Maui Sightseeing Series – The Summit and Crater of Haleakala

Exploring your Maui sightseeing options on vacation? There are so many amazing places worth seeing, it’s understandable if you find it challenging. After all, you only have so many days of vacation, and most visitors can attest to needing more than one trip in order to see and do just the most celebrated activities. Being Maui’s oldest transportation company, we can make some very informed suggestions for you. This week, we’d like to suggest a Haleakala summit tour.

When you fly over Maui, the first thing that stands out is the two mountains that form the bulk of the island, with the low lying valley that joins them. Hence Maui’s nickname: The Valley Isle. Looking at these two mountains, the difference between them is stark. While the West Maui Mountains are eroded and greener, Haleakala is smoother, much taller and more neutral in color. The difference in height and erosion is the result of the age of these distinct mountains, with Haleakala being the younger, standing at an awe-inspiring 10,023 feet above sea level. The only thing more impressive than staring up at its towering summit is taking in the view when standing atop it.

It’s a long, winding journey, driving up the slopes of Haleakala, but trust us when we tell you that the journey is remarkable in its own right, especially as the slope steepens toward the summit. Once you arrive, you will discover that the air is thin and cold at ten thousand feet, but perched high above the cloud line you can almost see the curve of the world. Watching the sun rise while at the summit is described by most as a transcendental and even life-altering experience. From most parts of the island, the sun rises up from behind the mountain, and Haleakala appropriately means “House of the Sun.” Thanks to the thin air and lack of light pollution, the summit is also one of the best places in the world for observing the night sky, which the presence of the observatory confirms. At this remarkable location, you can often count more shooting stars in an hour than many will see in a lifetime.

Another striking feature of Haleakala is The Crater. It’s a 19-square-mile expanse of red and orange hued landscape, dotted with a stark collection of cinder cones. These are the remnants of volcanic activity from ages past. For your scale of reference, if the Crater were just three square miles bigger and shaped a little differently, you could fit the city of Manhattan inside it. Thankfully, it plays host to a dynamic collection of Maui’s endemic and endangered species, rather than a bustling metropolis.

In conclusion, the summit of Haleakala is a must-see. If you plan to make the trip, plan to bring extra layers with you. If you drive, make sure to fill your tank before you set off. Alternatively, you could give us a call. We could be the perfect solution for your Custom Haleakala Sightseeing Tour. Should you need our assistance, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

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