Maui sunrise on Haleakala – Our Guide to the “House of the Sun”

One of the most popular activities on Maui is to see the incredible Maui Sunrise on Haleakala. Seeing the sun come up from this 10,000ft behemoth is a truly awe-inspiring sight and one fit for any bucket list. However, it is important to know a few things if you are to get the best out of the trip. Many people get the basics wrong and end up disappointed.

Our guide will tell you everything you need for a fantastic and enjoyable trip to the Summit of Haleakala. Whether that is to catch the Sunrise or Sunset, gaze at the mind-boggling stars, or just to see the Crater and far-reaching views during the day. We will tell you everything you need to know about visiting the House of the Sun.

Maui sunrise on Haleakala

About Mount Haleakala – House of the Sun

Let’s start with a little intro to the Mountain. Haleakala means “the House of the Sun” in Hawaiian and to anyone who has seen the sunrise up there, it is very clear why. This gigantic Volcano rises high above almost everything else including the clouds and from this altitude, the sun appears in an unbelievable shower of color as the whole scene in front and behind is bathed in reds, oranges, and yellows before the blinding ball of fire erupts from the cloud marking the new Day. It’s enough to make you come over all religious, and we often hear utterings of that type as the sun makes its way up into the sky.

The photos we post here are only mildly edited and really are not as beautiful as the real-life scene they were captured from. As stunning as they are, nothing compares to the real beauty of seeing it in person!

Maui is made up of two large Volcanoes with a valley large plane between the two. The Smaller Volcano, West Maui Mountain is now Dorment and may well stay that way. The Larger Dominant Volcano is Named Haleakala and makes up most (around 75%) of Maui’s land Mass. This 10,000 ft monster towers over everything in Maui and even has a huge impact on weather and water distribution on the island.

Sunrise on Haleakala

The Volcano is technically active, but it is in a very quiet non-eruptive phase. having shown no signs of eruption since the 17th Century. These lava flows are still visible around La Perouse Bay but are much older than the rather recent appearance. Haleakala has been peacefully watching over the valley isle for centuries causing little trouble for the inhabitants of this paradise island. Of course, that could change and no one really knows when a new eruption is due, but it is unlikely to be without warning.

Read more about how Haleakala and the Crater were formed here

At the Summit of the Volcano is a HUGE crater. Which is home to the Demi-God Maui (according to legend) The Haleakala crater was not actually formed volcanically and is in fact formed by erosion indicating the length of time of dormancy at the summit. The enormous crater is over 7 miles across and nearly 800ft deep and has a red color in all its rock walls and dirt. Making the scene very reminiscent of a Martian landscape. It really feels very otherworldly.

The Summit peak is at over 10,000 and is around 10 miles (As the Crow Flies) from the coast any attempt to scale the summit would be a huge physical undertaking. Only very fit people could manage it. Fortunately, there is a well-paved road leading right to the very top. Which is handy!  The last 10 miles of the 36-mile road are inside the Haleakala National park and require you to pay for the park entrance. This goes to the upkeep and protection of this and other parks and is part of the National Park Service.

Park Fees

See the NPS website for the latest Fees

$30 – per car (3 – day return)

$25 – Motorcycle

$15 Per Person (if not in a Car)

$55 Annual Tri Park Pass (Haleakala, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Big Island) and Puʻuhonua ʻO Hōnaunau National Historical Park (Big Island))

$80 Interagency Annual Pass – Valid in all US National parks

Until recently the Tri Park pass was only $30 and was exceptional value even if you only planned on visiting Haleakala twice. Unfortunately, that has now shot up and offers only a minimal saving unless you are visiting all three parks!

The Problem with Haleakala park, is there are two entry points often visited. One here at the summit but also in the Kipahula area where people visit the Piwipi Trail and the seven sacred pools. Now unless you visit both areas within 3 days you will have to pay £30 twice. The Interagency Pass is great value if you regularly visit parks across the United States.

REMEMBER – Entry fees HAVE to be paid on a Credit/Debit Card as the Booths are remotely located and storing a large amount of cash in the booths is a safety issue.

Sunrise On Haleakala

House of the Sun

So you decided you want to go for the Big Tomali and head up for sunrise. First of all, be ready for a REALLY early start. And we mean early. Expect to set your alarm for 3-4 AM! Secondly, brace for the cold. It will be in the middle of the night and at 10,000ft altitude. Temperatures can be nudging FREEZING! even in Summer. If that has not put you off let’s look at specifics.

How Early?

This all depends on a few things. First; where you are located on Maui. Second, do you want to see the sunrise and the Stars as well? And third; what time of year. Let’s start with the latter and we will run through a working example to show you how to calculate that crucial alarm call!

The Exact time of sunrise changes through the year just like it does at home. Being so close to the Equator it probably alters less than at home, unless your home is equally close to the equator? Anyway, the best way to work out the time is using a Calculator website we use Simply scroll down to the list and find the date you plan on going, and note the Sunrise time Simple.

Example – 16th March 2018 – Sunrise time: 06:32

Excellent, we know exactly what time we need to be in place on the mountain. It is already looking like an early start. But it’s going to get worse!

Next Question, Do you want to see the stars as well?

The high altitude and limited light pollution mean the stars from the Summit of Haleakala are truly breathtaking. Like, beyond what we can adequately describe. This is one of the few places you can easily see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Our own Galactic home appears clearly across the sky as an iridescent smear of milky white. It is such an incredible sight we strongly advise heading up early to see the stars while the Sky is still fully black. There is a downside to this. The light from the sunrise starts creeping up very early. You need to be at the summit at least an hour before sunrise and we really strongly recommend an hour and a half. 45 Minutes and the stars are no better than a normal night sky. So Our Target time is now 05:00! We would still suggest getting there at least 30 mins early even if you just want to see the sunrise.

That’s an early start, but we are still in our resort. We still need to get to the top of the mountain. The road is only 36 miles but it’s a narrow, tight, steep twisty road and it’s pitch black. Google gives a time of 1:10mins from Kahului. And this is a fair guess. We would add a little on if you are a nervous driver or take a  little off if you are confident on these types of roads. Not too much though as you will have to follow people most of the way as there are sparse overtaking opportunities. We normally manage around an hour, including queueing at the Gate to get in. Which means 04:00!

Of course, very few people actually stay in Kahului so we need to get there from the resort areas. It will be very early in the morning so the traffic is light and almost no queues so we can expect to beat googles guesses just a little. But we tend to go off them just to add in a safety margin. There is nothing worse than getting to the top only to miss Sunrise or the Dark Sky needed to see the Milky Way. So let’s have a look at Google’s expected times from popular resort areas.

West Maui

  • Lahaina – + 30Mins
  • Kaanapali – + 40Mins
  • Kahana – + 45 Mins
  • Napili/Kapalua – + 50Mins

South Maui

  • Kihei – + 20Mins
  • Wailea– + 25Mins
  • Makena– + 30 Mins

For this example, we are staying in Napili so that’s +50Mins so we need to leave at 3:10 am! As we will need a coffee and get in the car that’s a 3:00 am wake-up call. Urrgghhh. This is actually what we did last March on our latest trip to Maui!

Admittedly this is getting towards the worst-case scenario, and your own resort may be closer, and if we just wanted to see the Sunset you could have another hour in bed. But it is still a very early wake-up call. And some tours will have you up even earlier as the tour buses are pretty slow up the hill! And in summer the Sunrise is even earlier 05:43 at its earliest.

But before you run screaming for your duvet there is some more very good news.

Plan to visit early in your trip?

10 Top Things to do in Maui

Here is what makes this ridiculous early rise quite bearable! Jet-Lag. Depending on how far you have come you may well be very jetlagged and can use this to your advantage. Plan to hit the sunrise very early in your trip. We normally say the second morning. The first morning we like to settle in and take it easy. Charging up a 10,000ft volcano doesn’t really fit that bill. You will find that on that first morning, you will probably be up very early regardless. Often well before sunrise. Newly arrived tourists wandering around in the dead of night is a very common sight in Hawaii. Even the East coast has a 4-hour difference so 3:00 am is really like waking up at 7:00 am still early but far more reasonable. For anyone from the east coast, it will be a lie-in until 10:00 am, you probably won’t even need an alarm. If you are from the UK or Europe like us it really won’t matter you will be so messed up time-wise!

The later you leave it on your trip the more adjusted you will be and the more the alarm call will hurt.

Of course, this only applies to people coming from the east, USA, Canada, Europe. Those traveling west to east, Japan, Australia, etc. Well, you may be best trying to stay up REALLY late and catch the sunrise before going to bed!

You need to BOOK!

We can’t stress this enough. If you want to be at the summit for Sunrise you need a reservation. It’s free ($1.50 booking fee) But HAS to be done in advance. Even if there is space they will not let you up unless you have a booking. And you have got up at 3 AM and driven 26 miles up a mountain before you find out! So decide your date and book well ahead of time.

Make your reservations here 

Best View – Where to View the Haleakala Sunrise

Ok, so you managed to get up and get to the top in time, you have oggled at the Stars and maybe even taken a few Astro shots! Time to get in position and await the rising Sun. By now the Dawn Sky will be breaking, it starts getting bright 45-30mins before the sunrise.

There are a number of options. These used to be super important as the car parks would fill very quickly but with the new pre-booking system, there is normally space in one of the main car parks. Remember this is a National Park and wandering off any trail is actually illegal so remember to stay on the paths.

Red Hill Summit Carpark and Overlook

This is the highest point of the mountain and has a reasonably sized car park but will fill quickly. Get here early if you desperately want to see the sunrise from the actual summit. However, it isn’t actually the BEST view, in our opinion. It’s still a very very good view and the smaller car park means there is normally room to stand. Most people huddle around the building at the very top. Which provides some shelter. This area is best for people wanting to see the stars or take astrophotos as it’s less crowded and fewer cars head up meaning less light pollution.

Haleakala Visitors Centre

The Overlook at the visitor’s center is probably the best view of them all. The overlook is perched right on the edge of the crater and there is nothing between you and the sunrise but the incredible crater void. It is truly spectacular. It is also very crowded. Do not expect a peaceful Sunrise. This is where the tours offload and most people park here. The overlook is large and can handle a lot of people but it’s still going to be crowded. Not so bad you won’t get a good view or can’t set up a tripod but still far from quiet. While you are not quite on the summit as far as anyone really knows it’s as good as.

Due to the busy car park and the odds of getting your tripod kicked this is a poor choice to photograph the stars.

Pakaoao Trail lookout

Head up this very short trail that begins at the visitor’s center and you will find a small lookout at the top. This provides views even better than the Visitor center but not by much, it’s practically the same view. It is likely to be less busy but as it is so much smaller than the Main lookout can be even more crowded. The path is very rough though and a hard trek in the dark. DO NOT consider it without a good head torch!

KalaHaku Overlook

Much further down the Hill is the KalaHaku Overlook. This is much smaller and provides a less perfect view of the sunrise as it’s elevation is considerably lower. But it’s still a good view and is much less likely to be busy. However, you do get the nagging feeling you are not really on top of the volcano. As such we normally skip here.


With thousands of people heading to the summit each day to see the sunrise, finding a spot to be on your own can be a big challenge. Combined with the fact you must stay on Trail and it’s pitch black means escaping the hordes is nigh on impossible. Your best bet is to head down the sliding sands trail. Just far enough to still get a great view but be away from the masses. Take great care though it’s a steep offroad trail and pitch black. Head torch again is a must.

What to Wear?

Haleakala Astro Staying Warm

Remember IT IS COLD AT THE TOP! You have packed for a holiday in Paradise. Your case is rammed with shorts, T-shirts, and Swimwear. You know it’s cold but you will risk it in your t-shirt as it’s still warm in the resort even though it’s 3 AM…Big mistake! And quite a common one.

The temperature drops off very quickly as you increase elevation and summit temps can be as low as 30Degf -1 DegC. Even if it is warm in the resort. Combined with the potential wind chill and moisture at higher altitudes it can feel incredibly cold!

Expect Numb hands, Chattering teeth, and Shivering bodies within minutes if you brave it in shorts and tee. Our advice is to wear everything you possibly can. Layering up is the key as you are unlikely to have brought a big coat. We also borrow Blankets from the Hotel/Condo for extra warmth or if we have literally brought nothing but summer wear.

DO NOT underestimate this! It really is no fun watching the sunrise from your car with the heater on full blast!

Other Times

After all that you might think Sunrise is just a bit too much faff. Getting up at silly o’clock to fight with the crowds just to see the sunrise…something you can see every day. We tend to disagree and think sunrise is well worth the pilgrimage even after multiple times. But if you really can’t bear all that there are several options that are nearly as good.


Maui Tourism Guide

If the whole rigmarole of getting to the summit for Sunrise just seems far too much the next best alternative is Sunset. The Sunset is not as impressive as the rise as the Sun disappears into the ocean on the other side of the crater thus lacking the visual impact of the color flooding the crater that the sunrise provides. Cloud is also more likely to have built up and obscure anything resembling a view. Sunrise is more often than not clear at the summit but sunset is more of a gamble.

The colors do not always seem as vivid or bright as sunrise, but on the right day, it is still a sight to behold. We would always pick Sunrise but it is a big pain to get there in time and sunset makes the whole experience more sedate. You can easily head up with plenty of time and explore the Summit area in the daytime while you await the dusk. It is likely to be much warmer during the day and you can more easily hang around to see the stars. Overall it’s probably a better experience but it just lacks the X-factor of Sunrise.

The downside is the need to navigate the road at night when everyone will be heading down at the same time. We use again to calculate the time needed to be at the top for Sunset. Times range from 17:45 in the Winter to 09:10 in the summer.


Maui in Haleakala's shadow

The Summit area is a great place to visit during the Daytime if you really can’t be bothered with the fuss of seeing the sun’s transition. Of course, we always explore immediately after any sunrise or sunset and can safely say it’s still an incredible place to be. The Crater is an absolute monster and really feels not of this world. The views of Maui are breathtaking and you can see as far as Moana Loa and Moana Kei on the Big Island. There isn’t much to do at the summit other than visiting the rather small visitor’s center, gawp at the phenomenal views or go for a hike but it’s still a very memorable place to visit. And you get to experience the road both ways in the daylight. And it is one incredible Drive.


Milky Way from Haleakala

We Didn’t even know so many Stars existed!

As mentioned before the StarScape from the Summit is truly breathtaking. The number of visible stars and the brightness and clarity truly astounds not to mention the fact the MilkyWay is clearly visible to the naked eye. It is one of the most staggering and humbling sights we know of.

While we tend to hit several birds with one stone and get up really early to see the stars, then watch the sunrise before exploring in the warming Daylight, You can organize to head up with a professional astronomer who will guide you around the celestial wonders you are witnessing. While simply staring at the stars in wonder is an incredible experience actually hearing about what you are looking at is a great and educational experience.

Maui Astronomy Tours

The Road

Road to Haleakala Crater

The 36 Miles from Kahului is an incredible drive. It is fairly benign until you turn off the 377 onto the Summit road (378) with 21 miles still to go. At night you will notice little but during the day this is the beautiful deciduous and pine-forested, Kula region. It’s like nowhere on Maui and hard to believe you are on a tropical Island. As you head up from here the road starts tightening and steepening as you negotiate endless switchbacks on your climb towards the heavens.

The Entire road is No Passing. This can be extremely frustrating as you catch timid drivers, coaches, and tour buses. The road can be scary for those not used to this type of drive and the tendency is to slow right down. This is fine and we don’t believe anyone should be rushed beyond their comfort zone. But please if you are the one taking your time, Please just use the pullouts to let people pass. It will help you not having an impatient driver behind as well as the driver wanting to go at a quicker pace.

Most Tour buses and the like will periodically pull over to let people pass. We tend to get there very early (for Astrophotography) so avoid the bulk of the tours and slower drivers. But this road is rarely quiet.

With 10 miles to go you enter the Park. The road kicks up another level here. If it’s pitch black you may not notice the sheer drops on the side or just how high you are climbing, but you will notice the narrowness and steep gradients. The surface is excellent the whole way and there are pullouts at regular intervals. If it’s early you will now be noticing the Stars. Despite the headlights, you will see the brightest stars imaginable above you.

Eventually, you will reach the visitor’s center where you must decide on parking here or carrying on to the actual summit. The Summit car park will fill first so if you are later then it is probably not worth trying.

The Road is not as fearsome as its reputation and most confident drivers will have no trouble. One of the best ways to decide if it’s for you is to see it so we did a quick timelapse of the summit road. We had to shoot on the descent as the video of the ascent really didn’t show much in the pitch black of night!

DIY – Hire Car

Having read that you may be a little nervous. But rest assured it’s not that bad a road. Anyone with a little confidence can make the drive. Personally, I think nothing of it and there are far worse roads around me. Some I use every day. But for Americans used to huge multi-lane freeways it can feel daunting (I prefer this to a freeway any day!)

A hire car is easily your best option. Any car you might hire is more than capable of the journey. And there are no restrictions on driving to the summit (other roads are restricted on the island). It gives you the chance to set your own schedule and wake-up time and not be a slave to pick-up and drop-off times. However, if the thought of this drive is turning your blood cold there are options.

Tour Company

You can also get a tour company to drive you to the summit in time for sunset. These tours normally include breakfast and come complete with a tour guide to point out interesting and important points along the way. This is not a cheap option and it takes a good 7-8 hours with a pick-up from your hotel possibly as early as 2 am but it does mean you won’t have to face driving the road and can catch a few zzz’s on the boring part of the drive.

Haleakala Sunrise Tour Including Breakfast

Things to look out for


Basically, a Goose that lives on a Volcano at High Altitude! Quite why they find this inhospitable place a good home is a bit of a mystery but that can be frequently seen up here. The Nene is Hawaii’s State Bird and the world’s rarest goose! It can be found across the islands but is increasingly rare. As ever in Hawaii, though conservation efforts are helping protect its Survival. From a low of 30 Birds in the 50’s the population has rebounded to over 2500! Another Hawaiian conservation success story.


The Haleakala silversword is found nowhere else on Earth other than the Summit region of Haleakala and Moana Kei on the Big Island. Like the Nene (and a whole host of other Hawaiian species) the Silversword was nearly made extinct but was rescued from the brink. They are now common at the summit.

A large cactus-like plant. they are very noticeable. and make for great photos. It isn’t often you see a plant that really grows nowhere else on earth!

Other Attractions on Haleakala

Apart from Gazing at the Celestial wonders, there is plenty of other things to do while up the mountain, here are a few of the best

Cycle down the Mountain Road

Haleakala Downhill Bike ride

Unfortunately, this has been partially stopped. Tours are no longer allowed to operate downhill bike rides inside the park for safety reasons. But that doesn’t stop the companies from operating outside the park. This still gives you a long exciting descent to barrel down. Of course, the tours take you and the bikes to the top and then lead you down the descent at a pace to suit most people. You can even include Sunrise in the tour to get the best of both.

Haleakala Bike Tour – Unguided

Haleakala Bike Tour – Guided

Haleakala Bike Tour – Including Sunrise


The Haleakala Skyline Trail is an incredible trail that follows the Backbone of the volcano offroad all the way into Kula, over 15 Miles of incredible offroad terrain and stunning beauty. We don’t know of any tours that take you on this route so it’s a DIY project that will require you to get to the top and be picked up at the bottom in Kula. So really you need a Driver who will not Bike. If you can arrange it, it is one hell of a ride! There are many Bike Hire shops in Maui that will hire you a bike for this trail. However, some forbid their bike to be ridden here!

***Warning*** You need to know what you are doing for this Trail, not one for the tourist to have a go at, Despite what it may say in the blue book! Experienced MTB Rider ONLY!

Cycle up the Mountain

Riding Downhill is for Sissies!

Not one for the Feint heated, and not one I have personally achieved…YET. But an Ocean to Summit ride is one heck of an achievement. But for now, it’s still on the “to do” list. You have to be an exceptional fit cyclist to even attempt this monster ride.


There are actually fairly limited hiking opportunities at the summit. The steep remote terrain means the NPS has kept the trails to a minimum. The Good news is the few trails that exist are fantastic.

Haleakala Skyline Trail

The Skyline trail runs down the backbone of Haleakala and eventually comes out in Kula. It’s a whopping 15 miles of off-road trail and will leave you at the bottom of the mountain with 25 miles of uphill to climb back up to get to your car! Best arrange for a drop-off at the top and pick-up in Kula. Alternatively, you can just hike down a few miles to get the best of the trail before turning around.

Sliding Sands Trail

Haleakala Crater Floor

The Sliding Sands Trail is the most heavily used trail and actually leads you down into the Crater where it breaks off into a huge maze of other trails that explore the crater depths. It is even possible to hike all the way down to Kaupo/Kipahula on the Hana Coastline. That is an epic 20-mile hike through some pretty evil terrain. Probably not Recommended.

It is important to remember that the 2-mile Trail is very steep and you lose a lot of elevation very quickly. While this is great and makes for easy hiking, you do have to climb BACK up the tail. Which is often much less fun.  After 2 miles of descent, you can then explore the network of trails that crisscross the valley exploring dormant craters, vents, and other volcanic features formed in the recent past.

Paka’oao Trail

Really hardly a Trail this one at a minuscule 0.2 miles it simply heads up to the overlook for a slightly different take on the crater. Well worth wandering up, but it’s not really a hike. Still, as we said Trailheads are pretty limited up on the summit.


maverick Helicopter Tours

If you fancy seeing the Volcano and Crater from the Air there are numerous helicopter tours that will take you up and over the crater. We have a full guide here. 

Have Your Say

Have you been up to the Volcano? Did you make it for Sunrise? What time did you get up? Let us know if you have any comments or questions on the volcano. Either at Sunrise or any other time. We always love hearing about anything Maui or Hawaii-related so feel free to drop us a comment below.

You May Also Like:

12 thoughts on “Maui sunrise on Haleakala – Our Guide to the “House of the Sun””

  1. Good afternoon Steve,

    Reading your excellent article on the island Maui with its gorgeous sunrise on Haleakala I had the feeling I was there. Your photos illustrated it very well and make me want to come on a holiday.
    Good that you warn the visitors to book in advance so not to miss the sunrise. Well, if I have to get up so early, indeed it is early, it must be well worth the effort. Reminds me of the times where I was a tourist guide working sometimes crazy hours.
    It is good you also tell the visitors not to expect a cozy experience as there are so many other people around. Thank you for letting me know it can be quite cold up there so early in the morning as I belong to the easily chilled type of people.
    I love photography and am looking forward to breathtaking pictures of the Milky Way. I live in the south of Spain a little inland but as Malaga has grown so much over these years it is not easy to make pictures like that.
    I am happy to read that Nene, the worlds rarest Goose is back again. Thumbs up for Hawai.
    All in all a very informative article which I enjoyed reading.

    Regards, Taetske

    • Hi Taetske, Glad you Enjoyed the Article and great to see it may have inspired you to head to Maui. It’s a truly magical place and heading up Haleakala is a perfect way to kick off the trip. But yes it is really cold up there.

      Yep The Nene is a great conservation story and Hawaii has so many. They really have taken saving their endemic species a top priority in the last few decades after nearly wiping so many out.

      Where we live we can get shots of the Milkyway but not as clear or brilliant, it is as you say challenging. But up on the Summit, our galaxy is visible with the naked eye and we think you could probably capture it with an iPhone! That’s how clear it is!

      Thanks for Reading 


      • Good afternoon Steve,

        Thank you for your reply to my comment.
        As I am interested in protecting all life nature offers I was happy to hear this good news. Hawai values their indigenous species. We humans, are such a destructive and destabilizing species that this type of news gives one hope.

        Regards, Taetske

        • Hi Taetske,

          Hawaii has loads of good news stories like this. Espcially the Hono (green Sea Turtle) Hunted to near extinction, Through extensive efforts they are not Everywhere on the Islands. So amazing to see. Same with the Humpback Whales that are now thriving again. Hawaii is such a fantastic state in that respect. They really see the value in protecting the natural wonders. Their latest move is to BAN non reef safe sunscreen in an effort to help the dying coral reefs. With the effects of rising ocean temperatures this might be too late but it’s a big, Bold Move to try and help out wherever they can!

          Great to hear from anyone who loves conservation as much as us!



          • Good evening Steve,

            Thank you for your reply. I really would like to visit Hawaii, my better half who is from the U.S tells me it is beautiful. As we are very interested in the preservation of the species we also like to meet like-minded people. Would you tell me where you live, as we are planning a big U.S. trip for 2019.

            Kind regards, Taetske

          • Hi Taetske,

            We are actually from the UK but travel to the US very often. Were are you from? Hawaii is such a great example of how we can turn things around. Being such a small Island Nation the impacts of human activity was very profound and damaging. But it shows that with care and protection these animals can be saved. If we can apply the methods of Hawaii to the greater world it would be beneficial to us all.

            We also recommend you check out the Pacific Coast in California. Another State doing incredible things with conservation. Like Hawaii, they have saved several species from the absolute brink. Condors, Blue Whales and Sea otters to name a few were all practically wiped out but are now thriving. Around Monterey Bay and Big Sur, you can see these animals daily and its so amazing to see creatures that were almost gone now thriving. It is really heartwarming! We can do it when we put our minds to it! Definitely check out the Pacific Coast Highway if you are doing a USA trip! It is our favourite road in the world!



  2. Hey Steve, great post. I absolutely love the in depth descriptions you give along with the accompanying pictures. I can almost envision both the stars and the sunrise. Plus, as you said, if is one of the few places on earth you can see a plant that grows no where else. Your article truly has me wanting to place a trip to the summit on my list of things I must do. Thank you…

    • Hi Ted,

      Great to see Maui and Haleakala has made your bucket list. Let us know if you get to tick it off anytime soon! While we feel our pictures give a really good impression of how beautiful the sunrise is. They really fall short on the starscape! It is such an incredible sight to see the Galaxy in all its splendor with the naked eye! It’s incredible to think these scenes are their all the time we just can’t see them due to light!

      Hope you get up there soon


  3. Wow Sunrise at the summit really looks like a fantastic thing to do! One for the Bucket list. I like the look of the Drive. I have done a few trips across the USA and don’t thin the road would be too challenging but can see why some people are put off! Those drops look a bit scary if you are used to 8 lane freeways.

    Still the Pay off looks worth it! Thanks for the amazing photos!

    I really like this website so glad I stumbled across it. all about the USA mainly west coast. Very good tips for the cities of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii and Las Vegas, and of course for your road trip through USA. A must to follow for a Usa lover like me! Really great contents and helpful posts.

    • Hi,

      Yes it is certainly a fantastic experience. The road is a little off putting for some but it’s certainly manageable. It is certainly not the worst of the roads on Hawaii.

      Glad you like the site, it’s a huge labor of love but we love sharing our experiences in these amazing place in the USA

      Thanks for reading


  4. Hi Steve

    You make Haleakala sound such an idyllic place that you want to take the next airplane there, but also the current situation in my country makes foreign travel such a distant possibility. If you are romantic then there is nothing more wonderful than watching a sunrise with the one you love. It seems such an idyllic place and the early rise does not bother me, as I tend to get up early every day. It would be a beautiful adventure. Is there any time when you do not recommend to go?



    • Hi Antonio,

      We know too well the nightmare of travel restrictions. We are grounded too in our home country and just dying to get back traveling! Maui will be the first on our list when we finally get back in the air! There is nothing stopping us from dreaming, however! 

      And the Summit of Haleakala really does feel like a dream at times. The ultra-clear high altitude atmosphere does incredible things to the sun’s light as it climbs up above the clouds. It is surreal and wonderful and we cannot wait to get back there.

      Haleakala is a beautiful and stark landscape any time of the day, offering the most stunning views over the entire island and the islands beyond. Even in the dead of night, when the views are obviously limited, the heavens open up above in a way you rarely get to see.  

      We love exploring the mountain at any time of day, the only issue is cloud. As the day builds so can cloud levels and if the summit becomes obscured by cloud there is little to see or do and this is obviously no fun at all. Early morning, at sunrise, tends to be clearest but check the forecasts! 




Leave a Comment