Haleakala Crater at Sunset
By Mary Hanson
Haleakala Crater, also known as the House of the Sun is a now dormant volcano, which emerged from the Pacific Ocean more than a million years ago. It takes up fully three-quarters of Maui’s Landmass. On your way up to the top of this mighty volcano, you will pass through as many ecological zones on a two-hour drive to the summit as you would on a journey from Mexico to Canada. It is an awesome trip!
Many visitors and locals alike have taken the early morning trek to watch the sunrise from the top of this crater. It is really a magical, almost a spiritual adventure. However not too many have ventured up to watch the sunset. I decided to check out the sunset with Polynesian Adventure Tours. It was incredible!
It is so relaxing to sit back and listen to the knowledgeable tour driver. I wish I had recorded him so I could listen to him again and again. He had so many interesting facts about the different terrain that we were passing through. He actually stopped and let us smell the eucalyptus trees and then closer to the crater we saw the state bird, the Nene Goose. At the top the rare Silversword Plant, that grows only at Haleakala Crater. The trip just kept getting better.
The evening we took the tour was a bit special as the full moon was rising as the sun was setting. We ran back and forth from one side of the summit to the other to see both beautiful skylines! It was spectacular! The view inside the crater was something very special too.
After our descent to sea level from the 10,000-foot summit, we had a yummy dinner at a local restaurant. I can’t say enough about this tour! It is much more than just a sunset and dinner. It was a spectacular, awesome adventure.