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“Danger Lurks!! But well worth it!!”

Haleakala National Park
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Maui: Haleakala Sunrise Tour
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Hiking at Haleakala National Park 6 Mile Hike Challenge
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Hawaiian Wildlife Discovery Tour
Ranked #1 of 33 things to do in Kula
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Reviewed June 10, 2013

On a recent visit to Haleakala National Park on Maui, Hawaii, my daughter and I decided to drive up to see the incredible sunsets, we had heard so much about..

You have a choice to go in the early morning hours , but need to set out in the dark to arrive before sunrise.

So we decided to go at sunset, instead.. we packed up our cooler with drinks and some sweaters, and set out to upcountry Maui..

It probably took us almost 2 hours to drive there, as we stopped off for some Hawaiian lunch and then proceeded to drive the winding road up the mountain. Take your time as it is a drive slow situation.

When we arrived the sun was just beginning to set, and it was extrememly COLD!, I mean it! Don't just take a light jacket, be sure to borrow some blankets from your condo or hotel to wrap up in, and also wear layers of your clothes, pants, tops, etc.. weare tennis shoes, no flipflops.

We were lucky, as we huddled next to 2 couples who had just enough room for us to squeeze into their spot...

What we experienced was other worldly, or out of this world!
As the sun proceeded to set we experienced the most incredible views and hues, and have some amazing photographs to remember by!

Haleakala is magical, it made you feel as if this it was "Heaven" could resemble, God has placed a masterpiece in this mountain, on top of the world!

After the sunset we got in our car , as it was dark now, and drove extremely slow down the winding road , down the mountain.
Expect lot's of traffic and a slow drive, and be sure you have good brakes!

Our danger came lurking in the form of some large cows!!
It seems they love to cross the roads at night, and we nearly had a head on collision with one of them!

He just stopped in our path and decided to check us out!
God was watching over us that night! we came within inches of a direct hit...
It was well worth the trip, very magical and a great memory for life!

2  Thank HawaiianIrishgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,198 - 1,202 of 1,518 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2013

The best way to experience this park is from the back of a horse. And yet there are hiking trails, waterfalls and pools to swim in too. We will try our best to make it back to Maui just to spend more time in this park.

Thank Terry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

We made the trip to Haleakala to see the sunrise on June 2, 2013. As we were staying in Kihei, we left at 3am. As all the guide books noted, you will not be alone on the drive up! It's an impressive trip up - and while it's completely black outside, you still get the distinct impression that you're climbing the side of the mountain! It was a twisty and windy road - not unlike the road to Hana and again, you're not alone! There were numerous cars making the same early morning journey with us - so much so that despite arriving at the summit shortly before 5am the summit parking lot was full. I have to say that everything you read about the summit being cold and windy isn't an exaggeration! I'm from Canada -- northern Canada -- and I found it freakishly cold! I had long pants on and a light jacket and I still had to wrap up in a beach blanket to stave off the cold. You could see your breath and the cold + extreme wind (was 40 mile per hour winds) made your eyes tear up, your nose run and made you gasp for breathe. There were times when the wind literally batted me around - it was a little scary at times. But shortly before the sun rose and the sky started to lighten make sure you find a spot on the rails around the crater for prime viewing. I was shocked at how many people were up there and it was often 2-3 people deep with everyone trying to get pictures. The sheer number of people detracted from the experience - but if you can block it out, the sunrise is surreal! The sunrise shining over the crater is something that everyone should see once in their lifetime. After 20 minutes after the sun rose everyone took off! Few people stuck around - could be that there were no open bathrooms at the summit to use (no idea why they were closed and locked) or the cold/wind drove people away, but the drive back down the windy/twisty road was pretty quiet with little traffic if you wait at least 30 mins after the sunrise to leave. The only traffic you have to contend with is the bike tours - and there are many! All in all, if you can, make sure you make your way up for the sunrise. Just make sure you have no other plans for the day so you can nap when you get back to your hotel/condo :)

1  Thank PGtravellers2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Haleakala National Park is a remarkable and unique place. The summit of the volcano Is incredibly beautiful and surreal - unlike any landscape I have ever seen. It is a spiritual experience just being there, and understanding the connection the native Hawaiians have had with this place. There is so much more to experience there than just a sunrise. You can understand a lot about the geology and natural history of the entire island of Maui - how this volcanic island developed. Be sure to visit Hosmer Grove as well, on your way back from the summit. You may see some of the rare birds that live only on Haleakala. And if you make it to Hana, be sure to go the the Kipahulu section of the National Park, for a completely different aspect of Maui, the wet, rainforest side.

Thank ptcake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We chose not to attempt a sunrise visit, so went during mid morning, which was great. The road was far better than anticipated. All those curves were easily negotiable. Reaching the road end at 10,000 feet offered magnificent views, even on a cloudy day. We were, of course, above the clouds. It was well worth the long drive, but not sure I'd visit again, certainly not just for the sunrise.

1  Thank OldBigBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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