The Hawaiian islands are ripe with wondrous features and, believe it or not, some of them are active and dormant volcanoes. The ones you may hear most about are Kilauea and Mauna Kea, but there are at least ten more that you’ll want to know all about before you make the journey out to this tropical paradise.
The History Behind Hualalai
One of these towering natural structures is Hualalai, located on the Big Island of Hawaii. On the western tip of the island, Hualalai is the 3rd-youngest of the five shield volcanoes on the island and is about 8,000 feet above sea level. As the 3rd most active volcano on the island, the last time Hualalai was active was around 1929, when magmatic action was believed to be the cause of an earthquake swarm throughout the volcano. Today, it remains active, though geologists don’t expect an eruption for around another 100 years.
Despite being an active volcano, and one of the island’s most active, Hualalai has been home to Hawaiian natives. On a plateau just east of the towering mountain, the shrine of Ahu A ‘Umi Heiau dedicated to the Umi-a-Liloa, or the once district high chief of Hawaii, was built. On the opposite side, an ancient Hawaiian settlement was constructed to benefit from the Kaloko fishpond. The volcano’s history is written all over the region, making it a popular hiking location for people that enjoy unique facets of Hawaiian culture and the perfect spot for several village resorts.
What To Do at Hualalai
Though the region is speckled with uncovered volcanic rock, the area surrounding Hualalai is a surprising mix of bushes, grass, ohi a lehua trees, and other beautiful vegetation. The spread of lush greenery also attracts a variety of birds and other wildlife, including green sea turtles and black-winged stilts along the nearby coast. If climbing a volcano doesn’t pique your interest, there is still plenty to do and see throughout the region, including the nearby Puu Waawaa State Wildlife Sanctuary and the Noua’ula Forest Reserve. Bring a camera if you plan on coming to Hualalai, you’re sure to come across incredible views that you’ll want to remember long after your vacation is over.
If you’re a coffee hound, you’ll be pleased to know that much of the region of Kona’s coffee grows on the western slope of Hualalai. A trip out to this gorgeous mountain puts you in a prime spot to enjoy the freshest coffee beans you have ever had. Snag a cup and head down to the coast or the preserve for a serene experience only possible on the Hawaiian islands.
Exploring Hawaii’s volcanoes is an incredible experience for travelers and locals alike and when the opportunity to scale one of these monstrous beauties presents itself, you definitely want to jump at the chance! Tours of incredible natural wonders like Hualalai are available for travelers that need a hint of thrilling adventure added to their itinerary.