Haleakala National Park
- Type: Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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More than a million tourists annually visit Haleakala National Park -- the location of the world's largest dormant volcano. To reach the summit, you'll have to take the two-hour winding drive through the park. Still, time flies for excited travelers. Consider making the trek to the summit in the morning to see the sunrise. Be sure to wear warm layers -- the air up top is thin and chilly.
On the way up, you should stop around mile 17 at the Leleiwi Overlook for a panorama of the crater. And on your descent, swing by the Kalahaku Overlook (around mile 19) and search for the park's rare silverswords (a purple and silver plant shaped like an artichoke). Also, don't limit yourself to just the volcano. The park itself spans approximately 27,284 acres and features hiking trails and overnight camp sites. The park's most popular trail, Pipiwai, is a four-mile trek above and around the magnificent Seven Sacred Pool of Oheo Gulch, so be sure to take plenty of pictures. The round trip takes travelers approximately five-hours.
Haleakala National Park is located in southern Maui and welcomes visitors 24 hours a day. The Haleakala Visitor Center (near the summit) is open from 5:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Kipahulu Visitor Center (at the base) is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. You can enter the park on foot for $5 per person or in a car for $10, and admission is good for the next three days. Check out the National Park Service's website for more details.