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8 rock climbing destinations for novices

By: Josh Lew on March 12, 2013, 5:22 p.m.
Haleakala volcano crater

Photo: Joe West/Shutterstock

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Hawaii's volcanoes

Hawaii is known for its beach resorts, but it offers some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the U.S. One reason that novices might find the 50th state attractive is because they can easily have a high altitude experience. Hawaii's Mauna Kea, if measured from its undersea base, is the tallest mountain, base to summit, on Earth. At over 13,000 feet above sea level, it is still of impressive height using more-common altitude measurements. Summit-seekers can drive up to the Onizuka Visitor's Center at 9,000 feet and then take a six-mile trail to the top. This hike allows novices to get some experience trekking at a reasonably high altitude. Of course, it is also possible to drive directly to the summit. Another option, perhaps more attractive in terms of scenery, is found on the island of Maui. The Haleakala Volcano is home to richly colored landscapes that have been created over the centuries by volcanic activity. This mountain sits at 10,000 feet above sea level and can be tackled without any prior climbing experience.