Turn Up the Heat: 14 Active Volcano Hikes from Turn Up the Heat: 14 Active Volcano Hikes

Turn Up the Heat: 14 Active Volcano Hikes

Hiking can be a calming, therapeutic adventure. But for some, hiking and climbing is about the thrill, reaching new and death-defying heights that make life more exciting. And with all the outdoors has to offer, there is plenty opportunity to test your limits.

Previously, we discussed the most dangerous hikes that take many lives and require practiced survival skills to complete. The difficult trails require a fit body and mind to complete. But, what if you could feel dangerous and hike a bit easier? Well, Mother Nature has you covered. A booming, hazardous volcano is just the ticket. Sounds crazy right? But actually, many active volcanoes are very safe to climb. Visitors flock from all ends of the world to see the deep craters, colorful fires, steaming ash, and hot lava.

Mount Agung, Indonesia

Flickr/jeffrey manzini

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, devastating numerous villages and killing over a thousand people. Today the large, very deep crater occasionally spouts smoke and ash and is often visited by hikers. There are two routes up the mountain and the volcano can be climbed fairly easily without any ropes.

Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Flickr/NASAMarshall

The sight of the wide crater atop Cotopaxi is well worth the trek, though eruptions still pose a high risk. Hundreds of climbers attempt to reach the difficult summit each week and are required to use crampons and ice axes among the icy snow.

Mount Etna, Italy

Flickr/Mirko Chessari

As one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna is in a constant state of activity. Designated a Decade Volcano as well as a World Heritage Site, the volcano still experiences eruptions with a flank eruption earlier this year. Despite it’s danger it is a main tourist attraction that can be seen by foot, special terrain vehicle or by cableway that runs uphill.

Poás Volcano, Costa Rica

Flickr/Mario Andre Cordero Alfaro

In central Costa Rica lies an active volcano with two larger crater lakes. Just this week, tourist access was closed after volcanic activity. The crater lakes are some of the most acidic lakes in the world supporting little to no aquatic life and acid gases that cause irritation to lungs and eyes.

Kilauea Volcano, Hawai’i

Flickr/Howard Ignatius

As the most active volcano in Hawai’i, Kilauea has had a history of eruptions. A major eruption in 1983 produced Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent which still produced lava flows. While this location is not accessible to the public, you can see the fumes and glow from the summit of Kilauea.

Sakurajima, Japan

Flickr/Kimon Berlin

Volcanic activity continues to drop high amounts of volcanic ash on the surroundings of Sakurajima. Before 1914. Sakurajima was an island in the bay, but the powerful eruption caused lava flow that connected the land to the Osumi Peninsula. It is prohibited to approach within two kilometers of the craters, but many visitors frequent the observation points  upon hiking trails.

Mount Mayon, Philippines

Flickr/Storm Crypt

Known for its almost completely symmetric cone shape, Mount Mayon is an active volcano which previously attracted thousands of thrill-seeking tourists. Currently, after a high lava dome appeared in the summit crater thousands of Filipinos fled their homes and the volcano is being monitored for an expected upcoming eruption.

Mont Pelée, Martinique

Flickr/megatatan

Famous for it’s destructive eruption in 1902 known as the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century, Mount Pelee is under continuous watch and likely to erupt again. Many visit to see the incredible Tower of Pelee which soars 1000 feet and is one of the most spectacular lava domes ever created.


Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Flickr/smilla4

This young volcano was dormant for hundreds of years until it suddenly erupted in 1968. Volcanic activity has continually decreased over the years and though it does not spew large amounts of lava or gas like it used to, it is a beautiful hike filled with interesting plant life and scenery.

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Flickr/Joshua Sostosaputro

Mount Bromo has become a popular tourist attraction because of the close proximity you can get to the active craters in the massif area. The last eruption was in 2011 leaking heavy ash on its surroundings.

Mount Shishaldin, Alaska

Flickr/NOAA Photo Library

Due to its remoteness and difficulty to climb, Mount Shishaldin is not a common hike. But for the willing, the climb to the top brings you to a near-perfect cone, and incredible ski descents in any direction. The volcano has not had much activity since a 1999 eruption, but does continually puffs steam.

Taal Volcano, Philippines

Flickr/therealbrute

This easy hike takes about an hour to get to the top. Along the walk you will see the main crater lake, fumaroles, boiling mud ponds, geysers, and dry lava fields. Because of past disasters, the volcano is monitored as a Decade Volcano for close study in preventing future natural disasters.

Pacaya, Guatemala

Flickr/Conred Guatemala

Earlier this year, Pacaya’s moderate explosive eruption spout a fire fountain of about 800 meters tall. The volcano is no longer spitting red lava, but as you hike up the hardened lava you can see a bit of glow with a clear view.

Ijen Volcano, Indonesia

Flickr/Yann Pinczon du Sel

Famous for it’s electric-blue flames, Ijen Volcano is a sight to see. The crater lake is the largest acidic crater lake in the world. And while many tourists flock to see the beautiful colors due to the acids, it is recommended to wear a gas mask while exploring.