Greet the Dawn at Haleakala National Park in Maui

May 16, 2014

Haleakala National Park is a haven of the Hawaiian Islands. 

Stretching across Maui’s southern and eastern coastline, the national park is home to Maui’s highest peak.  Haleakala means “house of the rising sun” in Hawaiian.  Legend has it that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun as he stood on the volcano’s summit, slowing its descent to make the day longer.

The beauty of Haleakala can be seen throughout over 30,000 acres of land.  There are two main regions in the Haleakala National Park – the Summit District and the Kipahulu District – both of which feature a range of environments.  One of the best ways to see how the legends of Haleakala came about is by waking up early and driving to the summit of Haleakala.  At 9,740 feet, the Haleakala Summit is the perfect place to watch a Maui sunrise.  As the light of the sun cascades across the peaks and slopes of Haleakala you will witness one of the most breathtaking sights Maui has to offer.  You can reserve a bike trip, too, to explore even more of the Haleakala Summit. 

Haleakala is also a gorgeous sight at night as the height of the summit makes you feel close to the stars.  Plus, the clear, bright skies make the stars seem like they shine even brighter than they do at home. 

Numerous hiking trails offer a way to enjoy the solitude and peace of the island, and also provide sweeping scenic vistas.  More endangered species are found at Haleakala National Park than any other Hawaii National Park.  Look for nene, the Hawaiian goose, and the blooming ahinahina plant (silversword) during your visit.

The other region of Haleakala – Kipahulu – is located past Hana on the southeastern coast.  Located near the pools of Oheo Gulch, Kipahulu is an activity-filled coastal region worth exploring.  We’ll dive into the wonders of this district of Haleakala on our next Hawaii National Park installment.

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