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Haleakala Crater in Haleakala National Park, Maui

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.

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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.

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Comments
2

You are so right, but I'd never ride a bike UP Haleakela, the ride down is awesome! I worked there and would drive up before starting work decorating the Fred's & Moose McGillicuddy's in Kiehei, it made my day!!

Dec. 16, 2009

I have done the sunrise a couple of times, and also biked down the mountain. Me, my brothers, sisters-inlaw and my sister, have gotten together in a condo on Maui a few times, but I have never been able to convince them that is worth getting up at 3AM to see the sunrise. Thanks for the memories.

Dec. 16, 2009

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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