For additional information, click here.
Hawaii boasts a total of eight national parks, with five on the Big Island and one on Maui, Molokai and Oahu, respectively. Three regularly charge admission: Hawaii Volcanoes, Haleakala National Park (pictured, left) on Maui and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on the Big Island. Admission is always free at the other five: Ala Kahakai National Historoic Trail (Big Island), Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (Kailua-Kona, Big Island), Puukohola Heiau (Kawaihae, Big Island), Kalaupapa National Historical Park (Molokai), and World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (Pearl Harbor, Oahu).
The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees for National Park Week, April 21-29. In all, there are 397 national parks, which include: national historical parks, national historic sites, national historic trails, national monuments, and, yes, national parks. For more information on special offerings at parks nationwide, click here.
Photos: Hawaii Tourism Authority HTA/Tor Johnson