The allure of Haleakalā National Park is not limited to the natural beauty it has to offer. The air bubbles with a sacred atmosphere and offering a sense of spiritual rejuvenation to the over 1 million people who visit this location annually. The sprawling 33,265 acre park is roughly 19,000 acres of wilderness teeming with rare native plants and animals throughout.
Translating to “house of the sun” this is the spot where, according to myth, the ancient Hawaiian demigod Maui imprisoned the sun in an attempt to lengthen the day. The dormant Haleakalā volcano last erupted around 1480-1600 AD and measures nearly 7 miles across with an interior spotted with cinder cones.
There are two trails which take visitors into the center of the crater from the summit—Halemau`u and Sliding Sands. As you ascend the mountain you will find the Visitor Center at around 7,000 feet above sea level and reach the summit around 10,000 feet above sea level. At the summit, many gather to catch glorious sunrises and sunsets which are noted to be unforgettable and haunting.
There are three wilderness cabins available for visitors to rent during their visit but are only accessibly by hikes ranging from 3 miles to 9 miles in length. For those with respiratory and other medical conditions, do be aware of the high altitude and the fact that ambulances can take 50 minutes to arrive from the nearest town.