(Originally posted August 2017, updated December 2019).
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Volcanoes are a popular tourist attraction in Hawaii! People long to experience their breathtaking views, hoping for the opportunity to safely catch one spraying lava into the air. Here at Tropical Helicopters, we offer you a birds-eye view of some of Hawaii’s famous volcanoes! Here is a map of active volcanoes in Hawaii to check out below before we take an in-depth look at each one.
- Estimated age: ~600,000 years old
- Height: 4,091 feet
- Last eruption: January 1983 – September 2018
Kilauea is considered the home of the Hawaiian volcano goddess, Pele, and rightfully so.
Kilauea is a shield volcano on the island of Hawaii. Additionally, it is one of the most active volcanoes in Hawaii, having erupted 62 times in the past 245 years.
So, if you’ve always wondered how often Kilauea erupts, the short answer is: a lot! While the first recorded eruption for this famous volcano was in 1823, there is evidence showing it has likely been erupting well before the 1800s.
Another fact that makes Kilauea special is that some of its eruptions last for YEARS! For example, the last time Kilauea erupted began in January 1983 and finally stopped in September of 2018.
If you’re looking to experience part of Hawaiian history, Tropical Helicopters’ tour offers a stunning view of Kilauea in our Doors-Off Over The Volcano trip!
- Estimated age: ~400,000 years old
- Height: over 10,000 feet above the ocean’s floor
- Last eruption: February 1996-August 1996
Loihi, which means “long one” in Hawaiian, is sometimes called the youngest volcano in Hawaii. In fact, Loihi is so young that it’s still underwater, which makes it quite unique!
Known for its elongated shape, the volcano lies under the sea about 35 km, or roughly 21 miles, from the southeastern coast of the Island of Hawaii.
Additionally, Loihi has many lava cones surrounding its caldera. The highest lava cone is still over 3,000 feet below sea level!
Like any other volcano in Hawaii, Loihi will one day reach the surface. However, scientists say that it will likely take Loihi’s summit anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 years to rise above the ocean’s surface.
Another interesting fact about Loihi is that many used to believe it was inactive! However, closer inspection in the 1970s revealed that Loihi was indeed an active volcano.
Plus, Loihi erupted in August of 1996, creating a new crater as well as ejecting lava flows into the ocean. So, thanks to this evidence, Loihi has been recorded as an active volcano for many years now.
- Estimated age: ~800,000 years old
- Height: 8,277 feet
- Last eruption: 1800-1801
Hualalai is the Island of Hawaii’s third-youngest volcano. In addition, Hualalai is also the third-most active volcano in the island’s history!
From 1700 to 1801, six of the volcano’s vents have erupted with lava—with two of these lava flows pouring into the ocean on the island’s west coast.
The volcano began erupting 800,000 years ago and emerged from the sea 300,000 years ago.
The volcano’s lava flow covers chunks of land on the island. Amazingly, the Keahole Airport is sitting on top of some of the largest lava flow from Hualalai!
- Estimated age: ~600,000 – 1,000,000 years old
- Height: 13,679 feet
- Last eruption: April 15th, 1984
Mauna Loa translates to “long mountain” in Hawaiian. Living up to its name, the volcano reaches an incredible 13,679 feet at its tallest point.
In addition to its height, Mauna Loa is known as one of the world’s most active volcanoes as well as one of the most active volcanoes in Hawaii!
Ever since 1832, the volcano has erupted over 30 different times.
The last eruption of Mauna Loa was in 1984. During this eruption, the lava flow from the volcano came within 5 miles of the nearest town of Hilo!
- Estimated age: ~1-2 million years old
- Height: 10,023 feet
- Last eruption: ~1480-1600
Halaekala translates to “house of the sun” in Hawaiian. So, it makes sense that visitors often come to view the sunrise from the volcano’s summit! In fact, there is a Hawaiian legend tied to this volcano’s name.
The Hawaiian legend goes that Maui imprisoned the Sun in Haleakala to make the day longer, which gave it its name.
Haleakala stands at 10,023 feet above sea level and began growing approximately 1-2 million years ago.
In 1961, Haleakala National Park was created, which includes the volcano crater and its surrounding area. Many tourists visit Haleakala Crater, a site known for its breathtaking views and for the twists and turns of the road.
While Haleakala hasn’t erupted for some time, its unforgettable beauty makes it a must-see while you’re in Hawaii!