Skip to content


Things to do in Hawaii: Mauna Kea

  • by

Mauna Kea in Hawaii is a dormant volcano and tranlates to ‘White Mountain’ in the native Hawaiian language. This is because the top is often covered in snow between November and March – locals even use this as an opportunity to go skiing! The peak of Mauna Kea is 4,207m above sea level, about 30m taller than neighboring Mauna Loa and about 9,100m above its base on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. This means that Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain, taller than Mount Everest at 8,848m, which is the highest mountain above sea level. The height above sea level may change over the next few thousand years as the massive weight of the Mauna Kea volcano means that the seabed of the ocean below it is depressing slowly over time.

Mauna Kea can be reached via the very tricky Saddle Road. The summit is then a very long, steep drive on a mixture of man made roads and off road dirt track. Cars must be 4 by 4 drive to be able to go past the Mauna Kea visitor centre as it is a difficult off road drive. Read More »Things to do in Hawaii: Mauna Kea