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Haleakala

The House of the Sun

At just over 10000 feet, the giant shield volcano Haleakala ("House of the Sun") dominates Maui's southern region. The barren landscape at the summit provides an excellent viewpoint for stargazing followed by watching the sun rise.

If you plan to see the sunrise from the summit, be prepared to get up early! Leaving from South Kihei you probably want to be on the road no later than 3am to ensure that you get one of the coveted parking spots near the top (saving you a walk up to the top). You'll want to leave more time than you think you need to make it up the volcano, because foggy conditions and several switchbacks mean you have to take the drive slowly. The added bonus of getting there early on a clear day is to fit in some stargazing before the main event. Be sure to bundle up warm (gloves, toques, sweaters and jackets) as it's pretty darn cold up there!

If you have a choice of which day you plan to go up, try to choose a day when there is a fair bit of cloud cover. From the summit you'll be above the clouds, and the glow of the rising sun over the bed of clouds makes for great photo opportunities.



Sunrise from the volcano summit
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)



Sunrise from the volcano summit
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)



Sunrise from the volcano summit
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)



Derek and I warm up in the morning sun
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)



Early morning sun hits the telescopes at the summit of Haleakala
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)

Once we warmed up we decided to walk down into the massive crater along one of the many hiking trails. It's wise to take it easy on these trails; going down may seem fine but hiking back up at the altitudes can be literally breathtaking!



Looking down into the crater of the volcano
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)



Derek and I hiking at the top of the volcano
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)

On the way back down the summit road be sure to stop to see the rare silversword plants and check out the Visitor's Centre for information about Haleakala. There are some fantastic views of southwestern Maui on the way down.



Rare silversword growing on the volcano slopes
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)



Feeling like the top of the world
Haleakala, Maui (March 11th, '08)

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