Mauna Loa

Elevation (feet): 13,677
Elevation (meters): 4,169
Continent: North America
Country: United States
State: Hawaii
Latitude: 19.4786
Longitude: -155.608
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Volcanic status: Active
Most recent eruption: 2005, ongoing
Nearest major airport: Honolulu, Hawaii
Convenient Center: Hilo, Hawaii

Mauna Loa is the most massive mountain in the world, covering over 26,000 cubic miles, most of which is under the sea, rising from the ocean floor. Despite this impressive fact, Mauna Loa is the lower of Hawaii's two large volcanoes, the higher being Mauna Kea (13,796 ft.). There are two active craters associated with the mountain, one (Kilauea) located on its southeast flank, and another (Mokuaweoweo) located on the summit. Both are conatined with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea is a huge bowl, whose level of volcanic activity fluctuates, and sometimes its crater floor is entirely exposed. Often, however, the crater is a deep cauldron of glowing red lava, and is a popular tourist attraction, particularly at night. Kilauea has an extensive history of eruptions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including an eruption in 1983 which blanketed 30,000 acres with lava, and created 180 acres of new land offshore. $62 million property damage was assessed from this eruption, and lava from the eruption continues to flow today. Mokuaweoweo, the summit crater, covers 3.7 square miles, and is over 4,000 feet deep. It too has a long eruptive history. Its eruptions have seldom been explosive, although a series of violent eruptions occurred in 1880-81 in which lava spread for over fifty miles.