School’s out for summer and your Hawaii vacation is right around the corner. With white-sand beaches and lush, tropical landscapes, we are sure that you already have a growing list of things to do in Maui and are probably wondering which activities are actually worth it. Here at Wings Hawaii, we think the best way to get to know Valley Isle is to actually get out. Hop in your car, put a little distance between you and the resorts, and experience the island’s natural beauty. And the Road to Hana is not the only long curvy adventure that the island has to offer! Venture up the gentle slopes of Haleakala to the summit and take in one of the most unique sceneries in Hawaii.
Sunrise at Haleakala is one of the Maui musts and if you are coming from a different time zone, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your body clock. We suggest planning on catching a Haleakala sunrise on the first or second day of the trip. Many of you will most likely be at least a few hours ahead, so getting up in the dark hours of the morning should be a little easier than when your sleep schedule has adjusted. Reservations are now required for those entering the park from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, so be sure to book that ahead of time!
Getting to the summit can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours depending on what part of the island you are leaving from, so be sure to buckle in with more than enough time to spare for getting the best view. While reservations hold a spot for you within the National Park, it does not guarantee parking so leave a little earlier than your GPS says it will take.
We know, you are coming to Hawaii! Where the only require attire is shorts, a tee, and your trusty slippers but sitting at 10,023 feet above sea level can mean different weather conditions than you would expect. If you don’t believe us, the average temperature around that time of day is 43 degrees Fahrenheit. With that said, layering is key as once the sun rises so will the heat. Blankets are another cozy way to keep warm while the summit is a little chilly.
Be Prepared, Pack A Picnic
Like the Road to Hana, there are no places to stop for gas and snacks once you pass through the park entrance. So make sure you have a full tank of gas and a bag full of goodies! The mountain scenery with glimpses of the island below is a perfect place for an outdoor picnic, so we recommend staying for an early breakfast! Water is also a key item to bring along with you, especially if you are planning on doing some light hiking.
Get A Little Wild
Several endemic species, found nowhere else on earth, call Haleakala National Park home and we invite you to explore a little while you are up there. The Haleakala Silversword can live up to 90 years and is found only at the summit! Like anywhere in Hawaii, we do want to remind you that the “leave no trace” motto applies while visiting the park to ensure as well as enable the species that live here to continue to live on.
And if you happen to make your way down from Upcountry Maui to the north shore for a bite to eat, then stop by our flagship store and tell us all about your Haleakala experience. We would love to hear your favorite parts of Maui and share a little bit of ours as well, so be sure to come on by!