At Haleakalā National Park, you can step inside volcanic craters, walk through rain forest and swim in freshwater pools.
The park covers an area of 33,265 acres (13,461 hectares) and is divided into two sections: Haleakalā Summit and the Kīpahulu coastal area.
The park’s centerpiece is without a doubt the Haleakalā Volcano, one of the two volcanoes that formed Maui. Rising over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) above sea level, it’s the island’s highest peak. This volcano is dormant and hasn’t been active since the late 18th century.
Journey to the summit of this sleeping giant, a 37-mile (60-kilometer) drive up Highway 378 that takes approximately two hours.
Stop off at Leleiwi Overlook, at 2,680 meters (8,800 feet). This is your first opportunity to take a good look at the volcano’s massive crater, which is over 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) wide and more than 2,620 feet (800 meters) deep.
A few miles further along the road is the Haleakalā Visitor Center. There are more great views from here, but the summit is still a few more minutes away at the Pu’u Ula’ula Overlook.
Photo opportunities are plentiful, and many people come up here to watch the sun rise or set. On clear nights, the summit is a superb place to observe stars, planets and moons. Pick up a star map from the Haleakalā Visitor Center to learn which celestial objects you are gazing up at.
The volcano is the favorite among visitors, but don’t forget the Kīpahulu coastal area. This region contains hundreds of species of plants as well as the Seven Sacred Pools, which are popular places to swim.
There are hiking trails for all abilities throughout the park, including treks into the crater of the volcano.
The weather conditions in many parts of Haleakalā are unpredictable. Before you go, check out the park’s website for current weather conditions, and pack clothing for all kinds of weather.
Haleakalā National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round, unless there are severe weather closures. Camping facilities and cabins are available for overnight stays.