by Eve Andersson

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From the top of the crater Haleakala, you can see the entire island of Maui. You're above the clouds and the ground is so barren in parts that you feel like you're on a different planet.

Jin walking.  Haleakala. One of the few plants at the top of Haleakala. Haleakala.

Beth on top of Haleakala. Jin. Haleakala. Eve on top of Haleakala. Eve and Jin on Haleakala.

Beth and Jin. Haleakala. Jin reading. Haleakala. Jin unhappily walking.  Haleakala. Beth walking down Haleakala.

Eve Andersson (eve@eveandersson.com)


Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park sits above the clouds of Maui's highest peak. From the summit, you can see deep into the dormant volcanic crater, most of Maui's landscape, our shimmering coasts, and even our neighboring islands of Molokai, Lanai, and the Big Island. The Park extends from the summit, down the mountain, and to the coast of Kipahula.

Hiking on Haleakala is diverse with many hikes and different areas of wilderness to trek. Hikers are known for camping in Maui in order to experience more of the outdoors. The park offers crater cabins that you can hike down to. These spots must be reserved well ahead of time due to their popularity.

Another popular Haleakala activity is downhill Biking. Many different bike companies have been formed to fill the demand for this 20-35 mile adventure. Depending on which company, and what package you get, you can travel from the entrance of the park all the way down to the beach town of Paia. Many visitors come to Maui solely to Bike the Volcano because of it's being one of the longest downhill biking trips in the world. From around 10,000 feet, you can watch the sunrise over the crater, then coast down the mountain for a few hours through fields of lavender and lush green forests.

The Park extends to Kipahula which encompasses the campgrounds at the Oheo Gulch. For images and information on this area, see Eve's Road to Hana webpage.

-- lindsay Comeau

You are so right about Mt. Haleakala's summit feeling like another planet!

We drove up there on our last trip to Maui, and were so glad that we did. My main regret is that we didn't allow any time for hiking through the crater. I think it would be amazing to try that - plus, it would be physically challenging due to the higher altitude, but I figure that would just add to the fun!

From your pics, it looks like you did some hiking in the crater - I'm envious! :) We didn't want to get up early enough to see the sunrise like so many others do, but I think it worked out for the best. We avoided the worst of the traffic that way, and the views were still beautiful (plus we got a bit of extra sleep!).

-- Sheralyn Guilleminot

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