The only park campground accessible by car is Namakani Paio, which has a pavilion with picnic tables and a fireplace (no wood is provided). Tent camping is free; no reservations are required. Stays are limited to 7 days per year. Backpack camping at hiker shelters and cabins is available on a first-come, sharing basis, but you must register at the visitors center.
Kilauea Military Camp is a rest-and-recreation camp for active and retired military personnel a mile from the visitors center. Facilities include 75 one- to four-bedroom cabins with fireplaces, 100-bunk dorm, cafeteria, bowling alley, bar, general store, weight room, and tennis and basketball courts. Rates range from $26 to $100 a night; call tel.808/967-8333 on the Big Island or 808/438-6707 on Oahu.
The following cabins and campgrounds are the best of what the park and surrounding area have to offer:
Halape Shelter--This backcountry site, about 7 miles from the nearest road, is the place for people who want to get away from it all and enjoy their own private white-sand beach. The small, three-sided stone shelter, with a roof but no floor, can accommodate two people comfortably, but four's a crowd. You could pitch a tent inside, but if the weather is nice, you're better off setting up outside. There's a catchment water tank, but check with rangers on the water situation before hiking in (sometimes they don't have accurate information on the water level; bring extra water just in case). The only other facility is a pit toilet. Go on weekdays if you're really looking to get away from it all. It's free to stay here, but you're limited to 3 nights. Permits are available at the visitors center on a first-come, first-served basis, no earlier than noon on the day before your trip. For more information, call tel. 808/985-6000.
Namakani Paio Campgrounds & Cabins--Just 5 miles west of the park entrance is a tall eucalyptus forest where you can pitch a tent in an open grassy field. The trail to Kilauea Crater is just a half-mile away. No permit is needed for tent camping, but stays are limited to 7 days. Facilities include pavilions with barbecues and a fireplace, picnic tables, outdoor dishwashing areas, rest rooms, and drinking water. There are also 10 cabins that accommodate up to four people each. Each cabin has a covered picnic table at the entrance and a fireplace with a grill. Toilets, sinks, and hot showers are available in a separate building. In the town of Volcano, 4 miles away, you can get groceries and gas. Make cabin reservations through Volcano House, P.O. Box 53, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 (tel. 808/967-7321); the cost is $40 per night for two adults (and two children), $48 for three adults, $56 for four adults.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.