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On Top of The World at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii
I packed leggings, a sweater, and a hat in my bags for #Hawaii. Why? Because I had #aspirational goals to see the sunrise from the top of an active #volcano, at 10,000 feet above sea level. The volcano was Haleakala to be exact, which forms about 75% of the island of Maui. The sunrise was otherworldly, and I've never been so happy to wake up early.
If you’re like me, when you think of Hawaii you think of warm weather, sandy beaches as far as the eye can see and towering palm trees. But how about a breathtakingly beautiful sunrise on the top of one of Maui’s very own volcanoes — Haleakala?
Maui's Spectacular Haleakala Sunrise Tour
I had never been so excited to wake up at 2am. But I was about to drive to the very top of a volcano to watch the sunrise, so I had a feeling it was probably going to be worth it. Despite the hot and humid weather outside, I pulled on leggings, a cozy sweater and a beanie. While this might seem strange, we were headed to an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level… all the way to the crater at the top of the enormous (and still active!) Haleakala Volcano. We had heard story after story about how sunrises and sunsets on Haleakala were some of the most beautiful on the island, and well, who could possibly say no to that?
I had never been so excited to wake up at 2am
After a long, windy drive in the dark up to the summit, we finally reached the 10,000 feet marker. And perfect timing, too — the sun was just about to rise.
There was already a small crowd of people huddled at the top of the crater, quietly waiting with their cameras ready. I made my way into the crowd just in time to see what can only be described as one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. With the light reflecting on the clouds so high in the sky, it felt like total magic.
After checking out the incredible views, we explored around Haleakala National Park. Totally different from the rest of Maui, Haleakala is what I imagine another planet must look like. While most of Hawaii is covered in lush, tropical greenery, Haleakala looked like a total desert. In fact, I only spotted one kind of plant on the crater — silverswords, which don’t exist anywhere else on Earth. When you drive back down from Haleakala, you’ll see signs for hikes that will let you explore all of the unique flora and fauna that call this park their home. With a landscape this spectacular, it’s no wonder so many people make the trek up to this epic spot.
It’s no wonder so many people make the trek up to this epic spot
My whole idea of what Hawaii could look like changed from this trip. Besides those picture-perfect beaches that we all know and love, there’s an abundance of adventure and exploration to be had.
Clearly, there’s nothing less than an infinite number of things you could do on this magical collection of islands. Haleakala will no doubt leave you excited to explore even more!