We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Intense mountain drive, beautiful crater views...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park
Kula, Maui, HI 96790
(808) 572-4400
Website
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Special Offer
$111*
and up
Spectacular Haleakala Maui Sunrise Tour
Ranked #1 of 7 Attractions in Kula
Type: National Parks, Outdoors
Attraction details
Evanston, Illinois
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Intense mountain drive, beautiful crater views...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We drove to the summit of the Haleakala volcano. The road twists and turns, as it is one of the sharpest vehicular elevation gains in the shortest amount of time in the world. Along the way through the park watch out for Nene, the Hawaiian goose. It is one of the rarest geese in the world, and they love to spend time in the road. Don't run over them. There are only about 800 in the wild. You do not want to be the cause for 799.

We decided to go to the summit on a cloudy day, which we figured was a gamble, because we could arrive at the summit to see nothing at all. However, the clouds began at about 4500 feet of elevation and at about 8000 feet we popped up through the clouds. The mountain itself is just over 10000 feet above sea level. The experience is that of being above the world. What made someone think that a road must be built to the top, evades my understanding, but hey I am not afraid to take advantage of the Great American Tourist Spirit.

At the summit, there are restrooms. There is also the usual National Park gift center, pimping out nature. It is usually quite cold, so take a jacket. Hikes are available into the crater; however, remember that oxygen is a bit harder to find up at this height. Plan accordingly.

On the way down, do not ride your breaks. Use your vehicle's lower gears. It not only makes for a smoother ride, it will save you from learning how to fly.

The way up is through some interesting farmland and eucalyptus forests. There are a few places to stop and look around.

Overall, we knew we were taking a risk going up (and perhaps not seeing anything but clouds), but we were absolutely glad that we did.

The National Park fee is $10 per private car.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

517 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    410
    96
    8
    1
    2
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Walla Walla, Washington
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“The way to the green lushness of Hawaii on Maui”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

A long and winding road to the "wet" side of the island. If you go all the way around you experience most of the 17 climate zones on Maui. We took a tour bus and I would recommend this. No need to fight the traffic and, as a passenger, you can look around. Also the drivers will comeent on things you would probably miss on your own.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Spectacular scenery and journey”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Don't miss the opportunity to make it to the summit of this magnificent volcano, preferably for sunrise or sunset. Try and do it in relatively clear weather, which will maximize the experience. Bring warm clothing, as it can be near freezing at sunrise.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
69 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“Breathtaking!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

It's a bit of a drive to the top but you can't beat the view. We were there at sunset and the lower cloud layers and nearby islands together with the brilliant orange light make for a unique experience.

Coming down after dark is a bit of a trip since the road signs are not reflective and it's hard to tell what's coming up.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“House of the Rising SUN....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

It was absolutely worth waking up and hitting the road at 2am to catch the sunrise at the upper parking lot! There is nothing like watching the sun rising above the clouds...watching the colors change from complete darkness to a tinge of red on the clouds and slowly expanding.... an artist's dream come true... colors that the camera an't even begin to capture. The drive up the mountain is nerve-wrecking to say the least..... but it is so worth it. I know people are encouraged to try the sunset.... but there is nothing like watching total darkness give way to light.... or watching the moon shine over the ocean.....so ethereal.... both the moon shine and sun rise over the clouds.... Keep an eye on the weather as you do not want to go there when there are no clouds... the clouds are what make it so ethereal and mystical.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Haleakala National Park also viewed

Haleakala National Park, Maui
Haleakala National Park, Maui
 

Been to Haleakala National Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Haleakala National Park, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.