Haleakala National Park
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Photo by Biederbick & Rumpf/age fotostock
Haleakala National ParkHaleakala, a huge and dormant shield volcano, forms more than 75 percent of Maui’s landmass. As such, it pretty much demands you ascend its slopes and peer into its crater—the island’s very soul. Legend claims the demigod Maui snared the sun here, freeing it only after it swore to inch more slowly across the sky.
The 38-mile, two-and-a-half-hour drive up Haleakala climbs from sea level to 10,023 feet through several different ecological zones. One of the most popular ways to experience the volcano remains cycling down from the summit at sunrise. Do it yourself if you’re confident, or join a guided tour (Skyline Eco-Adventures offers one that includes a zip-line ride). Once you’ve mastered the motion—and the 21 switchbacks along the road—effortless downhill freewheeling rewards you with unsurpassed views of the island. If you’d rather savor the vistas from a lofty perch, drive to the top for the sunset or book an overnight at one of the park’s wilderness cabins, accessible only by hiking trail.
about 2 years ago
Where to Hike in Maui
Witnessing the sunrise from the summit of this otherworldly national park is on many a bucket list--and for good reason. At just over 10,000 feet, the volcanic Haleakalā resembles Mars. There are species of plants, including the spindly silverswords, that exist here and nowhere else in the world. Once in the park, visitors can explore 40 miles of trails of varying levels of difficulty. Dress warmly--as you ascend, the temperatures drop precipitously.