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The Haleakala National Park in Maui
Hawaii

The Haleakala National Park in Maui

Haleakalā Crater is the most popular attraction in Maui. Stunning sunrises, panoramic out-of-this-world landscapes, birds-eye views of the Maui central valley, and flora and fauna that exist nowhere else in the world are found at Haleakalā National Park.

Early Hawaiians applied the name Haleakalā ("house of the sun") to the general mountain. Haleakalā is also the name of a peak on the southwestern edge of Kaupō Gap. In Hawaiian folklore, the depression (crater) at the summit of Haleakalā was home to the grandmother of the demigod Maui. According to the legend, Maui's grandmother helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day.

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park covers the summit area of the larger of the two volcanic mountains that make up Maui. The National Park’s boundary has fingers that extend down the Hana side of the mountain, all the way to the ocean.

The temperature near the summit tends to vary between about 40 °F and 60 °F and, especially given the thin air and the possibility of dehydration at that elevation, the walking trails can be challenging at times. Since the trails lead downhill from parking areas into the crater, hikers are faced with a difficult return ascent after potentially descending 2,000 feet or more to the crater floor. Despite this, Haleakalā is popular with tourists and locals alike, who often venture to its summit, or to the visitor center just below the summit, to view the sunrise. There is lodging in the form of a few simple cabins, though no food or gas is available in the park. Beginning in February of 2017, the National Park Services requires a reservation for personal and rental vehicles to view the sunrise from the summit district.

The park is comprised of over 30,000 acres of public land, has three separate visitors centers and covers a range of natural environments. You can travel atop the highest peaks of Haleakala, hiking above the clouds and horseback riding across otherworldly deserts. As the park stretches out to the coast towards sea level you can even visit lush tropical areas full of waterfalls and streams.

Schedules

Haleakalā National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except during severe weather closures. If you arrive at the park at a time when the entrance station is closed, please pay the entrance fee at the automated fee machine using cash.

Park Headquarters Visitor Center, Haleakalā Visitor Center, and Kīpahulu Visitor Center are open daily and year-round subject to staff availability. All visitor centers have cultural and natural history exhibits. Naturalists are on duty during business hours to answer questions and help you make the most of your visit.


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