More than 130,000 acres of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island have been designated as Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness managed by the National Park Service.
A large area of the Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness is located in the southwest part of the park including several miles along the coast. Also part of the Wilderness area in this region is the Olaa Forest and an area southeast of the park’s Kilauea Visitor Center.
Another region of Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness is located within the northwestern extension of the National Park and this Wilderness area includes Mokuaweoweo, the summit of Mauna Loa volcano which is Earth’s largest volcano by volume.
When these Hawaii Wilderness areas were designated in 1978 they became part of the 109-million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System established as a result of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
The Wilderness status confers upon the area certain rules prohibiting or regulating such things as commercial activity, road building, and other activities with the goal of preserving the pristine natural resources of the region.