Your Guide To
Haleakala National Park
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The park itself is named for the dormant volcano on which it sits. There are actually two distinct regions to the park, many visitors choose to summit the crater or seek to enjoy the sunrise only. The lower boundaries of the park extend away from the rocky mountainous plateaus and into more lush, forested areas. Stargazing, sunrise, and seeking out rare flora account for some of the more common reasons people visit.
The obvious attraction to the park is the crater and a sunrise view over Haleakala. But the park also attracts visitors seeking the rare flora found nowhere else. If you are lucky enough to see one of the rare Maui silversword plants, also known as the Haleakala silversword, count yourself lucky. Their slow growth means numbers have dwindled owing to climate change and other interference. Their slow growth means a rare plant bearing even more rare flowers, the sword name is in part derived from this stalk.
Planning your trip
In addition to an independent visit in a rental car, there are plenty of options to get more from your stay in the park with a variety of hiking, cycling, and private vehicle guided tours. Sunrise over the Haleakala Crater is the most popular, but you might consider a sunset and starlight experience to avoid the crowds.
When you should go
The park is typically open year-round, with some restrictions taking place during inclement weather events or when there are staffing limitations - both a little difficult to predict at any advance notice.
As with any landmark at elevation, plan for your success on the mountainside by keeping an eye on the day's weather forecast and packing to stay fed & hydrated. You may need more layers to stay warm.
What else you might need
Congestion has increased at the summit during the past few years and visitors arriving between 3am-7am will now need to make advanced reservations for any private vehicle. The fee is nominal and the booking window opens roughly 60 days in advance of any planned arrival.
Things to do nearby
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