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Haleakala now requires a reservation. Please connect with Haleakala National Park Service to get set up.
Haleakala, which means “House of the Sun,” is one of the world’s most massive dormant volcanoes, with a crater so vast, the entire island of Manhattan could fit easily within its depression.
Peaking out above the clouds at over 10,000 ft., the summit terrain is so fantastic and ethereal that you might just think you’ve landed on another planet!
Getting to the summit is an inspiring experience because you’ll transition through a series of beautifully distinct ecosystems.
When folks are daydream about Maui back on the mainland, they usually envision sunbathing and snorkeling along the the sun-kissed beaches of Ka’anapali and Wailea.
On the two hour drive from Haleakala’s base to its summit you’ll pass through as many unique climate zones as you would driving from Mexico to Canada.
On occasion, the summit even receives a light blanket of snow!
From base to summit, you’ll zig and zag through lowlands, dry forests, mid-level woodlands, sub-alpine shrub lands, and cinder high deserts.
The summit’s high elevation, ideal atmospheric conditions, and absence of light pollution make Haleakala one of the world’s top spots for astrophysical research.
Experts from every corner of the earth flock to “Science City,” perched high on the summit, to conduct research on rockets, satellites, lasers, and celestial bodies.
World-renowned scientists aren’t the only ones flocking to Haleakala. People from every corner of the earth come to experience the volcano’s world-famous sunrises, diverse ecology.
If you decide to drive Haleakala on your own, you’ll need $15 park entrance pass, which is otherwise included in the cost of the guided bicycle tours.
If you’re taking The Road To Hana during your Maui vacation, this parking pass will also work at Seven Sacred Pools (The Pools of Oheo), and the Pipiwaii Trails—two of Hana’s most popular attractions.
Whether you go to Haleakala as part of a tour, or if you visit on your own, we definitely recommend bundling up with long pants, a warm sweater or jacket, and closed-toed shoes.
Dress in layers, or bring a change of clothes for when the day heats up after the chili morning sunrise.
A Maui helicopter tour includes soaring views of both Haleakala and the entire Hana area, making it another great way to experience Maui.
From volcanic, sand-dusted cinder cones to lush, jungle rainforests, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Maui’s ever-diverse ecology.
You’ll be flying in safety and comfort in either an FX-STAR (A-STAR) or a Whisper-STAR (Eco-STAR) touring helicopter. Both luxurious models offer ample seating, large viewing windows, and incredibly smooth rides.
Most of the pilots have decades of flight experience and all of them are highly skilled.
In addition to being exceptional pilots, your friendly, knowledgeable guide will illustrate Maui’s geography and history as you navigate Haleakala and Hana’s breathtaking terrain.
For a more intimate encounter with Haleakala, consider a guided hiking tour through the crater.
These tours are an unforgettable way to traverse the lunar-like terrain while learning all about the native flora and fauna from expert guides.
Though there are a few short hikes of Haleakala you can easily do on your own, most people find that a guided tour is vastly more informative.
For the super adventurous who are interested in camping near the summit, there are a few excellent options: Haleakala’s Drive-up Campground, Wilderness Campground, and Wilderness Cabins.
Keep in mind that temperatures here can drop below freezing, and permits and/or reservations are required in some instances. Please check with the National Park Service for more detailed information.
Maui offers a wealth of beautiful sights and fun activities, and most visitors who experience Haleakala rank it as one of their favorites.
Whether you decide to drive yourself, see the volcano from a helicopter, hike the crater, or even camp, we’re confident that it will be one of the highlights of your Maui vacation.
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