I’m not much of a morning person, so if I’m going to get up at 3:00 am and trek up a 10,023-foot dormant volcano to watch a sunrise, it better be worth it.
Watching the sunrise at Haleakala Crater on the island of Maui will live on in my memory as a truly ethereal moment – standing above the clouds and watching the day being born at my feet was like having a view from heaven.
Known for its stunning sunrises and sunsets, Haleakala means “house of the sun.” With a circumference of 22 miles and a depth of 3,000 feet, the volcano last erupted in 1790.
You can venture up via car, bicycle, horseback, on foot or on a guided tour that will pick you at your hotel. The drive up takes about 2 ½ hours. It’s chilly in the mornings, around 40 degrees, so be sure to bundle up. (The visitors in shorts and sandals were shivering.)
Fees: vehicles $10, hikers and bikers $5. There are no gas stations or convenience stores on the road to the summit, so fill up the car and bring snacks and water.
While in the park, you’ll have a chance to see the rare Silversword plant and the Hawaiian state bird, the Nene.
It’s worth the early rise. You can always nap later.