While you’ve been dreaming of white sand beaches and the turquoise ocean, no trip to Maui is complete without a visit to the stunning Haleakala Crater. The desolate conditions at Haleakala Crater stand in stark contrast to much of the other terrain on Maui but are strikingly beautiful just the same. Catch a breathtaking sunrise, stand in awe at beautiful lookouts, challenge yourself with a hike into the crater, or stay past sunset for unbelievable stargazing. Haleakala Crater’s otherworldly landscape offers plenty of options for exploring and discovering.
Standing bundled at the edge of the crater with nothing but darkness around, thin slivers of golden light slowly emerge from over the crater walls, piercing through the clouds and gradually turning the entire sky into a brilliant show of gold and blue. This is the magic of sunrise over the Haleakala Crater. If you’re not committed to the insanely early rise time you’ll need in order to make it to the crater before sunrise, stargazing from the summit can be equally inspiring, offering superbly clear conditions. The Haleakala Crater also offers over 35 miles of hiking trails, offering close up views of this otherworldly landscape and a rewarding physical challenge for those who are up for it.
Planning Your Excursion to Haleakala Crater in Hawaii
The Haleakala Crater in Hawaii is located in Haleakala National Park, which is approximately a 100-minute drive from Lahaina. A day pass for the park (which is actually valid for 3 days) is $25 per vehicle, and sunrise viewing requires a separate pass and reservation. The summit at Haleakala rises from the sea to 10,023 feet, resulting in colder conditions than most visitors are prepared to encounter on this island. If you plan to visit Haleakala Crater, come prepared with warm clothing. The temperature can be up to 20 degrees colder than those experienced else ware on the island, and can even dip below freezing.
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