Haleakala Crater
Haleakala Crater
4.5
About
Part of the larger of the two volcanoes that make up Maui, this peak is more than 10,000 feet up and the highest point on the island.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • TravelingAnnK
    Ventura, California332 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Above the Clouds
    Truly amazing. We were awe struck by the stark beauty. The road up to the top is long and winding. When you are at the top you are above the clouds. The colors of the rock were red, orange, black and brown. In the distance you can see the blue ocean. At 10,000 feet you can feel the altitude.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 June 2023
  • serenescene1818
    Boston, Massachusetts25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do!
    Wondrous place especially at sunset when you don't need reservations. The hikes are strenuous except for the Lilikei Lookout esp the altitude. We were nervous about driving to the summit and considered taking a tour but we're glad we drove as the tours are too expensive. Only the 20min segment between Headquarters Visitor Ctr and Haleakala Visitor Ctr (summit) was a little scary with no guardrails and dropoffs. The rest of the drive was fine.Bring warm clothing including long pants and jackets. The wind was wild. Sunset was beautiful and the ensuing golden hour was magnificient. If you don't like driving mountain paths in the dark, you still have approx 35mins to drive down with some daylight after sunset.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 June 2023
  • TravelFun7
    Bloomington, Illinois79 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Haleakala is heavenly!
    Not counting the beaches, if you don't do anything else on Maui, do Haleakala. It is 100% worth it, and better than the experience on Road to Hana IMO. We did not go for sunrise and the experience was still absolutely incredible. Completely breathtaking!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 July 2023
  • Robert P
    30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful, unique views. Challenging drive.
    The views from the summit are unique and spectacular, very different from the typical Hawaii landscape. We drove and were fine, but it does take some concentration and you will be tired at the end. Use your lower gears on the way down. We went at mid day to avoid crowds and it was not crowded. We drove through clouds on the way up but by the time we reached the summit the clouds had burned off, offering an amazing view. The changing landscape as the elevation increases was interesting. Take a jacket and be careful of the altitude. It is a steep rise and you well feel the effects at the summit.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 July 2023
  • Patricia G
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Extraordinary!
    This was the most moving tour in competition with the Grand Canyon! Nettie, our Kapuna tour bus driver took us up to Haleakala National Park on Maui at sunset. She was a 12 out of 10 commentator and informing as well as inspirational tour guide! We were so honored to be with one of only 500 full blooded Hawaiian's left as a tour guide. We had a heart stopping view of the crater and the mind blowing sunset above the clouds. Our most memorable tour of our cruise and excursions!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 July 2023
  • Jeff D
    Murrieta, California328 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Extreme weather change
    Very cool to make the drive and see the view from that elevation. Nice half day trip. I suggest packing a lunch and stop at one of the wonderful view spots and make a lunch stop out of it. Was fun to go from a hot beach through rain and into 40 degree mountains. Bring a warm sweatshirt if you get cold easy. Loved the views the entire way up and down.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 August 2023
  • Rafal Los
    Atlanta, Georgia6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A magical must-do
    In a word: AMAZING. No review will do this justice - it's something you MUST go and experience for yourself. The facilities are clean, stocked, and readily available. The very top is a wonder to behold - either go for the sunrise, or stay for the sunset - either way it's MAGICAL.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 December 2023
  • JoanneLB
    Long Beach, New York58 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience
    Driving up is not for the faint of heart. The road is 1 lane each direction and very windy. Half way up there is no more guard rail and just mountain down the side. It was all worth it. We headed up for sunset. When we got to the top we parked and had to walk up a bit to get to a section to watch sunset. There is another section you can walk further up the road to but the air is thin so we didn't go up there. It feels like this is what being on the moon would be like with the black rocks and dirt. Anyway, you can't see the full sunset because you are up at 10,000 feet and the clouds are there but watching the sun set under the clouds was still amazing. It was my teenage daughters favorite part of the trip. It is high up and definitely cold so bring warm clothes to put on once you get up there. Also, once the sun goes down I recommend moving fast so you can start driving before the tour busses head down and before it gets really dark. If we ever go back we will check out sunrise.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 January 2024
  • TAB
    Encinitas, California17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just say YES to Haleakala!
    Every day before our trip, we had the conversation...so, do you want to do the Haleakala crater? Weighing the pros/cons, we realized we needed to secure a ticket online before deciding. So, I created an account and did a trial run to to through the process for getting a reservation the day before I actually made our reservation. Make sure you set up your account ahead of time since securing tickets are a quick process. I was online at 7:00am, and all tickets were gone by 7:02am. Our reservation was for the second day we were there, which was great because we were already a bit jet lagged and getting up at 3:30am wasn't as big a deal as if we were already more relaxed. We almost didn't go because the weather report was for high winds, but we decided to give it a try. We brought hats, polartec jackets, sweats and the hotel gave us extra blankets. Gloves would have been a good addition. We arrived at 6am from Kapalua in our rental car. So glad we arrived early because you can really appreciate going from darkness to light. It was cold and windy, but really not an issue overall. So, if you are on the fence, just do it! It is a beautiful experience. Nature at it's finest. Stop for breakfast on your way down and then kick back and enjoy the Aloha of Hawaii, the people and the beauty of the island.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 February 2024
  • angeleyes27
    Brigantine, New Jersey5,203 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice on a clear day. Waste on cloudy day
    Twice we drove over 2 hours each way to see the crater and saw nothing because of clouds. The crater when you see it is interesting and beautiful to see. There used to be a webcam so you could see the view at the top but it is inactive. A visitor center at the top was closed. It is a half mile from the visitor center to the summit which has an observatory. Haleakala Crater is beautiful but the road is winding, well paved and has drop offs in places
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 March 2024
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Matthias T
Cambridge, MA30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
My wife is not the most confident driver, and, after reading dozens of reviews of the drive up, she was very nervous about this drive in particular... til she wasn't because it's super duper easy and nothing to worry about at all. We drove up during a clear afternoon, and are so glad we did. Definitely a "peak" experience. :)

Be sure to go all the way to the top, and be sure to bring layers. I am reasonably healthy and have no weight, heart or breathing issues, but I did have to take it slow once we got about 7500 ft or so, as I could definitely feel the thinness of the air with each breath, so be prepared for that as well. Worth it though: it's like being on another planet once you get into the crater proper.
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

angeleyes27
Brigantine, NJ5,203 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Twice we drove over 2 hours each way to see the crater and saw nothing because of clouds. The crater when you see it is interesting and beautiful to see. There used to be a webcam so you could see the view at the top but it is inactive. A visitor center at the top was closed. It is a half mile from the visitor center to the summit which has an observatory. Haleakala Crater is beautiful but the road is winding, well paved and has drop offs in places
Written 8 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TAB
Encinitas, CA17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Every day before our trip, we had the conversation...so, do you want to do the Haleakala crater? Weighing the pros/cons, we realized we needed to secure a ticket online before deciding. So, I created an account and did a trial run to to through the process for getting a reservation the day before I actually made our reservation. Make sure you set up your account ahead of time since securing tickets are a quick process. I was online at 7:00am, and all tickets were gone by 7:02am. Our reservation was for the second day we were there, which was great because we were already a bit jet lagged and getting up at 3:30am wasn't as big a deal as if we were already more relaxed. We almost didn't go because the weather report was for high winds, but we decided to give it a try. We brought hats, polartec jackets, sweats and the hotel gave us extra blankets. Gloves would have been a good addition. We arrived at 6am from Kapalua in our rental car. So glad we arrived early because you can really appreciate going from darkness to light. It was cold and windy, but really not an issue overall. So, if you are on the fence, just do it! It is a beautiful experience. Nature at it's finest. Stop for breakfast on your way down and then kick back and enjoy the Aloha of Hawaii, the people and the beauty of the island.
Written 13 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L2912UBs
Melbourne, Australia767 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
There are few volcanoes in the world that offer so much and allow visitors to walk in such a Goliath of a crater.

How to get there: we drove up hitting base of the 378 highway by 0400 hrs. Took 1 hour from there to summit with experienced 4wd driver.
There are no street lights but the highway is well kept. Tight hairpins and in pitch black and windy as you travel up high are challenging but the biggest challenge is control of the car speed around the bends and also as you come down.
Ensure your car has good lights.
Quite a few cars pulled over where they could as this is psychologically challenging too.
But we did it.
Alternatively you can go by bus tour but you arrive just before sunrise and leave straight after, missing all this has to offer.

If driving, you need to pre book a $30USD ticket plus an additional $1USD summit parking fee.

Begin in awe early before sunrise at 0400-0600 with star gazing at the summit. It is surreal but cold. How cold?
London winter wind chill cold. Need a beamy, wind proof jacket and good thermal warm layers.
Bring a blanket. Use camera light to find spot to watch & turn off to reduce light pollution.
Requires walking up steps.

At sunrise approximately at 1 o’clock or 20 degrees, watch amazing colours.
As sun rises it warms.

Stay for a trail walk to see differing views. The shifting sands trail appears like the moon.
Allow 1.5-2 times you walk down, to get back up. It is very long and steep on rock dirt sand path.
Requires endurance.
Asthmatics may struggle.
If you do walk it gets hot quickly so layer off.

My pics were an old iPhone but we also have camera that picked up stars.

No toilets up top at summit.

Gift shop at top. Toilets too. Take your rubbish home, help the park rangers.
Written 12 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christi S
North Richland Hills, TX36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Haleakala at sunrise
We made our reservation but it was cancelled due to weather on Haleakala so we did not get to this. It was open the day before and the days after, however they would not accommodate us even though they cancelled. Because of that I would suggest to use multiple people to make more than one reservation to ensure you get to do this.
Written 29 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ponopuppy
Langley109 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
We decided to take friends up to the crater, just to see the views. We drove from Kihei up the. Mountain to the entrance where we pay to get into the park. The person collecting the money told us our 16 lb dog had to stay leashed and stay on paved pathways. We told her no problem!
At the information center, I told my dog out to urinate and a ranger came up and demanded to know what I was doing with a dog in my car. He was incredibly rude and finally repeated what the person at the toll booth said.

Why do people treat tourists with such disrespect?

We had no desire to go against any rules but we never saw a sign that said no dogs. It was only after we drove thirty five miles or so on a very windy road and paid our thirty dollars that we were treated rudely.

Tell people clearly what the rules are but don’t disrespect them especially if you want tourists to return. This ranger ruined the day for the four of us in the car and we will let others know how we were treated.
Written 27 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoanneLB
Long Beach, NY58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
Driving up is not for the faint of heart. The road is 1 lane each direction and very windy. Half way up there is no more guard rail and just mountain down the side. It was all worth it. We headed up for sunset. When we got to the top we parked and had to walk up a bit to get to a section to watch sunset. There is another section you can walk further up the road to but the air is thin so we didn't go up there. It feels like this is what being on the moon would be like with the black rocks and dirt. Anyway, you can't see the full sunset because you are up at 10,000 feet and the clouds are there but watching the sun set under the clouds was still amazing. It was my teenage daughters favorite part of the trip. It is high up and definitely cold so bring warm clothes to put on once you get up there. Also, once the sun goes down I recommend moving fast so you can start driving before the tour busses head down and before it gets really dark. If we ever go back we will check out sunrise.
Written 14 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matt Mills
London, Canada348 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
We really wanted to visit Haleakala, and hike some of the crater…..but we didn’t want get up at 3am, lol!

So we opted to go in the late afternoon, hike, then finish the drive to the top to watch an outstanding sunset.

People will tell you - and believe them - you will need/want a hat and gloves at sunset, as well as long pants and either a heavy sweater or coat.

The temp difference up 10,000 feet is extreme. We saw people at the top wrapped up in blankets and I wished we would’ve thought of that! We did however, bring lawn chairs to set up - as it takes a while for the sun to actually set - and that was a total life hack. Bring chairs!

And maybe even a little snack or picnic….the views are out of this world, the crater, the lava rock, the plants. You might even see an endangered NeNe goose like we did - they’re pretty cute 😁

Enjoy the view from the top!
Written 7 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rafal Los
Atlanta, GA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
In a word: AMAZING.
No review will do this justice - it's something you MUST go and experience for yourself. The facilities are clean, stocked, and readily available. The very top is a wonder to behold - either go for the sunrise, or stay for the sunset - either way it's MAGICAL.
Written 15 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jane2001
Columbus, OH197 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
It is unclear to me why Trip Advisor says this site is closed - only the observation building is closed; the crater and all of the trails are definitely open. I made our reservations for sunrise a couple months ago so you roll your dice on weather and visibility. For us, it rained during our 2 hour drive leading to the summit. Once we moved above the clouds we had the most amazing view of the stars ... for about an hour. Forty minutes before sunrise ... the clouds rolled in again. Twenty minutes before sunrise ... the clouds broke offering an amazing view of the valley for the remainder of our visit. Like I said, you roll the dice when you have to reserve your spot. We were more prepared this visit with appropriate clothing, water and snacks. We wanted to hike but one in our party was feeling the effects of elevation sickness so we cruised back down the crater before he got to feeling worse.

Not sure how anyone else feels about the reservation process but I love it. I do feel bad for those families unaware of this requirement and get turned around until after sunrise but the difference between the free-for-all we experienced in 2019 versus this visit is like night and day. Parking availability and fewer people made for a much more enjoyable and memorable experience.

If you are a Veteran - bring your proof and get free access to all Federal Parks throughout the United States.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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HALEAKALA CRATER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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