The Highest Mountains In Hawaii

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano and the tallest mountain in Hawaii.
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano and the tallest mountain in Hawaii.

Hawaii has 13 mountain peaks higher than 500 m, and Mauna Kea is the tallest. Most of Hawaii’s highest peaks are volcanic in nature since the islands of the region were formed as a result of volcanic activity. The mountains of Hawaii are rich in natural resources that have been heavily exploited over the years. Therefore, large areas of these mountains are now conserved to allow the ecosystem to recover. A list of the tallest summits in Hawaii is provided below.

1. Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is a 13,802 ft tall dormant volcano and is the highest mountain in Hawaii. The mountain actually is actually taller than Mount Everest if the height below sea level is included. When measured from the oceanic base, Mauna Kea has a height of 33,000 ft. The indigenous people of the region considered the mountain to be sacred and made sustainable use of its natural resources and ecosystem for their livelihood. However, with the arrival of the Europeans, the natural balance of the mountain ecosystem was lost due to excessive exploitation of the natural resources and the introduction of invasive species. Currently, the mountain offers one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observations.

2. Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa is the world’s largest volcano that has a volume of 75,000 cubic km and makes up part of the island of Hawaii. The volcano is active in nature. Its peak is 13,679 ft tall, making it the second highest in Hawaii. According to estimates, the mountain rose above sea level about 400,000 years back. The volcano has erupted several times in the 20th century and has caused fatalities. Therefore, it is regarded as one of the most hazardous volcanoes existing today. The volcano is also used for astronomical observations and has observatories located on it.

3. Haleakalā

Haleakalā is a shield volcano that makes up more than 75% of the island of Maui. The volcano’s highest peak is 10,023 ft above sea level, and is potentially one of the most hazardous volcanoes in Hawaii. The area surrounding Haleakalā is protected as part of Haleakalā National Park. Like the other major peaks in Hawaii, Haleakalā also provides ideal conditions for astronomical observations, and is popular among tourists.

4. Hualālai

Hualālai is 8,271 ft all and is the fourth highest peak in Hawaii. The peak is one of the five volcanoes in Hawaii, and is still active, with its last eruption occurring in 1801. The Hualālai’s slopes are home to rare varieties of flora and fauna. Royal complexes of the natives were discovered on the coast west of the volcano. Tourists visit the mountain in large numbers to explore its immense natural wealth.

5. Puʻu Kukui

Puʻu Kukui is 5,787 ft tall and is the fifth highest peak in Hawaii. The mountain is part of a private nature preserve. The area is one of the world’s wettest spots and receives an average annual rainfall of 9,820 mm, most of which collects in a bog. Due to its unique environment, Puʻu Kukui is home to several endemic species of flora and fauna. Birdlife on the mountain is particularly rich. The area is accessible by special permission and is a hub for research and conservation activities.

The Highest Mountains in Hawaii

RankMountain PeakIslandElevation
1Mauna KeaIsland of Hawaiʻi13,803 ft (4207.3 m)
2HaleakalāIsland of Maui10,023 ft (3055 m)
3Mauna LoaIsland of Hawaiʻi13,679 ft (4169 m)
4Puʻu KukuiIsland of Maui5,788 ft (1764 m)
5KawaikiniIsland of Kauaʻi5,243 ft (1598 m)
6KamakouIsland of Molokaʻi4,961 ft (1512 m)
7KaʻalaIsland of Oʻahu4,060 ft (1237 m)
8LānaʻihaleIsland of Lānaʻi3,396 ft (1035 m)
9HualālaiIsland of Hawaiʻi8,271 ft (2521 m)
10Kaunu o KaleihoohieIsland of Hawaiʻi5,500 ft (1676 m)
11KōnāhuanuiIsland of Oʻahu3,150 ft (960 m)
12OlokuʻiIsland of Molokaʻi4,606 ft (1404 m)
13HāʻupuIsland of Kauaʻi2,297 ft (700 m)

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