Centered on the dormant volcano of the same name, Haleakala National Park is a beautifully rugged landscape that stands dramatically over the island of Maui.

While there have been longer drives on my quest to visit the 59 US National Parks, the trip up to the summit of Haleakala may very well rank as the most exhausting.

Departing from the Kahului Airport, I began the 35ish mile drive to the National Park- a trip that involves an absurd elevation gain of almost 10,000 feet. This dramatic climb is administered through a never-ending series of sharply inclined switchbacks that zigzagged my car up the volcano.

Adding to my misery was the weather- since the moment my car began this journey, rain and fog had blocked most of the visibility on the road. Haleakala’s crater is infamous for fogging over and I feared I might very well be on a fool’s errand. However, at roughly 9,000 feet, something magical happened: I rose above the storm.

Like something out of a movie or a fantasy novel, I was now looking at solid blue skies above me, and massive banks of clouds below me. The crater of the volcano was also mostly clear (thankfully), allowing yours truly to deliver an acceptable post for today.

Here are my photos from my short trip- I’ve also included a few from the afternoon I spent on the nearby “Road to Hana”!

Above the Clouds of Haleakala

Above the Clouds

Road to Hana- Out at Sea

Looking out at the sea from the Road to Hana

Hiking down to the Haleakala Crater

Twin Falls Maui

The “Twin Falls” from the Road to Hana



The tides


Categories: US National Parks