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Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

Victoria, Canada
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Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

We are debating if we should get up so early in the middle of the night to drive up to the Heleakala summit to view the sunrise. We will be in Maui for the first time in Jan/14 and it seems that this is one of the highlight things to do when you are in Maui. We definitely will visit the park but just not sure if it's worthwhile to get up so early at about 3 AM to drive from Kanapali area to the Haleakala summit. Can someone please give us some comments/thoughts on this. Thks so much.

Boston...
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1. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

YES!

We did it and i said then I would never do it again. Yeah....we're going again in January!

ON, Canada
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2. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

After 4 trips to Maui, we've yet to do the sunrise, but we've been up in the daytime a few times and hiked there. Each time we go to Maui we say that we'll do the sunrise if we feel like getting up at 2 or 3 a.m. ... so far that hasn't happened ... maybe next trip:) I would leave the decision until you're there ... keep it is an option and see how you feel at the time.

Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

I could write my comment word for word what Susan said! Four trips here too, never done it! I was hoping for a sunset on our next trip. Not as cold, not as crowded...

Pack your red mittens, just in case! And you will want a flashlight too.

Maui, Hawaii
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4. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

We did once and also said we'll never do that again!! It's like really bad jet lag for a few days!! So if you don't mind messing up a few days of your vacation go for it!!

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

We did it twice and loved it. The drive up in the dark was terrifying the first time, but it was one of the most amazing experiences. Just go at the very beginning of your trip so that your body is not adjusted to Hawaii time yet. Also, if possible do a little hiking inside the crater. The views are out of this world! Just remember that the hike back up is a million times harder than hiking down.

Also, dress warm with coats and gloves. It's freezing up there!

Edited: 12:58 pm, November 04, 2013
Portland, Tennessee
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for Waikoloa
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6. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

We have done both - sunrise and sunset. I prefer Sunset. The parking was terrible for sunrise! We had to wait at least 30 min to 45 min for the sun to burn off the mist surrounding Haleakala to get a good view. The drive down was a nightmare. People on bikes and it was like a sloooowww parade down!! Took a very very long time.

Our first trip was sunset. It was great! Pretty much had the entire park to ourselves. We are planning to go back for Sunset this December.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

We have spent one month a year on Maui for the last ten years. We have yet to do the sunrise thing, but we've been to the summit of Haleakala many times. The drive and the scenery are spectacular. I can't see any reason to go in the middle of the night.

Better idea, go to the Hali'imaile general store for the best lunch on Maui (it's at about 2,500 ft up on the slopes of the volcano near Makawao.) Then follow the signs to the park and the summit of Haleakala. The scenery is always different always changing and you will pass through about 6 climate zones on the way up. Take a jacket because even if it is 80 on the beach it will be around 50 on the summit. When you come back down, go south on the Kula highway to St. John's Episcopal church for a spectacular view of the valley and the West Maui mountains. Then drive back and all the way down to Pa'ia and to Mama's Fish House for dinner in one of the most spectacular settings in the Pacific!

Now that is a wonderful day! Much better than a very cold 15 minute sunrise. Sigh.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

Interesting post. I am still undecided about my December trip. Sunrise or sunset.....

Iowa
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9. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

Richstacy, sounds like a fantastic day! Welcome to the Maui forum! We have a lot of fun around here. You sound like you've got lots to share. Hope you'll stick around.

We will be doing the summit for the first time on our March trip. NOT sunrise! This will be our 7th time to Maui and some very persuasive TA friends, and family too, have talked us into it. I know it will be amazing.... As long as I don't have a panic attack! Lol! Gotta keep trying new things. And our hands will be toasty warm in our red mittens!

British Columbia
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10. Re: Is it worthwhile to drive up so early to view Summit Sunrise

Of all my trips to the summit of Haleakala my least favourite was sunrise…not because it was cold, not because of the drive up in the dark, not because of cloud cover or anything of that nature, but because I was so exhausted having to get up so early that all I wanted to do in the afternoon was nap. Next trip I'm going to try for sunset!

It does not matter when you go…do what you think will work best for you….but do go!!

Edited: 11:26 pm, November 04, 2013
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