Lake Waiau on Top of Mauna Kea

The hike to this fresh water lake on Mauna Kea is about 3/4 mile one way and is surrounded by spectacular views.

Lake Waiau on Mauna Kea

The only sound is that of the wind.


Lake Waiau is a high-elevation lake located at 13,020 feet (3970 m) above sea level on Mauna Kea, on the island of Hawaiʻi. It is the seventh highest lake in the USA  (higher than Lake Titicaca), and one of very few lakes at all in the state of Hawaiʻi. It is relatively small, only about 100 m across, and varies in size as the water level rises and falls. At high water levels a small outlet stream appears at the northwest end, but it is absorbed into the ground after a short distance. The name means “swirling water” in Hawaiian, though it is usually rather placid. It usually freezes in winter, but aquatic insects such as midges and beetles can be found breeding in the water.

One Response

  1. My friends just visited that lake! :) Very cool!

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