Haleakalā National Park is home to a 10,023′ tall dormant shield volcano built almost entirely of lava flows. Containing one of the world’s largest volcanic craters, Haleakala (Hawaiian for “House of the Sun”) last erupted over 200 years ago, spewing ash and a highly fluid form of lava called basalt. This volcano plays an important role in Hawaiian myth and legend and is said to be the place where the demigod Maui lassoed the sun, forcing it to slow its pace across the sky to increase the growing season. Because of their elevations, overlooks in the Summit District of the park are known as some of the best places in the world to experience sunrise, sunset and incredibly clear views of the night sky. Don’t forget to pack warm clothes and a coat when you go. Even Maui can get cold at these elevations! Not only are the volcanic landscapes of Haleakalā National Park amazing, but so is the sub-tropical rain forest found in the Kīpahulu District of the National Park. Here you can see stunning waterfalls, a bamboo forest, pools of water and lush green foliage. This special National Park is also home to endangered species like the po’ouli bird, Maui parrotbill, sphinx moth and Hawaiian hoary bat. Inside and outside the park, Maui is a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit, so don’t forget your camera when traveling to this special place!
Top Photography Locations and Sights at Haleakalā National Park:
As photographers, we know that many of you will only have one chance in a lifetime to visit the National Parks. To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of our top photography locations and sights at Haleakalā National Park! While this is not comprehensive, and there are many more amazing sights to see, it should give you a good feel for the park.
The Summit District
- Pu`u Ula ula or Red Hill summit (10,023 ft.) (Sunrise, requires reservation. Wear warm clothes.)
- Haleakalā Visitor Center (9,740 ft.) (Sunrise, requires reservation. Wear warm clothes.)
- Haleakala Crater
- Kalahaku Overlook (9,324 ft.) (Sunrise, requires reservation. Wear warm clothes.)
- Leleiwi Overlook (8,840 ft.) (Sunrise, requires reservation, 10 minute hike from its parking lot. Wear warm clothes.)
- Pīpīwai Trail (4 mile, round trip)
- Kūloa Point Trail (1/2 mile, round trip)
- Kahakai Trail (1/2 mile)
- Mahahiku Falls (on the Pīpīwai Trail)
- Waimoku Falls (on the Pīpīwai Trail)
- Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka Seven Sacred Pools)
- Bamboo Forest
- Bridges & Banyan Trees
Map of Haleakalā National Park:
- Featured Photo Credit: Volcanic Landscape
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