A sunrise view from atop Haleakala, Maui's signature volcano (©Shutterstock)
One of Hawaii’s biggest attractions is the stunning 10,023-foot Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano, located on the island of Maui. Haleakala’s most magnificent feature is the crater itself: 3,000 feet deep, 2.5 miles across and a circumference of 21 miles. Take the Sliding Sands Trail inside the volcano mouth, descending 2,400 feet over four miles all the way to the crater floor. There lies a mini-range of nine cinder cones, the tallest being Pu‘u O Maui at 1,000 feet high. The surrounding Haleakalā National Park encompasses 26,000 acres including dry forests, rain forests, desert and subtropical beaches.
- The park is home to endangered flora and fauna, such as the “nene,” a Hawaiian wild goose that approaches visitors for food, and the silverswords, bizarre looking plants with dense coats of silvery hairs.
- A must-see feature of the volcano is the Pahoehoe lava beds. Here you will find a‘a, or hardened lava filled with gases. Look out for clinkers, rocks that are beautifully tranformed by the lava’s heat.
Call 808.572.4400 for park information.