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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Amazing and worth it! Tips / warnings below”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Maui Haleakala Day Bike Tour
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A dormant volcano measuring 10,000 feet above sea level, it is Maui's highest point.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Amazing and worth it! Tips / warnings below”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2014

We were not sure if this was worth getting up at 3am, especially because my entire family LOVES to sleep in. If you are considering this as well, I'll just say, IT'S WORTH IT. GO. (you can take naps later).

The sunrise was gorgeous, cradled by the clouds. When the sun first comes up, you can see a golden lining on the clouds that I've only heard of but never truly witnessed.

Tips / Warnings:
1. The drive may make you motion sick, especially since you probably didn't sleep enough if you woke up at 3. My family (who get seasick even on large cruise ships) were not feeling that well going up or going down. If you need to take some medicine, do it.

2. BE PREPARED. People have said it's cold, which is very true, but it is the wind that makes it so unbearable. When you're looking out at the clouds and waiting for the sunrise, the wind is blowing directly into your face, so much so that you can't speak unless you turn away. Wear the appropriate clothing - not only for the cold but for the nasty wind.

3. You may be double / 3x / 4x - parked. In other words, there is not that much parking up there, and they may direct you to park behind someone or vice versa. That means that you may not be able to leave immediately after sunrise, because you have to wait for the 3-5 cars behind you to all leave before you can. Be considerate of others, and if you're going to stay longer, move your car elsewhere so others can leave.

4. Get breakfast after. It will significantly make your day better. I personally recommend Paia Bay Coffee, which is close to the bottom of the crater.it was amazing!

5. Unless you're only in Maui for one day, try not to do this and the Hana Highway in one day. Take your time, and you'll enjoy both places so much more.

Visited June 2014
4 Thank Amy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

5,789 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Pocono Mountains Region, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
177 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“The crater views are one of my favorates. Sunrise light can be tricky.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2014

For my second visit we took in the sunrise view of the crater. I love the crater views and moon scape like scenery. In summary the sunrise wasn't the great views for me but there were some nice crater views if you find the right view point. From the summit and the visitor center the crater views weren't great for pictures because of the light into your face. From the two views further down the mountain you get side views from the crater and the cinder cones that looked good in morning sun or evening. If I did it again I'd do sunrise from one of the side views and catch the early light in the crater.

Either way wear some layered clothes as it's 10-15 degrees cooler at the summit. pants, two shirts and a jacket with a hood worked well. You could bring a blanket or towel if you had to.

And be at your viewing spot 30 minutes before sunrise. Allow some extra time for traffic or slow travel up the mountain. I didn't expect traffic but there was.

Visited June 2014
Thank On_the_go_with_joe_m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central PA
Level Contributor
85 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Most spectacular thing I've seen!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2014

A sunrise or sunset at Haleakala was on my "must do" list when we went to Maui. However, one day my husband and I decided to just head on up there in the middle of the day to see what we'd be getting ourselves into. I do not typically get motion sickness, and didn't realize I may be afraid of heights, but I was definitely "white knuckling" the grab bar in the car the whole way up this road. haha. There are many sharp corners where it feels like you're going to drive right off the edge of the mountain, and some of them don't have much more than a standard CURB around them, let alone a guide rail! That being said, it's NOT a skinny or treacherous road. It's very well-maintained and a normal width road. It was just me being a scaredy-cat. But this road definitely made me decide against trying the road to Hana! But the views all the way up, and especially from the top, were absolutely spectacular! And somehow the ride back down wasn't scary at all. We ended up not going back for a sunset or sunrise, because we decided I might not be able to handle it in the dark. haha. Total trip from Kihei area and back, including stopping at just about every lookout to take pictures, was 5 hours. It costs $10 per car to get past the park gate and go up to the summit.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank bcg215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Conyers, GA
Level Contributor
286 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“I've been going here for the past 40 years.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2014

My photos of the crater started on a Kodak Instamatic and now are taken on a Canon EOS 50D, When my parents lived in Hawaii my brother and I would fly to Maui and hike the crater in the 70's and 80's. I've been back on my Honeymoon and many times after. I'm a bit to old to hike down to camp in the crater now and then out the Kaupo gap and fly out of Hana but it's still a treat to get there and watch the sunrise even after all these years.

Visited November 2013
Thank evac93rd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whittier, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great Views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2014

The views from the Crater are Spectacular. This is a great place to visit when on Maui. There is so much to see, and hiking trails to follow.

Visited June 2014
Thank temkay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Haleakala Crater also viewed


Been to Haleakala Crater? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing