Don't be too concerned about visiting for either sunrise or sunset, though I am sure that would be spectacular. We drove up in the middle of the day, traffic was fine and it is important not to be rushed. The view was spectacular and this is a must-do when visiting Maui. We stayed in Kihei and it took approx 1 hr 45 min to drive up, and a touch quicker on the way down, even taking into account getting stuck behind a few slower vehicles. Highly recommend purchasing the app GyPSy if you have either an iPad or iPhone, you don't need to have 3G or phone service once the app is down loaded as the app picks up your location via GPS and gives you directions as well as information on your drive, like having a tour guide in your own car and you can skip parts if you like.
If you own or manage Haleakala Crater, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.