Wilkes Camp is an area adjacent to the east rim of the summit crater of Mauna Loa volcano, at an altitude of 13,240 feet above sea level. High stone walls were constructed in December 1840 around individual temporary structures, and abandoned in January 1841. The United States sent a scientific expedition into the vast Pacific Ocean, led by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes. For three and a half weeks American scientists conducted experiments on Mauna Loa while experiencing blizzards, freezing temperatures, and altitude sickness. The campsite ruins are the only known physical evidence of the U.S. Exploring Expedition.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.