"Haleakala National Park" Haleakala National Park by derats

Haleakala National Park Travel Guide: 51 reviews and 161 photos

From the cold barren heights of a 10,000 ft volcanic peak to the warm Pacific water… This is Haleakala

The park encompasses more than 27,000 acres of the mountain with terrain that includes the crater moonscape, forests, desert, and tropical valleys. The 7-mile long crater is actually a valley created by erosion of wind and rain and pocked with small volcanic cinder cones formed during volcanic eruptions. It is home to the famous yet endangered silversword plant, a yucca-like plant with a huge flowering stalk. Many visitors come to see Haleakala's flora, fauna, and the fabulous views, but others come just to experience the unique energy of the place. In ancient times, only kahuna lived here, drawing from the volcano's power. Now, many modern spiritual types do the same, finding a sojourn on the mountain an encounter with cosmic energy.
Whatever you seek or find there, don't miss out on a visit. It's best to see Haleakala, the House of the Sun, early in the morning before the clouds that usually gather before mid-morning. If you can lug yourself out of bed in the dark, a favorite way to experience the crater is to watch the sunrise over the rim. Bring some breakfast and a thermos of coffee if you want to stay and explore. Also, be sure to dress warmly (the morning air is quite cold at 10,000 feet), and check the weather so you don't spend your visit wrapped in clouds.

You may want to spend more than a day on the majestic mountain, as seeing Haleakala may not leave you enough time to visit other upcountry sites. But here's an itinerary, beginning with the House of the Sun and then driving down through upcountry Maui.

  • Intro Updated Oct 27, 2004
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