The majority of visitors to Hawaii choose to spend their time on the islands’ pristine white-sand beaches, while those who are more interested in nature and the outdoors trek to the islands’ breathtaking and distinctive highlands.
Discovering the many landscapes of the Hawaiian highlands, from the verdant and lush mountains of Kauai to the craggy and volcanic peaks of the Big Island, is a truly unique and enjoyable experience.
Here is a list of the top major mountains in Hawaii you must visit.
1. Diamond Head
The most famous landmark in all of Waikiki is Diamond Head, which can be found in proximity to the eastern shore of Oahu. This volcano cone is over 300,000 years old, and it features a well-known hiking track that visitors to Oahu just cannot afford to miss.
The breathtaking panoramas of Waikiki and the ocean that surrounds it may be seen from Diamond Head, which is located within the Diamond Head State Monument. You won’t believe how stunning this mountain is until you come see it for yourself.
On the island of Maui is located the massive shield volcano known as Haleakala. The summit of this mountain is largely barren and exudes an intimidating air; it is located within Haleakala National Park. The primary paths that lead into the volcano are designated as the U Trail.
The air is very thin at the high elevation, and the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit of Haleakala. This makes hiking to the summit of Haleakala a fairly challenging endeavor, especially considering that the hike goes almost 2,000 feet downhill into the volcano and then back uphill on the way back. Hikers and tourists are not deterred by any of this, and a visit to the peak of Haleakala to see the dawn is among the most popular things to do there.
3. Mount Waialeale
Mount Waialeale, also known as Waialeale in Hawaiian, is a mountain located in the middle of Kauai island in Hawaii. Its elevation is 5,148 feet.
Mount Waialeale is frequently cited as the wettest location on earth due to the fact that it receives an annual average of around 450 inches of precipitation. The mountain received a staggering 683 inches of rain in 1982, which was the biggest amount of precipitation that had ever been measured in the region.
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On the island of Molokai, the summit of Kamakou stands at an elevation of 4,961 feet, making it the highest point on the island. It is a fragment of the extinct shield volcano that is located on the east side of Molokai.
The majority of the mountain is protected as part of the very high and remote Kamakou Preserve. This preserve is a habitat that gives a home to many of the rarest and most endangered plant species in Hawaii.
Visitors are welcome to explore the preserve, which the Nature Conservancy owns and is responsible for managing. There are guided monthly treks within the preserve that take place along a winding boardwalk with spectacular vistas.
5. Mauna Kea, Big Island
The inactive volcano Mauna Kea sits atop the island of Hawaii at an elevation of 13,796 feet above mean sea level, making it the state’s highest point. However, a significant portion of the mountain is submerged in water. If its height were determined by measuring it from its base in the water, it would be 33,000 feet, making it taller than Mount Everest.
Kawaikini is a mountain that stands at an elevation of 5,243 feet and is often regarded as being among the most beautiful and attractive mountains in the world. This region is not only home to the highest point on the Island of Kauai’s Mount Waialeale volcano but also holds the distinction of being one of the wettest areas on the whole planet.
Hikers avoid the eastern slopes and towering cliffs because they are difficult to navigate, yet these areas have been featured in a number of films because of their striking appearance. The only feasible route for hikers is to take the trails in Kokee State Park and pass through the Alakai Swamp to reach their destination.
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The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the world’s most active volcano, which is known by its Hawaiian name, Kilauea. Kilauea plays a significant role in the cycle of life on the island because the lava that it spews out both creates new land and destroys old land, along with any human dwellings that happen to be in its path.
It is both hazardous and interesting to see since it shoots rocks and fire in all directions. Lava does a lot of damage as it travels to the ocean, but it does leave certain natural areas untouched, which provides niches that are only suitable for certain kinds of life.
8. Mauna Loa, Big Island
Historically, Mauna Loa has been regarded as the greatest mountain on earth, and it is estimated that it has been continuously erupting for the past 700,000 years. A portion of the surrounding city of Hilo was constructed on lava flows that date back to the late 19th century.
Kohala is the oldest mountain on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is an enchanted mountain that is enveloped in mist and covered in a dense, lush tropical forest. It also features stunning waterfalls and deep gorges. Pololu Valley and the rugged, inaccessible north coast are located to the north and west of the island, while the Kohala water district is located to the east of the island.
The high mountains of the Waimano and Waipio valleys may be found to the northeast of the island. As a result of the availability of the Kohala State Forest Reserve and a few other natural area reserves in the surrounding region of the mountain, it is guaranteed that the entire gorgeous area will continue to be untouched and unspoiled.
Hupu is the name of a mountain summit that may be found in Kauai County in the state of Hawaii. The summit of Hupu sits at a height of 698 meters. The community of Hupu can be found in proximity to Naluakeina and to the northeast of the Mahaulepu Reservoir.
11. Ko’olau Range
The Ko’olau Mountains are one of the two mountain ranges that make up the island of Oahu, and they can be seen from a significant portion of the island. The mountain is all that is left of a big volcano that has since gone extinct and formed a shield.
In spite of its proximity to Hawaii’s most populous urban areas, Ko’olau is almost devoid of inhabitants and empty of people. It also features a network of trails that have been neglected and are now overgrown, which makes both the trails and the hike through the uncontrolled wilderness appealing to hikers who are looking for isolation.
It is generally agreed that Hualalai is the third most active of the main mountains that contributed to the formation of the Hawaiian Islands. It has not erupted since the year 1801, although it is anticipated that it will do so within the next century.
13. Pu’u Kukui
This mountain has a reputation for being one of the wettest places on earth and receives an annual rainfall total of 385 inches, on average. If rainwater is unable to drain away, it will flow into a neighboring bog, where it will contribute to the formation of thick, acidic soil.
So if you are a mountain lover then make sure you visit these amazing places in Hawaii.