5 Volcanoes That You Can Visit on the Big Island of Hawaii

On your trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, you might have wondered about the many volcanoes that you can visit on this spectacular island.

When you say Hawaii, volcanoes are the first thing that enters your mind aside from the world-class beaches.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is even located on the Big Island of Hawaii and offers spectacular viewings and information for all those who want a closer look at the temperamental beauty of volcanoes.

There are six volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii but you can only visit five volcanoes.

Let’s go ahead and explore the five volcanoes that you can visit on the Big Island of Hawaii.


5. Kohala Volcano – Last Erupted More Than 65,000 Years Ago and is now Dormant

Kohala Volcano

Kohala Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is a breathtaking view of the Northern part of the island.

Kohala Volcano is the oldest of the 5 shield volcanoes of the Big Island. Now a dormant volcano, this volcano is made up of spectacular valleys field with different species of plants and animals.

The way to see the volcano from up above is by taking a helicopter tour where you will have an aerial view of the beautiful landscapes.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a guided tour but just be extra careful as the trails are slippery because of constant rainforest rains.


4. Kilauea Volcano – One of the Most Active Volcanoes in the World

Kilauea Volcano - one of the best active volcanoes that you can visit on the Big Island

For tourist, one of the best volcanos that you can visit on the Big Island is the Kilauea Volcano.

Kilauea Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is one of the main attractions in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

This volcano has been erupting since 1983 and even though it’s considered dangerous, it’s still a popular tourist destination on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The best way to see the lava flowing from the volcano is by taking a boat tour that will take you as close to the lava flow as possible.

Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moment of a lifetime.

You can also do a Kilauea Crater Hike on the Crater Rim Trail and even enter the Thurston Lava Tube near the Kilauea Iki parking lot.


3. Mauna Kea Volcano – Last Erupted More Than 4,000 Years Ago and is Now Dormant

Mauna Kea Volcano with snow

One of the most interesting volcanos that you can visit on the Big Island of Hawaii is the Mauna Kae Volcano.

Mauna Kea Volcano is one of the five shield volcanoes that form the Big Island of Hawaii.

This volcano last erupted more than 4,000 years ago and is considered the tallest mountain in the world at 33,000 feet when measured from its seafloor base.

There is a Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station that provides information film and displays. There even is a gift shop and a cafe for snacks.

From the Visitor Information Station, tourists can visit the summit of the volcano via a 4×4 vehicle.

There are also Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory Tours where visitors can experience fantastic sunset and memorable stargazing at the highest point of the Hawaiian Islands.


2. Mauna Loa Volcano – Last Erupted in 1984 and is the Largest Volcano on Earth

Mauna Loa Volcano

Mauna Loa Volcano is the largest volcano on Earth in terms of mass and volume. This active shield volcano last erupted in 1984 and is made up of overlapping lava flows.

The best way to see the Mauna Loa Volcano is by doing the Mauna Loa Summit Trail. This is a 10-mile hike that takes about 6 to 8 hours to complete.

Along the way, you’ll see native Hawaiian plants and animals as well as get panoramic views of the volcano.

If you get a good clearing during the hike, you might even see the whole Big Island, the Ocean, and the lovely island of Maui.

There are also helicopter tours that will allow you to see the full glory of this awesome volcano.


1. Hualālai Volcano – Last Erupted in the 1800s and is Partly Dormant

Hualālai Volcano

Hualalai Volcano is the most recent of the five shield volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. This volcano last erupted in the early 1800s and is considered partly dormant.

The best way to see the Hualalai Volcano is by doing the Puʻuwaʻawaʻa Ranch hike. This is an easy 3-mile roundtrip hike that takes about 2 hours to complete.

The trailhead starts at the end of the Puʻuwaʻawaʻa Road.

You can also take a guided tour where you will ride a 4×4 vehicle to get to the Duarte family cabin and then walk the rest of the way to the summit of the volcano.


Mahukona Volcano, Submerged 30 miles West of Kohala (Cannot be Visited)

Underwater volcano Mahukona on the Big Island of Hawaii

Mahukona Volcano is a lesser-known volcano that is still part of the Big Island of Hawaii. Unfortunately you cannot visit the Mahukona Volcano.

This volcano is believed to have last erupted 120,000 years ago and is now submerged about 30 miles offshore of the Kohala Coast.

Even though this volcano can no longer be seen, the lava flows from this volcano helped create the Kohala Islands.

The Big Island is such an enchanting place to spend your dream island vacation. Make sure to visit the magnificent volcanoes during your trip for a one-of-a-kind experience. Don’t forget to learn more about the volcanoes from the guides whenever you can.

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