Climbing an active volcano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although volcanoes are dangerous, they are still a prime destination for many adventurous travelers. Here are some of the best places to climb an active volcano.

Ijen Crater, Indonesia

Ijen Crater, located in East Java, Indonesia, is one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world. The volcano is home to the world’s largest blue-flame producing crater lake, which is illuminated by around 200,000 cubic meters of blue flames at night. But what’s even more spectacular is that you can also hike up to Ijen’s summit. The climb requires a full day, and you’ll need to be in good physical condition for the strenuous six-hour trek. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes, thick gloves, and a face mask to protect yourself from the amount of sulfur in the air.

Mount Etna, Sicily

Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Located in Sicily, Italy, its eruptions occur almost every day. The mountain features a range of difficulties, from easy trails perfect for beginners to more difficult climbs. The views from the top are stunning and reveal multiple craters, Mt. Etna’s vast lava fields, and the Mediterranean Sea. A guided tour is recommended since the slopes can be slippery due to the lava and ash. Periods of strong wind can also make the climb too dangerous.

Mount St. Helens, Washington

Mount St. Helens in Washington State, USA is one of the most studied volcanoes in history. It has been erupting regularly since its disastrous 1980 eruption, making it an ideal destination for those who want to experience volcanic eruptions and see the still-recovering wildlife around the mountain. Although climbing inside a crater is off-limits, visitors can still climb to the volcano summit. The climb is a moderate 9 miles (14 km) round trip, and it takes around 6-7 hours. The views along the way are breathtaking, so make sure to have your camera with you.

Kilauea, Hawaii

Kilauea, Hawaii, is the youngest volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island. It’s one of the most active volcanoes on earth and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii. Climbing up to the summit is a strenuous adventure and takes around 8-10 hours to complete.

The climb is long and steep and requires good physical fitness, but the rewards are worth it. The views from the summit are absolutely breathtaking and the fossils of ancient lava flows are fascinating to see. Also, the trail is full of interesting history, with ancient Hawaiian temples and petroglyphs along the way.

Mount Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji is the highest volcano and mountain in Japan, located in Fujimi Prefecture and standing tall at 3,776 meters (12,389 feet). It’s a sacred mountain for the Japanese and an important icon in Japanese culture. Climbing Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s most popular activities, with more than 200,000 people making the climb each summer. It’s a 17-km hike to the summit, but it can be made in 7 hours or less. The climb is pretty easy and there is no risk of getting lost since the way is well marked. From the summit, you can see the spectacular views of the surrounding area and enjoy the refreshing, clean air.
People of all ages can climb Mount Fuji, but children are required to be accompanied by an adult.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano, located in northern Costa Rica, is probably one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations. It has one of the most spectacular views in the world, and the trails around it are perfect for those who want to experience its beauty firsthand. The climb is relatively easy, but since it’s an active volcano, there can be some risk involved.

The trails start from La Fortuna and go around the volcano’s base, taking you to a viewpoint where you can marvel at the spectacular display. You can also take part in night excursions to see the glowing lava and streams of lava cascading off the sides.

Soufrière Hills, Montserrat

Soufrière Hills volcano is located on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in the British West Indies. This is an active and very dangerous volcano, but there are still a few guided hikes to the top. The climb takes around 6 to 8 hours and includes amazing views beneath a thick canopy of trees and a stops at Sulphur Springs City, a small village that was buried in ash during the volcano’s eruption. The view from the top of Soufrière Hills is very rewarding, but the amount of steam and sulfur dioxide in the air make it too dangerous to stay for long periods of time.

Pelée, Martinique

Pelée is an active volcano located in the French island of Martinique in the Caribbean. It’s known for its 1902 eruption, which was the deadliest and most destructive in recorded history. Today, it’s a popular hiking destination for experienced hikers and mountaineers, with some of its trails taking hikers up to the volcano’s 2,597-meter-high summit. The climb can take up to eight hours, but the views from the top are breathtaking and well worth the effort. The hikers should follow the marked trails and come prepared with enough water, snacks, flashlights and energy bars.

Climbing an active volcano is an unforgettable experience and one of the best ways to get up close and personal with one of nature’s most enigmatic landscapes. The places listed above are some of the world’s best for climbing an active volcano, but there are many more. So don’t forget to check out your own local area for any hidden gems. Remember to always follow all instructions from your guide and come prepared with proper gear and clothing to ensure your safety.