Essential Travel Experience #6 – Visit an Active Volcano

There are many active volcanoes around the world and few of us would even think about living near one. However, there are a few that can be visited and the experience can be a truly memorable one. Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island in Hawaii is an extremely active volcano — it has erupted numerous times in the last century. When Lee & I visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we were able to walk out on the lava fields. I actually stood on lava which was just hours old and saw glowing magma just a few feet away. As a former science teacher, the experience was one of the most significant in my travel history.

Molten Lava from Kilauea

Here I am.

Gary beside molten lava

Obviously, this is an extremely unusual experience and one that most people would not have an opportunity to repeat. But, there are many other active volcanoes that you can at least visit, even though you cannot approach flowing magma. One of these is Mount St Helens, in Washington State, whose 1980 eruption was broadcast around the world. You can get reasonably close to the mountain and certainly see the path of destruction that it wreaked.

Mount St Helens

Pelee Volcano on the island of Martinique, in the Caribbean Sea, is another example of an active volcano that can be approached.

Mount Pelee

   Lassen Peak, in Lassen Volcanic National Park, is another volcano which could, theoretically, erupt again at any time. The mountain is visible from numerous angles throughout the park.

Lassen Peak above the Snow

  Mount Rainier, near Seattle, is also an active volcano and extremely accessible and the centerpiece of another national park.

Mount Rainier


This entry was posted in Essential Travel Experiences. Bookmark the permalink.