Hawaii's Active Volcanoes

The "Big Island" of Hawaii is home to Kilauea the world's most active volcano. The latest eruption of Kilauea Volcano began in 1983 and continues at the active cinder cone of Pu'u 'O'o. Lava emerging from the cone flows through a network of tubes for about 7 miles to the sea.

The first eruption of Kilauea is estimated at 500,000 years ago. In recent times the Kilauea Caldera has had almost continuous activity during the 19th century through today.

The Hawaiians consider Kilauea to be the home of "Pele" the Volcano Goddess. Many Hawaiian stories and chants tell of many eruptions instigated by the angry Pele. These stories recant the many eruptions of Kilauea long before the first European to record activity in 1823.

Skylight in the flow field of the Smoke Flow atop the Pulama pali, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Lava fountain at Pu'u 'O'o Lava emerging from a
"Lava Tube" into the sea
"Skylight" in a "Lava Tube"

Mauna Loa the Earth's Largest Volcano

View of Manua Loa Volcano, Hawaii, looking WSW

Rising from the bottom of the sea floor for about 56,000 ft., the top of Mauna Loa is 13,680 ft. above sea level. Mauna Loa covers an area of 2,000 square miles (50% of the "Big Island"). Mauna Loa has had 33 recorded eruptions since 1843. Mauna Loa's earliest eruption is estimated at 1,000,000 years ago. Mauna Loa is still an active volcano and is monitored carefully.

Mauna Kea Hawaii's Tallest Volcano

View of Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawai`i

Mauna Kea (White Mountain) is presently a dormant volcano, having last erupted about 4,500 years ago. However, Mauna Kea is likely to erupt again.

Mauna Kea rises to a height of 13,796 ft. above sea level, making it the tallest volcano in the Hawaiian Islands.

The top of Mauna Kea is unusual clear and free of earth's pollutions. This makes an ideal location for astronomy, hence some of the world's most important observatories are located on top of Mauna Kea.

How to See the Volcanoes

Volcano House - Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park the historic and rustic Volcano House is nestled on the crater rim of Kilauea Caldera. Volcano House guest rooms offer a breathtaking view of the Kilauea crater, Mauna Loa Mountain and the spectacular native forest of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. As Volcano House is the best location from which to access the many hiking trails that take you to the edge flowing lava. At night the many breaks in the Lava Tubes can be seen glowing from the Volcano House.

Helicopter Tour - These tours last for approximately an 1 - 2 hours and allow you to experience the fiery lava vents of Kilauea and Pu'u 'O'o. You will also see the fiery entrance of molten lava as it meets the sea. The ever changing volcanic landscape will surely be a highlight of your trip to the "Big Island".