Haleakal; East Maui Volcano, a  shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Haleakala National Park; Hawaiian Islands; Maui Island. Showing the erroded valley and cinder cones.
haleakala valley, alpine aeolian zone, volcanic cones

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Haleakalā National Park


No trip to Maui is complete without visiting this national park containing the mighty volcano that gave rise to East Maui. The volcano's floor measures a whopping 7.5 miles wide, 2.5 miles long and 3000ft deep – nearly as large as Manhattan. From its towering rim there are dramatic views of its lunar-like surface. Meanwhile, the coastal Kipahulu district in the southeast is lush, with waterfalls. The two districts are not directly accessible from one another by road and require separate visits.

The summit district is accessed from the Haleakalā Hwy, the Kipahulu District from the Hana Hwy.

Reservations to view the sunrise from Haleakalā's summit are required and available year-round for a $1 fee per vehicle. Visitors without a reservation may enter the park after 7am.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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Legend says that the pit leads down to the sea, though the National Park Service says it’s just 65ft deep.

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The iron-rich cinders in this flat-top hill, which lies immediately southeast of the summit building (in the direction of Hawaiʻi, the Big Island), pack…

4. Haleakalā Summit Area

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Perched on the crater rim at 9745ft, the visitor center is the park’s main viewing spot. Sun, shadow and clouds reflecting on the crater floor create a…

5. Puʻuʻulaʻula (Red Hill) Overlook

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You may find yourself standing above the clouds while exploring Puʻuʻulaʻula (10,023ft), Maui’s highest point. The summit building provides a top-of-the…

6. Kalahaku Overlook

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Don’t miss this one. Kalahaku Overlook (9324ft), 0.8 miles beyond Leleiwi Overlook, offers a bird’s-eye view of the crater floor and the ant-size hikers…

7. Science City

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As the sun rises, this collection of domed observatories shimmers just beyond the summit. Nicknamed Science City, this area is, unfortunately, off-limits…

8. Leleiwi Overlook

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For your first jaw-dropping look into the crater and its cinder cones, stop at Leleiwi Overlook (8840ft), midway between the Park Headquarters Visitor…