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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopens areas

August 16, 2014 - 4:08am

The popular forested trail at Kipukapuaulu, Namakanipaio campground, and Mauna Loa summit and backcountry within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are now open.

Mauna Loa Road is open to hikers and pedestrians, but is currently closed to vehicles. Visitors who want to access Mauna Loa trail, the summit, and Puuulaula (Red Hill) or Mauna Loa cabins, must obtain a backcountry permit at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center. A gate code for Mauna Loa Road will be provided with the permit. Call 985-6178 for information.

“We’re delighted to report that most of the places visitors typically visit within the national park are now open,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our park crews mobilized quickly, safely, and efficiently to reopen as much of the park as possible following Hurricane Iselle,” she said.

All coastal trails and coastal backcountry campsites are open within the park. Napau and Kulanaokuaiki campsites and Pepeiao Cabin are also open. Power has been restored, and most phones are working throughout the park. Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum have returned to normal operating hours.

Hurricane Iselle, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, snapped trail signs off posts in some areas, and damaged park resources, including a historic home at Ainahou, and a greenhouse used to propagate endangered plants. Potential damage to fencing in remote areas and the coastal nesting sites of the endangered hawksbill turtle are still being assessed, park officials said.

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