Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park, Kula: Address, Phone Number, Haleakala National Park Reviews: 5/5

Haleakala National Park
5
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Terrible
9

thisgirl_Gray
Los Angeles, CA2,279 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
Visited on June 8 with family to watch the sunrise. First of all, be sure to go online and make a reservation if you plan to watch the sunrise because they will not let you in without it before 7am. The cost is $1.00 for the reservation then you pay the entrance fee at the park entry gate upon arrival. The entry fee is per car. Be advised that you should plan to get into the park between 3am and 5am, if the sun is to rise around 5:30. The drive up is about 15 to 30 miles depending the area, and the road is winding and steep; so if you are fearful of heights on a narrow two-lane road you might not want to be the driver. It is very dark going up, and super sunny going down. Some people hang around and hike the trails after watching the sunrise, but we didn't. It is slso very cold and windy, so you will definitely want to wear a warm jacket, maybe even a scarf and gloves, and warmer clothing. This sunrise view is definitely the best on the island and is worth fighting the chilly temperatures. I highly recommend this activity if you do not have a height phobia.
Written June 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

raweekley
Mason, OH123 contributions
Aug 2021
This amazing destination is a time commitment, but the views are unlike any you will see ANYWHERE. That being said, the sunrise experience gets all the press and thus the demand. Obtaining tickets for the limited audience permitted access for sunrise is next to impossible. The alternative? Sunset!

Sunset is amazing as you tower over the clouds and see the kaleidoscope of color created in the evening sky. If you are thinking about making the trip, don't look at the clouds shrouding the mountain and decide against going - that's the magic element that makes it all so unique. You'll be above the cloud cover and the visuals are simply jaw-dropping. Sunset - do it!
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike B
Warrenville, IL6 contributions
Feb 2021
We did the sunrise experience on Haleakala and figured out a way to avoid the crowds. We decided to spend the night prior at the Kula Lodge, which is approx 45 mins from the summit. This allowed us to sleep in a bit later than is we had stayed in our Ka'anapali hotel and still arrive early enough for some excellent stargazing. It was a particularly cold day in Maui and the summit (with windchill) was even colder than I had expected. We live in Chicago and brought our full winter gear, but were still really cold. We arrived at 5:30 am (sunrise was at 6:55) and there were already a handful of cars there. We walked up to the summit building (closed due to covid). The stars were epic! Very few people showed up until about 30 mins prior to sunrise and then they really crowded around and in front of other people - zero social or spacial awareness. It got so bad that we left 10 mins before sunrise (had already seen so many beautiful changes to the sky) - we were over the people. On our drive back down we spotted the Kalahaku Overlook and decided to give that a shot. There was no one else there and it was the perfect spot to watch the rest of the sunrise. Sure, we missed a few moments during our drive down, but it was amazing to have that view all to ourselves. It also meant that we were the first to start driving back down the hill, so we didn't get stuck behind slow cars or have others riding our tail. I would do it all again, but would bring handwarming packets for our gloves!
Written February 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jessica p
Westlake, OH110 contributions
Jul 2021
Sunrise amazing. I am so glad we got up at 2 am to see this
The park service manages this perfectly so it is an amazing experience despite the crowing of tourists on this island.
Several months in advance I got a reservation on nps.gov. You have to keep checking to see when these open up. I think they release a few the day before but why gamble.
We left Wailea at 3 am. If you are coming form eastern mainland if you plan this at beginning on your trip not as brutal as it is 9 am EST.
The road is very windy. At the park entrance they check you off as they have a list of who has reserved and wont let anyone else in. Then you drive another long drive up to either summit parking or visitor center. The whole second hour of the drive is very dark and very tortuous-. Watch out for cows on the road.
Be aware it is VERY COLD
Like we were in gloves, hat, sweatshirt, long pants (my husband in long johns) and STILL cold.
We got to watching station by 5 am. I thought, great, I have to freeze to death for an hour. The the hour is very dynamic and you see beautiful changes in the sky over the hour that are all worth
The crown was very nice and it was not overcrowded but if you get there later you might not have a perfect view.
There was a junior ranger who gave a short talk and they were to give a chant.
Very moving and not to be missed experience.
The volcano in front of you looks like a moonscape.
After this we did a short hike. There is a weird forest of a number of imported trees such as Eucalyptus, European trees, etc that is a very short and easy hike. I think there is another one on the road out
My only complaint, the NPS had everything closed up. Would have liked to buy some park swag and support the park
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Aashish K
Columbus, OH74 contributions
Dec 2021
Haleakala at sunrise is a must-do. The reservation was made first thing 60 days in advance but worth it. The drive up in the dark was an adventure in itself. I would recommend arriving 15-30 min prior to sunrise to get a good spot. With windchill it feels much colder than the 30-40 degrees we were told to expect and I recommend to dress appropriately with layers! Pack a large breakfast with plans to get something on the way back or breakfast and lunch to make things easier.

Though the sky initially looked like it wouldn't cooperate, the clouds cleared up and dazzled us. There was a daily sunrise ceremony(?) led by the rangers that added to the experience. The views were amazing, enhanced by the small amount of snow and ice. There are a number of good trails ranging from moderate to difficult, short and long. We tried to keep our eyes open for the endangered nene and while we didn't see one, it was fun nevertheless.
Written December 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ory
1 contribution
Dec 2020
Apparently one needs to make a reservation to enter and see the sunrise prior to 6:59 but are free to enter at 7am.

They claim they were trying to keep at 50 people people but how would that work if one can enter shortly after sunrise and join the reserved people?

Mountain View and sunrise are beautiful the mindsets running the park not so much.

Be sure to reserve your entry to the national park to watch the sunrise.
Written December 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mary C
Fairbanks, AK17 contributions
Jan 2021
We loved our early morning drive to the summit of Haleakala. Be sure to take warm clothes. When I walked from the car to the bathroom my fingers were tingling cold in seconds. It is also windy at the top. We couldn't get sunrise reservations for an extra $25 and instead opted to arrive soon after opening.
Written January 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jo P.
36 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
We took the Polynesian Adventure tours to Haleakala and our guide was Michael Reed. He was very thorough and knowledgeable about the places we've been in this tour. His attention to details was remarkable including the silversword flowers we found in the park and the stars we saw after the sun had set and returning to Lahaina. He was also considerate, left my baseball cap in the van and he contacted me to inform me how I could get it back. We felt secured with him and safety and comfort were top in his priority for us. He's well rounded and highly knowledgeable.
Written October 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rbh
Antioch, IL9 contributions
Feb 2020
If you plan a visit to Haleakala and want to hike, I would book a sunrise parking space and stay to hike. There are several hikes where you can leave you vehicle at the summit but if your plan is to hike the Haleakala Crater Trail then you will need to drop your vehicle at the Halemau'u Trail Head parking lot and hitch hike back up to the top. There is a designated hitching spot for this very purpose. Hiking this trail was on my bucket list and it was an amazing journey with every turn providing spectacular ever changing scenery. The sun shining on silverswords upon the lava is breathtaking. The trail is not overly crowded with only 5 of us doing the day hike. We met one other couple staying at one of the cabins inside the crater. It is an 11.2 mile hike and we did it in 6 hours. You need to bring plenty of water. As a reference we drank 70 ounces each. After descending into the crater for about 9 miles, the hardest part is climbing 1400 feet back up via switchbacks to the Halemau'u Trail Head. Plan on clouds rolling in where you could get wet, so bring a protective rain jacket. Worth every minute!
Written April 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hawaiidreamer1
Los Angeles149 contributions
Mar 2020
First of all you'll need reservations to be able to view the sunrise. It's online and for $1. We left our hotel in Kaanapali at about 230 am and got to the parking lot about 2 hours late. Besides the reservation fee you need a national park entrance fee. I would say to arrive before 5 since the small parking lot fills up. at 430 about 1/3 of the the lot was filled. By 6am folks were already outside waiting for the sunrise. Though this is Hawaii the temperature is in the low 40s at such heights. come perhap or you'll be shivering. most folks start to left about 15 mins after the sun rise. There's 2 visitors centers. the main one at the near the entrance has clean bathrooms. The one near the top has portable restrooms and long lines. Go to the bottom if you can.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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