Hawaii is home to active volcanoes like Kilauea, as well as extinct volcanoes such as the famous Diamond Head. The volcanoes typically erupt at a calm pace, and visitors can either view the lava flow from a distance or up close and personal. It’s an exciting opportunity to witness one of the world’s most unique natural forms in action. Here are the 8 best volcanoes in Hawaii to check out during your next visit.
Visit These Incredible Volcanoes In Hawaii
One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea is located at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, 30 miles southwest of Hilo. The park was founded in 1916 and is 333,000 acres, featuring 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, deserts, and rainforests. Erupting since the early 1980s, Kilauea is often referred to as “the word’s only drive-in volcano” and produces enough daily lava to resurface a 20-mile, two-lane road. It’s an exciting opportunity to witness lava flows firsthand.
2. Mauna Loa
Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 and is also located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. The park was also named a World Biosphere site by UNESCO, and it was also honored as a World Heritage site in 1987. There is a museum in the park, along with petroglyphs, and a walk-in lava tube—making it the perfect place to come and interact with one of the world’s most impressive natural features.
The third youngest and most historically active volcano on the Big Island, Hualalai was last active in the 1800s and covers approximately 290 square miles. Hualalai’s volcanic cones provide the ash soil for the surround Kona coffee belt, and its lava is noted for containing many mantle xenoliths, which are pieces of Earth’s mantle brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions.
The only other active volcano in Hawaii, Haleakala is located on the east side of Maui and forms more than three-quarters of the entire island. Haleakala National Park preserves the outstanding volcanic landscapes of the higher slopes of Haleakala and makes for a great day trip to explore and look around.
5. Diamond Head
One of the most famous volcanoes in Hawaii, Diamond Head is an extinct volcano located on the island of Oahu that attracts many visitors who come to hike up the crater. More than 3,500 feet in diameter with a 760-foot summit, Diamond Head offers incredible views of Waikiki and the rest of the island.
6. Mauna Kea
A dormant volcano on the Big Island, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on earth, standing nearly five miles above the ocean floor. It is also one of the few places in the world where you can drive from sea level to 14,000 feet in approximately two hours.
The oldest volcano in Hawaii, Kohala is approximately one million years old and is located on the Big Island. One great way to experience this volcano is by taking a helicopter tour, which provides stunning views of the volcano and the rest of the island.
8. West Maui Mountains
Also known as Mauna Kahalawai, the West Maui Mountains form the remaining 25-percent of the island of Maui (with 75-percent formed by Haleakala). The mountains, which are 5,788 feet high, are encircled by a road that offers a scenic drive with beautiful views of the island including lush green valleys that ultimately lead to the town of Lahaina.
This article was written by Kamala Kirk.