Two people hiking, while one sits on a rock
Climb To The Highest Alpine Lake In The US At This Hawaii Destination
By Jenna Busch


There are many things to do in Hawaii, but for a unique hiking experience, visit Lake Waiau. It is the only alpine lake in the state and one of the highest in the United States.
Lake Waiau is located 13,020 feet above sea level on the Mauna Kea volcano, not far from the summit. No one knows how it remains because no stream or river is feeding it.
It should have drained away and annual rainfall is less than 15 inches. One theory says the sulfur steam turned the material below it into fine ash and clay that might hold it in.
The hike is only 1.4 miles out and back, but it can be challenging if you're prone to altitude sickness. Stay at the information center to adjust, and bring water and snacks.