Mauna Loa Volcano

Day trip to Mauna Loa Volcano, rising high above the landscape on the North side of the Big Island, 13,798 feet  above the beaches along the Kohala coast. Reported the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its base,  towering 33,476 feet above the ocean floor.  It presents a stark, dry landscape spreading for miles across the North side of the Big Island, last erupting 4,500 years ago.

It is hard to drive anywhere on the Big Island without passing through black lava fields laid down in the past by Mauna Kea and more recently by the still active recent  Kilauea.

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Mullein looking like some kind of muppet plant

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We hiked to the top of one knoll for an expansive view across the lava fields to the distant beaches.  The landscape is colored by the lava and dotted with cinder cones.

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Small collapsed cone

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Road to the summit, not for the faint of heart

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View back over the valley

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A steep and rocky descent

Silver sword

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Some type of memorial in the area of the silver swords

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Close up of memorial

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