Hawaii is a nature lover’s paradise – full of crystalline beaches, majestic mountains, breathtaking volcanic craters, and some of the most amazing natural wonders in the entire world. While it’s hard to rank the beauty found throughout the Hawaiian Islands, here are 16 of the most breathtaking wonders you will find in the Aloha State.
1) Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea is the highest mountain in the world when measured from the ocean floor to its top-most part – a total of 33,476 feet from ocean floor to peak.
2) Waipio Valley
While the valley is absolutely breathtaking, the road into the Waipio Valley from the lookout is pretty gnarly, gaining 800 vertical feet in just 0.6 miles, making it the steepest road of its length in the United States.
3) Kaihalulu Bay
Sure, white sand beaches are gorgeous, but Maui’s red sand beach on Kaihalulu Bay is even more incredible.
4) Na Pali Coast
Perhaps some of the most stunning coastal views in the country are the spectacular mountains of the Na Pali Coast – best experienced from above.
5) Kilauea Volcano
Within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park sits Kilauea, currently the most active shield volcano in Hawaii, and perhaps even the world.
6) Oheo Gulch Pools
Also known as the Seven Sacred Pools, these seven swimming holes are connected by waterfalls and hidden within one of Maui’s bamboo forests.
7) Waimea Canyon
Commonly referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” this western Kauai landmark is approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep.
8) Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Over the years, this incredible snorkeling spot has transformed from a volcanic crater to the state’s first Marine Life Conservation District. An estimated 400 species of fish now live in the gentle waters.
9) Molokai's Sea Cliffs
Located along Molokai’s northern shore are these stunning sea cliffs, which stand tall at more than 3,000 feet – arguably the tallest sea cliffs in the world.
10) Akaka Falls
Perhaps Hawaii’s most famous, and most photographed, waterfall, Akaka Falls plummets more than 440 feet into stream-eroded gorge.
Mount Haleakala, a massive shield volcano, forms more than 75 percent of the Hawaiian Island of Maui.
12) Sweetheart Rock
Also known as Puu Pehe, this rock formation on the southern coast of Lanai is both gorgeous and steeped in Hawaiian legend.
13) Spouting Horn Blowhole
From the photographer: “With every wave, water shoots upward when it is forced through an opening and creates a hissing sound. The spray can shoot as high as 50 feet in the air.”
14) Ko'olau Mountains
The Ko’olau Mountain Range on Oahu’s windward coast was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972.
15) Thurston Lava Tube
This 500-year-old lava cave within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a stunning geographic feature formed when a river of lava gradually forms walls and a ceiling. When the lava flow stops, the remaining lava flows downhill, and you are left with a tunnel.
16) Queen's Bath
This unique, albeit extremely dangerous, tide pool on Kauai’s north shore was formed after a lava tube collapsed and filled with fresh water supplied by natural springs.
It’s true, what they say, “lucky we live in Hawaii,” isn’t it? How many of these natural wonders have you visited? Which is your favorite?