Mauna Loa, is the largest active volcano in the world and one of five volcanos on the Big Island of Hawaii. Mauna Loa is an active shield volcano with relatively shallow slopes, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles.
The volcano is 13,679 ft just 100 feet lower than the taller, extinct Mauna Kea. The two mountains together from the base of the ocean floor to the summit, make them the tallest mountains in the world.
The mountain is accessible through the observatory access road, however you will need a 4WD to make the trek. The south side of Mauna Loa, is a lush rain forest that leads into Volcano National Park. The North side is arid moon scape connecting to Mauna Kea along “Saddle Back” road Highway 200.
The most recent eruption at Mauna Loa occurred on March 24 to April 15, 1984. Eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and lead to displacement of residents. Recent seismic activity has scientists citing that the mega volcano could be waking up.