Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano, is 7.5 miles wide, 2.5 miles long, and 3000 feet deep- that’s big enough to hold Manhattan. It was once 12,000 feet, but water has eroded it over time- now it’s almost exactly 10,000 feet above sea. That’s well above the clouds, and about 30ºF colder than sea level. It’s popular to go at sunrise, but let’s be real- we obviously didn’t do that. Instead, we went the second most popular time: sunset.
It took us about two hours to get there from where we were staying. The last 45 minutes were tough- windy, steep, and without any shoulder. On the other hand, the views are spectacular as you leave most of Maui far below you. The way down was especially tough in the dark. It was enough to make me nauseous, but the view at the top more than made up for it.
To stand on the side of the crater is one of those spectacular experiences that reminds you of how small you are. It was a really breathtaking sight- especially once the sun set and lit the sky on fire.
I’m going to let the pictures do the talking. They start about the time we broke through cloud level.
- Gas up your vehicle before you go- you won’t find any stations along the way
- Bring snacks- there aren’t any restaurants, either
- Bring $10 cash as a park entrance fee
- Dress warm! It’s cold at the summit
And I’d suggest some dramamine 🙂