The Crater at the Top of Maui
When, Where, and How To See One Of Maui's Best Sights
There are many fabulous sights to see on Maui, but my own personal
favorite is the crater at the top of Haleakala volcano. It's
something you can't see anyplace else.
Some people never see the crater because they heard you have to go up
there at sunrise, and sunrise comes at a bad time of day, especially
when you are on vacation and don't feel like getting up at 3 AM to start
the trip up to the top. But there is no need to go at sunrise.
In my opinion, the crater looks best in the middle of the day, when the
sunlight is shining down into the depths, lighting up the sand and rocks
and minerals and making them sparkle.
You can take a van tour
to this 10,023-foot peak or drive up there yourself. Pick up a free
in the baggage-claim area of the Maui airport, or at the concierge desk
in any hotel. The drive is somewhat difficult on a winding mountain
road. Allow about two and a half hours each way, plus time to stop for
sightseeing along the way. If you drive up there in your rental car,
take along the GyPSy Guide which is
an automated GPS with a recording that tells you about the sights along
the way. The temperature at the top is 20 to 25 degrees colder
than at the beach, and it can be windy, so bring all your warmest
clothes. It's in a national park, so there is a small park entrance
fee. Although Maui's volcano last erupted only 200 years ago, that
eruption was on the south side, south of Makena. The crater at the top
last erupted 650 years ago.
Usually you just view the crater from the rim. But if you are more
adventurous, you can hike down into the crater (very difficult hiking back up), or go
in by horseback. If you are wondering about the famous bike ride
down the mountain (not recommended), click for my page about
bike the volcano.
See photos below. Or click for more
things to do on Maui.
Photos of the crater at the top of Haleakala Volcano
Jon on horse in crater:
Sunset at the top of the volcano:
See the page of Things To Do In Maui for luaus, whale watching, snorkeling, tours, helicopters,
horseback riding, ATV, dinner cruises, parasailing, fishing, zipline, biking, golf, beaches, kids and family fun, and more.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Jon Blum. All rights reserved.