Considered as an entrance to the underworld and as a retreat for a banished goddess, Mauna Loa still finds time to be one of the world's most active volcanoes. Its extraordinary flora and fauna, recreational activities and mythology make Mauna Loa an ideal destination for the adventurous traveler. (Pictured below: Flowers on the edge of Kilauea's caldera as offerings to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)
Legend has it that the volcano goddess Pele was banished from her home by her sister, the goddess of water and sea. The exile sought refuge on the peaks of Mauna Loa, the world's largest volcano.
The White Dog
Residents claim Pele sends her pup down Mauna Loa's slopes as a sign of an imminent eruption.
Also known as the poisonwood gods, these mythical beings are said to enter the trees of Mauna Loa, turning their branches into poison for any creature unlucky enough to seek harbor there.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The park is made up of both Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Spend the day hiking, biking or camping in one of the Earth's most exotic ecosystems (see Resources).
The Volcano House is oldest continuously operated hotel in Hawaii (see Resources). It's the only hotel located in the Volcanoes National Park, and sits on the edge of the Kilauea Crater.
Article Written By Steffani Scarborough
Steffani Scarborough graduated from Texas State University. She has been writing since childhood and has received high scholastic honors for her literary achievements. Her articles have been published on Trails.com, and her poetry has appeared in the anthology, "Dance on the Horizon."