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Review of Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater
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Maui: Haleakala - Ioa Valley - Lahaina Tour
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Owner description: A dormant volcano measuring 10,000 feet above sea level, it is Maui's highest point.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“First timers”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We drove ourselves up to the top mid day. We didn't have heavy winter wear to go up there for sunrise. It was still beautiful. Mi definitely recommend it. It is a long drive. Make sure you still bring a sweatshirt even for mid day and try to make sure it is a clear day when you go.

Visited May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Standing On Top of the World”
Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

At least that is what it feels like up here. We did not take the sunrise drive up to the top instead we opted for driving up around 7am and it took us about 2 hours from the Kaanapali beach area. The drive was smooth... I had no idea people lived in areas going up towards the visitor center. The houses were very nice And there was even a McDonalds before you really start climbing up.
The roads are paved nicely and the scenery is amazing. As you start to climb you see the clouds inching in ( we drove through the thick air). The adrenaline pumping part is the curves (which I heard do not even compare to the ones on the road to Hana). But Haleakala has some hairpin turns that have you grabbing the steering wheel tight because you do not know what's coming around the corner. We saw cattles on the way up. Once we hit the visitor center it felt so quiet and peaceful up there. It is something we can't really describe in words. When you look into the crater it looks like you are on a whole different planet. The colors are amazing and you see people walking on a trail at a distance and they look like ants from up here.
We decided to keep driving until we reached the very top at a little over 10,000 feet. Wow! I honestly don't know if it was the air up here or If I was that excited but I almost fell lol walking up here. My boyfriend thought this was very funny.. I didn't lol. I truly recommend taking the drive up.... We flew all the way from NYC and these sights left us with our mouth open in amazement. I am sure sunrise is beautiful but I question how people drive up in the dark because it's creepy when the sun is out. This place is unbelievable. We drove from 88 degree weather up to about 40 degrees but this is typical NYC weather so we were not cold but I do recommend bringing a jacket because it is windy.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank HarlemKM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Crater trip amazing made even better by our driver”
Reviewed May 18, 2013

We did the crater trip with a wonderful driver called Randy. What a wealth of knowledge he had of the area & nothing was too much trouble. The drive up was spectacular & we felt like we were on the moon. Randy was so generous too & had dubbed a CD of beautiful Hawaiian music for everyone on the bus. Please pass our thanks onto Randy, he has left these two Kiwis with 'warm fuzzies' after a lovely day on his tour.

Visited April 2013
Thank UsKiwis30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Feel's like being on top of the world”
Reviewed May 18, 2013

The drive starts near the massive sugar cane fields and ends up on top of the world.
It's a beautiful drive to the clouds, thru the clouds, to above the clouds. Beauty everywhere you look. By the time we reached the top it was 35 degree's cooler than at the beginning. The drive is breath-taking both to and from the top. How many places can you go and photograph the bottom and top of a cloud in a matter of minutes? The road itself is beautifully paved with only one one lane bridge at the very beginning. Sugar cane fields, lot's of farm land and several housing areas are scattered along the drive. At the top (10,024 feet), there is a large observation/photo op area with a space observatory just off to one side. The drive has altitude signs approximately every 1,000 feet. Watch the terrain change as you continue to climb (especially at 9,000 feet). Be sure to use the restroom BEFORE you begin.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank yitsonlyme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jensen Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
542 reviews
233 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,081 helpful votes
“One of the "must do" National Parks”
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Visiting for the fourth time since 1998, the wonder of this place will always be a part of us. Imagine being on a mountain thirty thousand feet high, but only ten thousand feet above sea level. We would rank this National Park as "a must do," for that true Hawaiian Aloha.

Haleakala does make its own weather. At times it is clear, other times surrounded by clouds. Regardless, it is cold. If you plan well, bring a warm jacket and wear long pants if you want to stay out any length of time.

The views are magnificent. Don't get too close to the crater's edge, though as strong winds may prevail. Every so often someone falls off.

You really can't miss the famous and rare Haleakala's Silversword plant. It is by far different than any plant you have ever seen. If there is a Silversword blooming, it is a unique event as it only happens once in its existence--usually once in ninety years. It is strictly forbidden to touch them, much less trying to take one home--people have tried--with severe penalties.

Once commercial bicyclist companies were allowed to have their patrons ride down from the summit. Rules since changed since several people have died. Make sure the company you hire has a road-base permit so you can see the summit, sunrise or sunset. Companies will take you out of the park to ride down. The exception is that private bicyclists are still allowed to ride from the summit. The road does narrow in parts and taking a cautious approach is the best driving. My wife loves this drive as their are "guard-rails" for most of the journey.

You may get to see Hawaii's famous goose, the Nene (pronounce Nay Nay). There is a sign at the visitors center stating the Nene exist in Maui and on the island of Hawaii. We have actually seen flocks of them on Kauai too.

Your ticket is good for seven days. If you plan on seeing the Seven Sacred Pools near Hana (please see my other review on the Pipiwai Trail, another must do), the receipt is good there too.

Visited June 2012
Thank Marty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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