Starting Feb 2017, a prior reservation is required to be admitted to the park for sunrise. You want to get to the summit 20-30 minutes before the sunrise time in the table below. Leave yourself an extra 15-30 minutes (depending on how far you’re driving) for slow-pokes and paying the entrance fee. If you’re driving during peak traffic times (typically during daylight hours, and especially from West Maui) drive times can take longer.(Sunrise/Sunset times are from the NPS and have been properly time adjusted for the summit.) When the Sun Sets A strong “second-best” next to the sunrises, sunsets are still absolutely spectacular up here.Stuff to Remember When You Visit Remember to bring your sunscreen, plenty of water, and something else you may have left back home: layers of warm clothing.
), but I think the Maui Guidebook will just call it a capital-C “Crater” (as in place name) rather than the longer-winded (and far-less recognized) “Haleakala National Park Summit Area.” Oh, and that dried lava-mountain you’re looking at isn’t actually done erupting yet.
Haleakala is dormant, and (geologically speaking) it has erupted fairly recently.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of the beach and ocean – if you’re a diver, the reduced pressure at the altitude of Haleakala is well below that of a pressurized aircraft. Also important to remember, if you go for a hike into the Crater, the hike Sunrises Sunrise is the most popular time here.
Mark Twain called it “the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed.” Words can not do this event justice, it is a feeling to be experienced.
The Sun agreed, Maui released him, and we’re now blessed with long sunny days!
Read in Host Culture Geologically Speaking Speaking of “crater” this is a good time to explain that the summit area is actually not a typical crater formed by volcanic activity (such as you would see on the Big Island of Hawai’i.) Haleakala Crater is so gigantic because it was formed over eons as the result of erosion of the entire volcanic mountain top.You’ll hear most guidebooks quote the more “hey that’s not that long ago” date of 1790, but that date is largely based upon deductions made from a notoriously bad map maker’s map not matching the coastal lines on an accurate map.When subjected to carbon dating, the rocks from that lava flow date to the 1600’s.Even during the day temperatures can be cold enough for a sweatshirt, or even a jacket – especially if you’re not getting any blood moving waiting for the yellow disc to rise above the horizon.Once the sun does rise, there is less atmosphere to scatter and absorb UV rays, so the sun’s skin-burning potential is actually stronger at these higher elevations than it is at the beach.Over this period of time, smaller lava flows back-filled the eroding valley, building up the floor of what is commonly called the Haleakala Crater.