Top Destinations to See Natural Phenomena in U.S.


Known as one of nature’s most unpredictable forces, volcanoes are openings or vents where lava, tephra (small rocks), and steam erupt onto the Earth’s surface. According to the United States Geological Survey, there are over 160 active and potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., most of which are in Alaska, where eruptions occur yearly. The rest can be found throughout the American West and in Hawaii. Kīlauea, in Hawaii, is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth and is seen by millions of tourists each year. If you plan on visiting, take advantage of the daily ranger-led hikes, check the underground cavernous lava tubes and caverns, and explore the old, dried-up lava flows and lava lakes that emit a reddish-orange glow at night. This truly one-of-a-kind experience is the second most travel-worthy natural phenomenon in the U.S. according to our research.


Although conditions may vary per location, the best time to visit volcanoes in the U.S. is during the winter months (November to March), when the weather cools down and crowds become thinner. If an eruption occurs, nighttime is the best time to view – only at a safe distance, of course.


  • Makushin Volcano, Alaska
  • Akutan Peak, Alaska
  • Augustine Volcano, Alaska
  • Mount Redoubt, Alaska
  • Mount Spurr, Alaska
  • Mount Baker, Washington
  • Glacier Peak, Washington
  • Mount Rainier, Washington
  • Mount St. Helens, Washington
  • Three Sisters, Oregon
  • Newberry Volcano, Oregon
  • Crater Lake, Oregon
  • Mount Shasta, California
  • Lassen Peak, California
  • Long Valley Caldera, California
  • Halemaumau Crater, Hawaii
  • Kilauea, Hawaii
  • Halemaumau Crater, Hawaii

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