How Tall Are the Mountains of Hawaii?

Hawaii is home to the most majestic and tall mountains in the world. The island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, boasts the highest mountain in the state, Mauna Kea, which stands at an impressive 13,803 feet (4,207.3 meters) above sea level. This makes it taller than Mount Everest when measured from base to summit. 

Interestingly, there are many notable mountains in Aloha State that are known for their size and historical impact. This blog post will look into the mountains of Hawaii. If you’re interested in learning more, keep on reading!

Notable Mountains in Hawaii

Hawaii is indeed filled with several mountains that come in various shapes and sizes. Some of these mountains have gained global recognition, mainly for their stunning scenery. 

Here are the notable mountains found in the state of Hawaii:

Mauna Kea

An-image-of-Mauna-Kea-from-the-ocean

First on the list is the iconic Hawaiian mountain: Mauna Kea.

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano located on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. It is the highest mountain in the state, standing at an elevation of 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) above sea level. When measured from its base on the ocean floor, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, towering over even Mount Everest. The mountain is considered sacred by the native Hawaiian people and is home to several important cultural and historical sites.

Mauna Kea is also known for its world-class astronomical observatories. The mountain’s summit is above most of the Earth’s atmosphere, providing a clear view of the night sky, making it an ideal location for astronomical research. There are currently 13 telescopes operated by 11 countries on the summit, including some of the largest and most advanced telescopes in the world.

Mauna Kea is also a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The summit can be reached by a 13-mile (21-kilometer) road, which is closed to the public during the night. The road is steep and winding, and hikers need to be in excellent physical condition and properly equipped to make the ascent. The summit offers spectacular views of the island and the surrounding ocean, but visitors should be aware of the thin air and potential altitude sickness.

Mauna Loa

An-aerial-image-of-Mauna-Loa

Mauna Loa is a shield volcano located on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. It’s one of the most active volcanoes on Earth and the largest volcano on the planet in terms of volume and area covered. Mauna Loa stands at an elevation of 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above sea level. This feat makes it the second-highest mountain in Hawaii after its neighbor Mauna Kea.

Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843, with the last eruption occurring in 1984. It is considered one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and it has been continuously monitored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory since 1912. The eruption of Mauna Loa is unpredictable, but scientists are able to monitor the volcano’s activity and issue warnings and evacuation orders in case of an imminent eruption.

Mauna Loa is also a popular destination for hikers and climbers, although it is considered to be more challenging than Mauna Kea due to its larger size and steeper slopes. The summit can be reached by a 17-mile (28-kilometer) trail from the Mauna Loa Observatory, which is located at an elevation of 11,135 feet (3,390 meters). Visitors should be in good physical condition and properly equipped for the hike, as well as be aware of the potential hazards such as volcanic gases and sudden weather changes.

Haleakalā

A sunrise view of Haleakala

Haleakalā is a shield volcano located on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is the highest mountain on the island, standing at an elevation of 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above sea level. The name “Haleakalā” means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian, referring to the mountain’s role as a natural observatory for Hawaiian priests, who used it to track the movements of the sun, stars, and planets.

Haleakalā is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and the Pacific Ocean. The summit can be reached by car via a winding road, and visitors can enjoy the scenic drive as well as the panoramic view from the summit. The park also offers many recreational activities, such as hiking, camping, stargazing, and bike riding.

The park is also home to a unique ecosystem with many endemic species, such as the silversword, a Hawaiian plant species found only on the slopes of Haleakalā and other volcanoes in Hawaii. The park is also home to many endangered species, such as the Nēnē, the state bird of Hawaii.

Haleakalā National Park is also known for its unique geological features, such as the volcanic cinder cones and the volcanic desert, which is characterized by its barren and rocky landscape. The park also has many cultural and historical sites, such as the Hawaiian village of Kīpahulu, which was once home to a thriving community of Native Hawaiians. Visitors are encouraged to be mindful of their impact and to follow the rules and guidelines set by the National Park Service.

Hualālai

An-image-of-Hualalai-in-1996

Hualālai is a shield volcano located on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. It is the third most active volcano on the island after Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, and it has erupted several times in the last 200 years. It stands at an elevation of 8,271 feet (2,521 meters) above sea level, making it the third-highest volcano on the island after Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Hualālai is not a popular tourist destination, but it is still visited by geologists and volcanologists as it offers a great opportunity to study the volcano’s activity and geology. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has monitored the volcano since the early 20th century, and it is considered one of the most active volcanoes in the state.

Puʻu Kukui

An-image-of-Pu’u-Kukui-from-the-ocean

Puʻu Kukui is a cinder cone volcano located on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is the highest peak on the West Maui Mountains, standing at an elevation of 5,788 feet (1,764 meters) above sea level. Pu’u Kukui is considered a sacred site to the native Hawaiian people, and it is also considered one of the wettest spots on Earth, with an average annual rainfall of over 400 inches (10,160 mm).

The peak is surrounded by the Pu’u Kukui watershed Preserve, a protected area that covers more than 8,000 acres of forest, streams, and waterfalls. The preserve is home to a diverse ecosystem with many endemic species, such as the Hawaiian greensword, a plant species that only grows on the volcano’s slopes.

Final Thoughts

Hawaii is home to some of the world’s most majestic and tall mountains, each with its own unique characteristics and ecological significance. Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Haleakalā, Hualālai, and Pu’u Kukui are some of the notable mountains in the state, each offering a different experience for visitors. These mountains are known not only for their breathtaking views but also for their cultural and historical significance to the native Hawaiian people, as well as their unique ecosystems and geological features. 

Visitors are encouraged to respect and protect these natural wonders by following the rules and guidelines set by conservation agencies. These mountains are a testament to the natural beauty and diversity of the Hawaiian islands and are truly a must-see for anyone visiting the state.