Perhaps one of the top things to do while on the beautiful island of Maui is to take a visit to Haleakala National Park. Located in East Maui, the site can hold a single day of adventure, or days of camping to extend time spent in the tranquil scenery. Haleakala National Park is home to the dormant Haleakala Volcano, as well as a diverse range of culturally deep places and historic sites, many of which are mentioned in ancient legends and songs of the islands. Be prepared to put on those hiking boots and set forth on the most gorgeous terrain the islands have to offer!
The Haleakala Volcano sits at over 10,000 feet high, and measures in at over 5 miles from the ocean floor to the tip of the summit. This massive beast of a volcano emerged from the ocean floor more than a million years ago (according to carbon dating) when the Pacific Plate drifted over a hot spot. With only 5% of the volcano above sea level, Haleakala is the third tallest mountain on the planet and towers 675 feet taller than Mount Everest.
Haleakala, meaning “House of the sun” in Hawaiian, represents a large piece of Hawaiian history, as legends states that the demi God Maui stood atop the summit to lassoe the sun, slowing it down to make the days last longer. The volcano last erupted between 1480 and 1790, but has erupted at least 10 times in the last 1,000 years. The Haleakala Crater formed by the erosion of the volcano and measures seven by two miles in size, with a circumference of about 20 miles. In total, the park occupies approximately three quarters of the island of Maui.
Haleakala National Park is comprised of two main areas, the Summit District and the Kipahulu District, with the Kipahulu District at the base and the Summit District at the top. The land was officially established as a National Park in 1916 and had boundaries extended in 2005. The park is made up of desert, shrubland, cloud forests, rainforests, dryland forests and coastal zones. With three visitors centers and three on site book stores, as well as a campground, the Haleakala National Park truly sets way for a getaway that can last as little as a day or as long as desired!
For guests seeking to extend the adventure, the Hosmergrove Campground offers 3 acres of sites for staying the night in the park. Located at 7,000 feet elevation, it was first developed between 1956 and 1966. Featuring a self guided nature trail, the campground was named after Ralph Hosmer, Hawaii’s first Superintendent of Forestry. Ralph led the development of three experimental forest plantings on the Western facing slopes way back in 1909. Whether reserving a cabin or camping old school in a tent, the campground creates a one of a kind connection to the land sleeping amidst the divine land and ecosystems as well as under the immense sky of night stars.
Taking a trip to Maui can bring a vast amount of opportunities for excitement and exploring, and there is no better way to truly experience the island and its history than through a visit to Haleakala National Park. To see waterfalls spanning through out the ocean vistas and rainforest lands, to stroll through a bamboo forest of greenery or to hike amidst the rugged trails of the untouched terrain. With over 8,000 Google reviews alone, the park has become a staple for Maui tourism and also endless adventure! Go Rent A Car Maui has vans, trucks, suv’s and sedans ready to embark on the unbelievable trip!