Kīlauea Military Camp at Kilauea Volcano Recreation Center sits on 52 acres of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s 300,000+ acres and has a history as old as the park, having been established in the same year — 1916. In its 100+ years of existence, KMC had served as a training facility, housed a Navy camp, hosted numerous dignitaries including General Dwight D. Eisenhower who later became the president of the United States, and briefly served as an internment camp and later as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.
Its 90 guest cottages and apartments with one, two, or three bedrooms are available to authorized military patrons, family members, and their sponsored guests.
Most people, when they learn that Kīlauea Military Camp is reserved for military, National Guard, Reserves, DOD civilians, and their families, drive right past it, assuming that it isn’t open to the public. Thankfully, on our first day in the park, one of the rangers at the Kīlauea Visitor Center recommended the camp as a great place to not only stock up on picnic food, snacks, and drinks, but to hang out if it started to rain during our visit.
Only the lodging at Kīlauea Military Camp is reserved for military. Almost all other amenities are open to the public, including the six-lane bowling alley, game room with arcade games and pool tables, general store, post office, and gas station.
- The gas station is the only gas station anywhere near or in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and is open 24 hours a day.
- The general store, offering food, snacks, drinks, toiletries, souvenirs, and more is open from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.
Also open to the public are multiple dining options that make fantastic alternatives to the dining at Volcano House, the only other dining location in the park.
- Crater Rim Cafe offers traditional options and island cuisine. Select nights feature an ala carte Sizzle dinner menu of “grilled-to-order” entrees. Special buffets are offered on certain holidays and evenings. Open daily for breakfast from 6:30 am to 11:00 am. Open Monday through Friday for lunch from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Open daily for dinner from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
- 10 Pin Grill, located in the bowling alley, offers burgers, pizza, dinner specials, hot and cold sandwiches, beer, and wine coolers. Open Monday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 9:30 pm and Saturday, Sunday, and Federal Holidays from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
- Java Cafe in the Recreation Lodge features Starbucks Coffee® and homegrown Ka’u Coffee, cinnamon rolls, muffins, yogurt, smoothies, fresh-baked cream puffs, lemon bars, and more. Open daily from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Know Before You Go
- Kīlauea Military Camp is located at 99-252 Crater Rim Drive, Volcano, Hawaii 96785 in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, 1.0 mile from the Kīlauea Visitor Center.
- Kīlauea Military Camp lodging is reserved for active duty military, retired military, National Guard, Reserves, DOD civilians, and their families and offers 90 one, two, and three bedroom cottages and apartments.
- All other amenities including the restaurant and bar, six-lane bowling alley, game room with arcade games and pool tables, tennis and basketball courts, general store, post office, and gas station are open to the public.
- The General Store is the perfect place to stop in the morning to stock up on picnic items, snack, drinks, and bottled water before adventuring out into the national park.
- On particular rainy days, if you’re not up for exploring in the rain, the Kīlauea Military Camp is a great place to take your kids for indoor activities like bowling, pool, and arcade games.