Haleakala Crater and Zipping

Kahului Travel Blog

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Despite being able to sleep in we find ourselves awake very early in anticipation of heading to Haleakala National Park. We took off at 10 A.M. and had arrived in the vicinity of the park within an hour. Another half hour and we would be at summit. Just for future reference, it never takes as long as what people actually say.

After a stop at the Visitor's Center (where I purchased a National Parks Passport and recieved my first stamp) we drove to the first lookout. Today was really a crappy day to visit. Clouds covered most of the views and the higher up the volcano we drove, the thicker they became. The drive was actually a lot of fun with lots of curves and switchbacks. The elevation changes brought new and interesting folliage and colders air temperatures. Now, we must remember I am living in Honolulu where the average temp is 80* F.
Outside the temp was around 50* F or so and I was freezing before we ever made it to the summit! After some photo ops at the first lookout we actually headed back down out of the park because we had reservations we needed to keep.

Our stop - EcoLine Zipline Adventures. If you have never been zipping, then I highly encourage you to do so. This was our first zipping adventure and it proved to be well worth the payment on the credit card. There were 5 lines total that ran through the valleys at the foot of Haleakala, the shortest of which was around 75 feet and the longest 750 feet. I can't tell you how much fun this was. You just need to experience the thrill for yourself. If you plan to visit Haleakala, put EcoLine on your agenda. (Oh and if you ever watch Little People, Big World, they do the same zip on their vacation to Maui)

The tour ran about an hour and a a half.
We then made our way to the Summit. A long and winding way we went to the top of a most magnificent view. Looking inside the crater was absolutey awe-inspiring even if the wind was blistery and cold. At 10,000 feet, we couldn't expect any less. The crater is so large it could fit the island of Manahatten inside. The clouds were still matted on thick so again, the view was very limited. Mauna Kea on the Big Island is supposed to be viewable from part of the crater but with all the clouds, it was no use. Also at the top, you can find the Hawai`i state bird, the nene. Be careful while at the top. If you run one of these birds over, the fine is at least $80 (because it is endangered), a steep fine for a mishap.

We were so hungry we decided to not stay for a sunset. I  highly encourage you to pack a sizeable snack and watch the sun fall from the summit. We headed to Auntie Pasto's (see my review in Oahu) for a delicious dinner and back to the motel to kick up our feet.
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photo by: danielrice20