A lot of questions I get asked a ton is, “Is the Sunrise on the summit of Haleakala popular?” Also, “Is it worth getting up early in the morning to see the sunrise up there?” I always answer yes to both questions. Haleakala (Ha Lei Ah Ka La) Sunrises are always a blessing to see. I have been up there many times to witness the beautiful sunrise. When I was back in high school, the Baldwin High School Hawaiian Club was asked by the Federal park rangers to perform the E’ala’e (Ehh Ah La Eh) Sunrise chant for the tourists. Much of us once we saw the sun start to rise stopped to take in the breath taking scene happening. Tourists all around us from what I witnessed were taking a lot of pictures and just in total shock on what they were seeing. Some of them even teared up because the sunrise was so beautiful. You have to pay $10 for a 3 day park pass at the Security/Ranger Station Booth before traveling to the summit. Very Important Tips are written below.
Basic Tips for Haleakala Sunrise Trips:
-Always check with the Ranger Station or log on to a local Maui Weather Website to check for current conditions.
Sleep/Wake Up Times
Kihei/Wailea/Makena/Central Maui Vacationers
Basically you need to get to sleep around 7-8 PM (1900-2000) wake up at like 2:30-3:00 AM (0230-0300 for the military folk). Total Driving time from South Maui/Central Maui to Summit about 3.5 hours.
For the people staying in Lahaina or as far as Napili figure on an earlier sleep and wake up time to accommodate travel from the West Side to the Summit. Basic sleep schedule 5/6 PM (1700-1800) Wake Up Midnight-12:30 AM (2400-0030 Military time) Total driving time from West Maui to Summit 4.5 to 5 hours.
Vehicle Tips (Important):
-Make sure to have a full tank of fuel in your rental vehicle before heading up to Haleakala
-Test Your head lights, tail lights, and break lights before departing your hotel/condo
-Once you hit Crater Road drive very slowly going up and coming down.
-Test your breaks (You will need to break a lot due to the windy/narrow roads up/down)
-Leave anything you don’t need at your hotel/condo (Utilize the safety deposit box in your hotel/condo)
Typical Dress Tips:
Wear a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt, pants (heavy jeans/sweat pants), covered shoes, and bring along a jacket or parka due to cold temperatures.
Word from the Ranger Station, “Please do not take any lava rocks, pet the Nene Geese, or vandalize the silver sword plants. Always stay in the mark visitor areas. Walk slowly and do not run due to the high altitudes. If you experience a Medical Emergency contact the Ranger Station Supervise your children at all times.
Your Safety. Please remember that you are entering a natural area where you are responsible for your safety. If you have doubts or concerns about any activity or situation, please seek the advice of park rangers at one of the visitor centers.
Summit Area – Mountain
The high altitude at the summit area may complicate health conditions and cause breathing difficulties. Pregnant women, young children, and those with respiratory or heart conditions should consult their doctors prior to traveling to high elevations. To help avoid major safety concerns, be sure to walk slowly at high elevation, drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, and check in often with elderly friends or relatives to make sure they’re doing okay. Turn back and seek medical aid if you have health concerns.
Report accidents, violations, and unusual incidents to park staff. Prohibited activities include: hunting, use of firearms, rollerblading, skateboarding, or disturbing any natural or cultural features. Bicycles are restricted to paved roads and parking areas.
Most Important: Have Fun!
That Covers the Maui Haleakala Sunrise! Enjoy your vacation on Maui and Hawaii! A Hui Hou!
Posted by: Bruce Fisher