Hawaii Fact 12 of 50: Hawaii is home to the world’s tallest mountains

You may have heard that Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain. Well, Hawaii says, “Everest, schmeverest!”

You would need a heck of a tape measure and some scuba gear, but if you could measure the Big Island’s Mauna Kea from its base on the sea floor all the way up to the summit, you’d find that Mauna Kea is approximately 33,000 feet tall. That’s almost 4,000 feet taller than Mount Everest! Mauna Kea soars to the elevation of 13,796 feet above sea level, but there’s almost another 17,000 feet of this volcano that’s under water.

Even Maui’s Haleakala  is taller than Mount Everest by about about 675 feet when you consider that there’s 19,680 feet of the volcano hidden under the ocean, and 10,023 feet above sea level.

Maui Sunrise Haleakala

Unlike the challenge of climbing the top of Mount Everest, reaching the summits of Mauna Kea and Haleakala are much easier. To get to the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, I recommend taking an organized tour.  Read my advice for Mauna Kea sunset and stargazing tours. On Maui’s Haleakala, you can take an organized tour if you don’t want to drive, but I prefer driving up there before sunset for stargazing and watching the sun rise above the clouds and over a crater. See my tips for visiting Haleakala for sunrise.

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. That is a gorgeous photo, Sheila. Wow.

  2. Thank you, Gray. I’ve been to Haleakala 3 times to watch the sun rise over that crater and it”s different each time.

  3. Never get tired of seeing those Haleakala sunrise photos.

    Anyone that hasn’t seen those Haleakala tips yet certainly need to click and read. Was a big help for us earlier in the year, and the recommendation of Kula Lodge for breakfast was right on!

  4. @ Kris – aw, mahalo! The Kula Lodge restaurant is so ono! We went back again this past April and it was even better than I remembered. Plus the garden there is like going through a mini-botanical garden, but without any fee.

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