To say Haleakalā National Park is impressive would do it a great injustice. Spanning a huge swath of land across Maui’s southeastern region, Haleakalā is home to the highest peak on Maui, at 10,023 feet. And not only is it one of the most popular sights in Hawaii, it’s also home to five distinctly different climate zones, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, stunning views, otherworldly landscapes, and flora and fauna that are found nowhere else in the world.
Extreme geographic isolation, coupled with the diverse ecosystems present throughout Hawaii, have produced an array of endemic plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.
Haleakalā occupies a venerated space in Hawaiian history and mythology. Haleakalā National Park was established on August 1,1916 and declared an independent national park in 1961.
Native Hawaiians have lived on and cared for Haleakalā for 1000 years, and many important cultural sites are found at the Summit and Kipahulu areas of Haleakalā National Park.
Maui was formed out of two volcanoes that were born on a hot spot on the ocean’s floor, eventually rising out of the water to become dry land. All of the Hawaiian Islands were formed by this hot spot.
Haleakalā is taller than Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount McKinley, and even Mount Everest. The summit of Haleakalā stands at 10,023 feet above sea level. That metric doesn’t count the 19,680 feet of mountain below sea level. Combined, Haleakalā tops off at 29,704 ft from its base on the ocean floor to its sky-high summit.
Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is a unique and one of the most memorable experiences. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun”. It is truly an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and earth.
Watching the sunrise at the Haleakalā Summit is one of the most popular things to do on Maui for good reason. However, the Haleakalā sunset is equally as beautiful. And, you will typically have the added benefit of it being a little warmer than during the sunrise.
Navigation of the seas was an essential part of the early Polynesian lifestyle since the original Polynesian nation stretched from New Zealand, to the Hawaiian Islands, to Easter Island. This triangular area amounts to over 6 million square miles of water and islands.
They created maps of stars on a celestial sphere and used the stars as directional cues. At night, navigators watched star lines as they appeared on the eastern horizon. They used the star line locations to determine which direction their canoe was heading towards.
Thousands of visitors make the trip up to Haleakalā National Park every year. The roads are well-paved and well-marked, but also quite windy and require caution. Plan ahead, and remember there is no public transportation or food service within the park.
Guided tours are a great option for visiting the park. Local operators can navigate the roads and provide a worry-free experience for your group, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn more about the park from your guide. Tours typically provide round-trip transportation from most area hotels.
Common Travel Times: From Kapalua: 2 hr. From Kihei: 1 hr. 45 min. From Kahului: 1 hr. 15 min.
The Park is divided into two distinct districts: The mountainous Summit District and the tropical Kipahulu District. When visiting the park, you could experience a wide variety of weather from sunrise to sunset depending on where you are exploring. Dressing appropriately will ensure you enjoy your time in the park.
With over 30,000 acres covered in rainforests to volcanic deserts, along with some of Hawaii's rarest plants and animals, Haleakalā National Park is a treasure that must be protected and conserved. As part of the Upcountry Maui community, Skyline Eco-Adventures includes conservation as an important part of their mission.
The Hawaiian Islands are located on top of a geographic hot spot and were formed by the largest volcanoes on Earth. Haleakalā is one of these volcanoes. It has erupted at least ten times in the past 1,000 years. The volcano's history and recent activity indicate that it will erupt again in the future.
Since 1916 the National Park Service is entrusted with protecting the plants and animals that inhabit Haleakalā, 90% of which can be found nowhere else on earth.
Friends of Haleakalā National Park is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the park achieve its goals. All donations go toward protecting and improving Haleakalā National Park.
This sanctuary provides a home for hundreds of native Hawaiian species. The Nature Conservancy protects these species by managing invasive weeds and animals that threaten their survival.