Mauna Loa volcano from Mauna Kea
That is Mauna Loa Volcano in the background and the visitor center by the road. We are about 11,000 ft. up the Volcano.
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii. Standing13,796 ft above sea level, its peak is the highest point in the U.S. Because the Hawaiian Islands slope so deep into the sea, Mauna Kea is exceptionally prominent, with a dry prominence calculated at 30,610 ft. It is cupped by the deep Hawaiian Trough, which has led some authorities to call it the tallest mountain in the world, as measured from base to peak. Base remains loosely defined, which has resulted in numbers ranging from 32,696 ft to 56,447 ft. Mauna Kea is about one million years old, and thus hundreds of thousands of years ago it passed the most active shield stage of life. In its current post-shield state, its lava is more viscous, resulting in a steeper profile. Late volcanism has also given it a much smoother appearance than its neighboring volcanoes. Mauna Kea last erupted 4,600 years ago. According to the USGS the Volcanic Alert Level is "Normal".
In Hawaiian mythology, the peaks of the island of Hawaii are sacred, and Mauna Kea (which means "white mountain" in Hawaiianis one of the most sacred. An ancient law allowed only high-ranking tribal chiefs to visit its peak. Ancient Hawaiians living on the slopes of Mauna Kea relied on its extensive forests for food, and quarried the dense volcano-glacial basalts on its flanks for tool production.
With its high altitude, dry environment, and stable airflow, Mauna Kea's summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation, and one of the most controversial. Since the creation of an access road in 1964, thirteen telescopes funded by eleven countries have been constructed at the summit. The Mauna Kea Observatories are used for scientific research across the electromagnetic spectrum from visible light to radio, and comprise one of the world's largest telescope facilities of their type.