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Spewing with fume and hot lava, volcanoes are fierce, magnificent, and irresistibly beautiful. Compelled by their presence, there is a constant urge that beckons all of us to visit one of these stunning, conical wonders at least once in our lifetime to make our life complete. This article is for those lava lovers, who love to get close to these wonderful creations and fulfill their life's dream. Out of 169 volcanoes in the USA, we have narrowed down to a list of 10 volcanoes that are arguably some of the best volcanoes you should be visiting during your vacation.
So here are 10 dangerously beautiful volcanoes in the USA:
1. Mount Rainier - Icon in the Washington landscape
Standing at a height of 14,411 feet, Mount Rainier is an active stratovolcano, which is also the tallest mountain in the Cascade range and in Washington. Included in the list of Decade Volcanoes for the hazardous threat that it possesses, Mount Rainier along with its park is packed with fun and adventure activities for all ages.
Hike along the trails of the mountain that is decorated with fall colors mirroring itself in the pristine Reflection lake, camp under the night sky, admire the incredible vistas, go backcountry skiing, discover the wildlife by paying a visit to the Northwest Trek Wildlife park along your way to Mount Rainier park, explore the Ex Nihilo Sculpture park that is built totally from remains, and don't forget to indulge in the many activities that populate the park of Mount Rainier with enthusiasts including the famous train ride. With its incredible setting and packed activities, volcanic Mount Rainier makes up for a perfect place to be in with family and kids.
2. Kilauea - Active volcano in Hawaii
Interested in watching an active volcano that is spitting super-hot lava, head over to Kilauea in Hawaii, which is also the most active of the five volcanoes on the Big island. Attracting over 3 million visitors every year, Kilauea is a currently active shield volcano and is one of the oldest volcanoes in the world. As frightening as it sounds, Kilauea is dangerously impressive in all its senses with its constantly flowing deep crimson magnum and will keep you tied for sure.
Stay in the Hawaii Volcanoes National park, engage in activities from biking to camping to hiking and be in time to catch the extraordinary views of the lava lake from the Kilauea Visitor center and Jaggar museum.
Located in the north-central Arizona, Sunset Crater is one of the youngest volcanoes in the US. With a rich history of volcanic eruption that dates back to over 900 years, Sunset Crater volcano has reshaped the landscape of the terrain and its surrounding. Recognized as a U.S. National Monument, the nearly symmetrical Sunset Crater is famous for its ruggedly, dramatic hiking trails.
Join the Ranger program for a hike along the Lenox Crater trail and Lava Flow trail under the guidance of experienced Rangers. If you are planning to visit Sunset Crater Volcano during the summers be sure to catch the Sunset Crater Night Celebration that features Solar viewing, Astronomy presentation, and Constellation tours.
Mauna Loa is an active shield volcano with an elevation of 13,679 feet and is one of the five volcanoes that form the island of Hawaii. Popularly known as the 'Long Mountain', Mauna Loa is amongst the list of planet's most active volcanoes with a recent eruption occurring the month of April 1984 and is the largest volcano in the world. Hike along the famous trails of the volcano that include Mauna Loa trail, Observatory trail, and Ainapo trail and be cautioned with the lava flows.
When you are done hiking the volcanic trails, visit the Mauna Loa Observatory to catch an amazing sunset and stargaze at the hypnotizing view of the milky way dotted with sparkling stars which are so close that you can feel them at the reach of your hands. And gift yourself with a box of perfectly roasted Macadamia nuts from the visitor's center.
Mount Hood is an active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic arc region of the northern Oregon perched in between Clackamas and Hood river. Over the years, Mount Hood has grown to become one of popular ski resort destinations in the world, attracting a huge number of tourists every year. Enjoy one of the biggest mountain experiences of your time by visiting the grand Mount Hood and do take part in the fully packed snow activities including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing that will keep you engaged and entertained.
Explore the deep forests, glassy lakes, picturesque valleys painted in bright colors by the wildflowers, characteristic meadows, and be sure to catch the sunrise at Mount Hood's Illumination rock & fill your cameras with breathtaking photographs.
6. Mount Baker - one of the snowiest places in the world
Mount Baker is an active icy stratovolcano situated in the northern cascades of Washington. Heavily glaciated with the volume of ice and snow, Mount Baker is one of the snowiest places in the world transforming it to an ideal ski location.
Take the Fire and the Ice Interpretive trail from near the Heather Meadows visitor center, marvel at the beauty of the amazingly pristine Noordsack waterfalls, catch a glimpse of the Mt.Shuksan's reflection in the picture lake. trace along the winding trails to reach the Artist point for an enthralling experience.
Blanketed by a thick spread of snow and surrounded by a dense forest, Mount Shasta looks completely marvelous. Soaring to a height of over 14,179 feet, Mount Shasta in California is the second largest mountain in the Cascades range. If you are looking for a volcano with stunning views and at the same time that is filled with mysteries, then you should start with Mount Shasta, as it checks them both. From stories related to aliens to mysterious sightings to Godly presence, Mount Shasta has it all.
Visit the mysteries volcano of Mount Shasta that is frequented by mystics, sadhus, gurus and spiritual enthusiasts and feel the divine experience seeping through your body, and uplifting your soul to a whole different level.
8. Broken Top - Keep your hiking boots ready
Set in the Oregon's most populated areas amidst the Three Sisters Wilderness, Broken Top is an extinct, glacially eroded stratovolcano that stands at a height of 9,179 feet. Surrounded by mountains on all the sides, Broken Top is a hidden gem in the US with unbelievable views and be ready with your hiking boots and jacket to go on a hiking expedition embracing the whole of Broken Top.
Hike along the glacial lakes shining with deep blue glacial waters while admiring the spectacular views of Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Thielson, enjoy the scenic beauty of Cascade lakes from afar, soak yourself in the wilderness of the atmosphere, and don't fail to climb the summit. If you are looking to hike along a trail that will be challenging, then you should try hiking to the Broken Top Crater from the Todd Lake Trailhead.
Formed around 10,000 years to 15,000 years ago, Mt. Bachelor is a stratovolcano placed atop a shield volcano in the Cascade Range of Oregon. Just close to Mt. Bachelor is the Mt. Bachelor ski area establishment that has an expansive terrain, populated with fluffy snow for the most part of the year. Considered as one of the best ski resorts in Oregon, Mt. Bachelor ski area bustles with snow activities ranging from mountain biking to snow skiing to snowboarding to hiking to snowshoeing to chairlift rides. Be ready to catch an amazing sight of the scenery around and for some entertaining snow activities that keep you bound with Mt. Bachelor forever.
10. Mount St.Helens - Most studied volcanic eruption of the 20th century
Getting its name from the British Diplomat Lord St.Helens, Mount St.Helens is an 8,363 feet active stratovolcano, located south of Seattle, Washington. Reborn from a major volcanic eruption that took place in 1980, Mount St.Helens is now adorned by meadows of colorful flowers, dense shrubs and is home to wide array of animals including American Beaver, Western Toad, Elk, Northern Pocket Gopher, Yellow Warbler and Willow Flycatcher.
Traverse through the strenuous route around the crater that is filled with ice boulders, steep slopes of ash, and sand that offers a jaw-dropping summit view. The other eye-catching features in the Mount St.Helens National Volcanic Monument include an open-air amphitheater at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, a Forest Learning Center, and the Ape caves. Mount St.Helens bustles with people between the months of April and early-October and is also the peak season.
Which one have you seen up close? tell us your experience..