I’ve always been more of a sunset verse sunrise kind of girl so when everyone kept telling us that when we visit Maui, we MUST get up at sunrise to see the Haleakala Crater…I was all like “But but but…what about at 6PM?”.
We asked around and almost every single person we asked would give us the same answer- “Sunrise”. We decided that as first timers to Maui- we should see what the hype was about and set our alarms bright and early for 4AM.
Despite the red-eyed wake up time, the windy and somewhat scary roads, the long drive up 10,000 feet, the cold temperatures, and the big crowds..I was happy to say that the hype around it was very much deserving. THE HALEAKLA CRATER VOLCANO IS LIKE ANOTHER PLANET GUYS!! I am just super glad I don’t need to spend $100,000 on going to space now because I’m pretty sure I’ve already been there.
Seeing the first crack of the sun- so bright, fiery and orange- peel itself up was a very magical and spiritual experience. Layer by layer it peeked up from above the clouds it hid behind and each time it did, I just stood there and was taking in this incredible energy that is gave off. I know, I know..you are all probably thinking I should go burn some incense and do some more yoga. But all I can say that is if you are in Maui- I would 100% go to experience this and then you won’t think I sound so weird.
Next time- I am going to head there at sunset just to compare because I did hear it is also quite pretty! Heading to Maui soon? See some tips below!
Photos by March Mercanti
–Plan Accordingly. It takes about 2 hours to get up to the volcano and you definitely want to get there about 20 minutes before the sun even rises to secure a spot
-Dress Warm. Whatever you think is warm, double layer it again. Wear gloves. Wear a hat. Bring hand warmers. BRING THE BLANKET FROM THE PLANE!!! You will still be cold.
-Go to eat at Grandma’s Coffee House after
-Try to go within the first 2-3 days of arriving in Maui if you are coming from the East. Due to jet lag, you will be getting up really early anyways so waking up at 4AM once you first arrive on the island won’t feel that bad at all!
–Drive yourself. While the road is quite windy, it is definitely more scary if you are going on one of those tour buses. Plus, it takes away from the experience being crammed on a bus with others. Just think of it as a little preview to the Road to Hana!
-Hike about 5 minutes to get a better and secluded view point. When you get to the look out point- everyone will plant themselves directly in front. Instead veer off to the right and hike about 5-10 minutes and you will not only be alone but you will also be higher than everyone!
-MOST importantly: check the weather ahead of time. A lot of people on reviews report foggy visibility making the experience a flop. If you can’t see the clouds- it’s just an average sunrise! A local gave us a good tip and said that “If you see a lot of stars right when you wake up at 4AM- you should go”.