Here is some good news if you'll be in Hawaii next week.
Next week is National Park Week and in honor of the celebration, entrance fees will be waived next Monday through Friday, April 22-26, 2013 at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on Hawaii Island (the Big Island) and at Haleakala National Park on Maui.
The other five parks in Hawaii that are part of the National Park system already offer free admission every day of the year.
This year's theme, "Did you know..." is intended to allow visitors the chance to learn amazing and unique things about all 401 national parks. For example, did you know that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is 520 square miles, nearly as large as the entire island of Oahu (597 square miles)?
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park there will be special, free programs during the week:
Kilauea Iki Crater Hike
Join master ranger volunteer Charlene Meyers on an invigorating four-mile, three-hour hike through the rain forest and onto the crater floor of Kilauea Iki. Learn how the 1959 eruption forever changed this landscape.
Where: Meet Charlene at the Kilauea Iki Overlook Parking lot (on Crater Rim Drive)
When: Tuesday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Amazing Mauna Ulu
Explore fascinating volcanic features like fissures and lava trees that were formed during the 1969-74 Mauna Ulu eruption with master ranger volunteer Noel Eberz. The one-mile, one-hour round-trip hike will highlight the amazing process of plant survival on this harsh lava landscape.
Where: Meet Noel at the Mauna Ulu parking lot, four miles down Chain of Craters Road.
When: Wednesday, April 24 at 11 a.m., and again at 1 p.m.
Join Park Ranger Adrian Boone for a two-hour, 1.5-mile round-trip trek across ancient lava flows to the largest petroglyph field in Hawai'i. Discover the meanings inherent in these rock carvings and gather a greater understanding of the native people who created them.
Where: Meet Ranger Adrian at the Pu'uloa Petroglyphs parking area, near the end of Chain of Craters Road. (A 45-minute drive from the park entrance).
When: Thursday, April 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
NPS Volunteer Day
Save Hawai'i's native rainforest, and join forces with volunteers Jane and Paul Field to remove Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive non-native plants that threaten the native understory alongside Halema'uma'u Trail. Bring garden gloves.
Where: Meet the Fields at Kilauea Visitor Center. Tools will be provided.
When: Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.
If you plan on visiting the park next week and taking park in any of these free programs be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain-gear, day pack, snacks and water.
There will also be the regularly scheduled programs in the park, and at the Kahuku Unit, during National Park Week. For a complete listing, visit the park website.
The National Park Service will waive entrance fees again on July 13 (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's 33rd Annual Cultural Festival), August 25 (NPS Birthday), Sept. 28 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 9-11 (Veteran's Day weekend).