skip to Main Content

The youngest and largest of the eight main islands, Hawai`i Island is approximately 800,000 years old and was created from five separate shield volcanoes: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Kilauea and Mauna Loa at 13,680 feet. At 60 miles long and 30 miles wide, Mauna Loa makes up half of the entire island. Mauna Loa and Kilauea still remain active.

Hawai`i Island covers 4,038 square miles and is home to 11 out of 13 of the world’s climatic zones and all four types of forests: dryland forests, rainforests, upland moist forests and subalpine forests.

Because of the island’s size, the aerial view of Hawai`i Island provides a clear example of how topography, weather and climate conditions affect growth on the moist windward and dry leeward sides of the Hawai`i Islands.

For those who would like to learn more about tropical dryland forests, the Hawai`i Forest Industry Association manages outreach programs at Ka’upulehu Dryland Forest. Contact us for more information.

Places to Visit

Ka’upulehu Dryland Forest

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden Bishop Museum

Hawai`i State Parks

Hawai`i National Parks

Protected Places

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Map


DLNR: State of Hawaii Forest Reserve System Hawai`i Island

United States Geological Survey

U.S. Forest Service

County of Hawai`i

Water and Weather

Hawaii Association of Watershed Partnerships

Kohala Watershed Partnership

Three Mountain Alliance

The Nature Conservancy

DOFAW Hawaii Watersheds Q&A

National Weather Service

Earth Observatory: Little Islands Big Wake

Earth Observatory-the Big Island of Hawaii


Hawaii Wood Guild

CTAHR Hawaii Forestry Extension

Hawaii Forest Industry Association

Hawaii Agriculture Research Center


to Overview of the island of Hawai`i Forestry History

Back To Top