While volcanoes are responsible for forming the Hawaiian Islands, there are only a few in the archipelago that remain active. Most of the Hawaii volcanoes went dormant thousands of years ago, so you aren't bound to see lava shooting into the sky in most Aloha State destinations. That doesn't mean that a dormant volcano in Hawaii isn't worth exploring, as they are quite indicative of the state's geological history. While you'll usually want to keep your distance from the active volcanoes in Hawaii, you can get up close and personal with the dormant ones. You can even camp inside one or more of them, which is an experience that you aren't bound to forget.
Big Island Volcanoes
The Big Island is the island
of choice if you are interested in admiring the power and glory of the active
Hawaii volcanoes. The Big Island boasts Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park, which is a huge attraction that many Hawaii visitors
put high on their lists. If you are vacationing on another Hawaiian Island,
heading over to the Big Island to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is
an excellent side trip. This amazing park is home to Kilauea, which is one of
the most active volcanoes in Hawaii. Kilauea is responsible for increasing the
Big Island's size on virtually a daily basis, and the lava flows from Kilauea
are the most impressive lava flows on the island. Hawaii Volcanoes National
Park is also home to Mauna Loa, which is the world's tallest volcano, and while
it has been dormant for about 25 years, it could certainly erupt in the near
future. Thankfully, the Hawaii volcanoes are shield volcanoes, which are known
for their relatively slow and quiet eruptions.
The Big Island is definitely the hot spot when it comes to volcanoes in Hawaii, and some of the others that you might keep in mind during your visit include Mauna Kea and Kohala. The former, which is dormant, is the second-tallest volcano in the Pacific after Mauna Loa, though it actually tops out at a higher altitude. That is due to the fact that much of Mauna Loa is below sea level. In fact, when you consider the entire scope of Mauna Loa, it is actually the biggest mountain in the world!
Once you leave the Big Island, you won't have any luck when it comes to finding an active volcano in Hawaii. That doesn't mean that Maui volcanoes like Haleakala should be left off the itinerary. Haleakala helped form the island of Maui thousands of years ago, and today, it is one of the island's top attractions. You can find the Haleakala Crater in Haleakala National Park, and you might be interested to know that it is the highest peak in Maui. For those who want a most unique camping experience, camping inside the Haleakala Crater is bound to please.
If you want to visit a volcano in Hawaii and you find yourself on the island of Maui, you might also look to book a boat trip to the nearby island of Molokai, where the Molokini Crater awaits. Interestingly enough, this crater, which is almost entirely submerged under water, is one of the best spots to go snorkeling. Should you book a boat tour to visit the Molokini Crater, snorkeling is bound to figure on the agenda.
While you aren't bound to catch a Hawaii volcano eruption on the island of Oahu, there are some very interesting volcanic craters here that beg a visit. These dormant craters include Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay. You might also be interested to know that the Punchbowl Memorial, which is a top Oahu attraction, is found within the Punchbowl Crater. The Diamond Head Crater, the Hanauma Bay Crater, and the Punchbowl Crater were all formed by a massive volcano that created Oahu and once dominated its landscape, and today, they figure among the top Oahu attractions.