Stop 11: Kona to Kawaihae Bay
After the difficult climb to the summit of Mauna Loa ( Stop #10 ), everyone deserves a few days vacation on the west coast of the Big Island. Here you will find some of the most amazing hotels in Hawaii, and the sunny dry weather makes this part of the Big Island a must- visit part of the island for anybody who enjoys exploring the coastline.
There are several outstanding hotels along the coast from Kona to Kawaihae Bay. This one is the Mauna Lani, which offers the ultimate in relaxing environments and an excellent beach to explore.
One can get excellent views of several of the Hawaiian volcanoes from the golf course along the Kona Coast. Here we see the profile of Mauna Kea, and it is obviously much steeper than Mauna Loa (image #4 of this stop).
Close to Kawaihae Bay, one can see almost undisturbed parks of the coastline of Hawaii. Palm trees right up to the ocean, and excellent coral reefs off-shore are just two of the attractions. In the background is Kohala volcano.
The shallow western slopes of Mauna Loa can be seen in this view taken from the Mauna Lani golf course.
The volcano Hualalai ( Stop #13 ) is considered to be the third active volcano in Hawaii, even though it has not erupted since 1801. Like Kohala and Mauna Kea, Hualalai also has several cinder cones on its flanks, indicating that the volcano is moving into the final phase of activity when the shallow magma chamber has solidified and only occasionally do batches of magma reach the surface direct from deep within the Earth's interior.
The west rift zone of Kohala volcano has many cinder cones along its length. In profile, this part of the volcano looks quite similar to the flanks of Mauna Kea, but as we saw at Stop #7 , Kohala is heavily vegetated due to the lack of volcanic activity for several tens of thousands of years.
From here you can continue on to Stop 12 on the ground, or you can pick another point from the Big Island Virtual Field Trip page.
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Authors: Peter Mouginis-Mark & Lori Glaze
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze
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