What’s the Best Way to See Haleakalā’s Sunrise?

Seeing the sunrise on Maui’s Mount Haleakalā is a widely-recognized experience that lives on many bucket lists. The sheer enormity of seeing the sunrise over the ocean and clouds from the top of a dormant volcano is something that you will not find anywhere else in the world. It is a once in a lifetime experience.

If you are planning on seeing a Haleakalā sunrise, think about how you want your one of a kind sunrise experience to go. There are two main options for crossing off this bucket list item. Both options do require advanced planning, especially during busy seasons on the island.  Seeing the sunrise at the summit is the number one activity on Maui; therefore, it sells out quickly.

1. Drive Yourself

The first option is to drive yourself to the summit in Haleakalā National Park. This option is only viable if you are renting a car during your stay on Maui.

A major benefit of this option of driving yourself to see the sunrise at the summit of Mount Haleakalā is that you have the freedom to explore more of the National Park on your own after the sunrise viewing experience has come to an end. You can choose to go on a hike or see a waterfall up close.

With this in mind, it is highly likely that a large majority of people viewing the sunrise will have the same idea to go on a hike through the National Park, so you might end up in a group setting after all.

Another benefit of driving yourself to the summit is that you are able to eat wherever you want in Upcountry after the sunrise. There are so many amazing food options in Upcountry and all of them are unique, so it can be challenging to narrow it down on your own. Checking reviews and looking at menus in advance can help you with the process of narrowing down your choices.

Finally, an additional benefit to driving yourself to the summit is that you will save money because you will not be paying for a tour. But, make sure you add up all of the costs of the car rental, gas cost, meal cost, and the park entrance fees. In some cases, these costs can be very comparable to the price of a tour.

There are also a few cons that come with driving yourself to see the sunrise at the top of Haleakalā.

First, you miss a lot of important cultural sites along the route because frankly, you probably don’t know where they are. For example, you might not ever learn that the Nene is actually a descendant of the Canadian goose. Or, that the only place on Earth that the Haleakalā Silversword plant can only be found is between 7,000 and 10,023 feet of elevation on Haleakalā.

Also, you have to drink extreme amounts of caffeine because you have to wake up very, very early and be functioning on a high enough level to drive your family to the highest point on Maui. That is a daunting task, especially if you are not particularly a morning person in the first place.

Keep in mind that you have to allow extra time to wait in line outside of the park gates so you are sure to get a good parking spot. Even if you wake up extra early to wait in line, you could possibly be redirected to a different parking lot depending on how full the lots are on the morning you visit the National Park.

Luckily, if the pros of driving yourself to the summit do not outweigh the cons, there is another option.

hawaii sunrise

2. Guided Sunrise Tour with Skyline Hawaii

The second option is to take a guided sunrise tour with a tour company such as Skyline Hawaii. If you are not renting a vehicle during your stay on Maui or if you prefer to do some planning in advance and then let professionals do the heavy lifting, this is the way to go. All you have to do is choose the tour you want and then just sit back and relax because we will handle the rest.

There are a lot of benefits to choosing a guided tour for seeing the sunrise at the summit of Haleakalā. First, you just have to wake up, get ready, and grab your camera. There is no need to drive anywhere for the tour because we will pick you up right at your hotel or accommodation.

Also, there is no need to eat breakfast before leaving the hotel because we offer a free continental breakfast before the sunrise and then a full, sit down breakfast is included in the tour after you enjoy the sunrise.

The only time you have to keep track of is your pickup time in the morning, after that, we will make sure you get everywhere else right on schedule. So, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey.

We guarantee that you will arrive at the summit of Haleakalā National Park early so you have time to settle in and enjoy the sunrise. Letting us take care of the transportation also means that you don’t have to be watching the road the whole time, so you will be able to enjoy the views without any stress.

On the trip up Haleakalā, our informative guides will teach you about the cultural significance of the National Park including cultural uses of the land, and the plants and animals that can only be found on Maui.

If you want to add something extra to your unforgettable sunrise experience, you can choose to add on a zipline tour of Haleakalā. Or you can choose a combination of a bike ride and zipline tour to enjoy after the sunrise.  

Haleakala National Park Bike n zip tour

Finally, if you choose to take a sunrise tour with us you don’t have to use up valuable space in your luggage with a bulky jacket. We provide warm weather gear for you to use during the sunrise experience so you are comfortable.

We think that the choice to take a guided sunrise tour with us is the clear winner. Learn more about our tours on our website now!

About the Author: From sunrise to sunset, Haleakalā National Park and the surrounding Upcountry Maui area offer memories for a lifetime. Make the most of your trip to Haleakalā National Park on a guided tour with Skyline Hawai’i. For more information or to make your reservation today, visit: www.skylinehawaii.com.

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