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Hawaii’s main volcanoes are “shield” volcanoes, which produce lava flows that form gently sloping, shield-like mountains. A good example is Maunaloa, the most massive mountain on earth, deceptively covering half of Hawaii Island. Standing with this sleeping giant beneath your feet will give you a greater respect for earth’s ever-changing landscapes.
Hawaii’s Active VolcanoesThere are currently three active volcanoes in Hawaii. On the Island of Hawaii, you’ll find Maunaloa and Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Maunaloa last erupted in 1984, and Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. Loihi is located underwater off the southern coast of Hawaii Island. Erupting since 1996, this emerging seamount may eventually break the surface, adding a new island to the Hawaiian chain.
Other notable volcanoes that you can hike, explore, or take a guided tour of in Hawaii include Haleakala on Maui, Leahi (Diamond Head) and the National Memorial of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Oʻahu, and Maunakea or Hualalai on the island of Hawaii.
"Tip 1: If it feels hot, it IS HOT! Don’t get too close to the lava and stay on the designated pathways and out of hazardous areas! Areas the size of a football field, made of newly cooled lava, can collapse into the sea at any time!"
"Tip 2: Don’t breathe the mist where the lava meets the sea. It is made up of tiny shards of glass and can damage the lungs."
"Tip 3: Wear proper shoes. This is not flip-flop territory. The lava rocks are sharp and unforgiving. Armor your feet accordingly. "
"Tip 4: Drink plenty of water. Lava fields give off a heat of their own from lava not far beneath the surface. Plus they’re black, making it even warmer!"
"Tip 5: If you’re going for a sunrise or sunset, make sure you don’t need reservations and go early. Crowds tend to form at these times."
"Tip 6: Don’t forget to read the information and updates on conditions at the park before you go!"
"Tip 7: Bring a rain jacket. The temperature at the summit may be considerably colder than at sea level. "
"Tip 8: Got questions? Want to know if you can go into a particular area? Ask a professional. The rangers enjoy imparting information to guests."
"Tip 9: Slather on the Reef Safe sunscreen. At these altitudes you’re even closer to the sun and can get burned easily. Be sure to use Reef Safe just in case you take a dip later on!"
"Tip 10: Donate until it feels good! The parks need all the help they can get!"
Discover 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and rainforests, as well as petroglyphs, a walk-in lava tube and one of the most active volcanoes on earth, Kilauea, which has been erupting since 1983.Explore