To fully experience Maui – or at least peer into its soul – make your way to the summit of Haleakalā. Like a yawning mouth, the huge crater opens beneath you, in all its raw volcanic glory, caressed by mist and, in the experience of a lifetime, bathed in the early light of sunrise. Lookouts on the crater’s rim provide breathtaking views of the moonscape below, and the many cinder cones marching across it.
The rest of this amazing park, which is divided into two distinct sections, is all about interacting with this mountain of solid lava, and the rare lifeforms that live upon it, some of them found only here. You can hike down into the crater, follow lush trails on the slopes, or put your mountain bike through its paces. For the ultimate adventure, get a permit, bring a tent and camp beneath the stars. However you do it, the experience will stick with you.