Get in the Know Before you go
If you are in Maui, seeing the Haleakala sunrise is one of the must sees along with the Road to Hana (days permitting). With every trip we do, we always find ourselves saying, “I wish we knew this” or “how much better would it have been if we did that” which is why I am writing you some tips from our mistakes. Below are 6 tips that will add to your amazing experience while visiting for the Haleakala sunrise!
1. Make a Reservation
A reservation needs to be made for the sunrise (3am-7am) online. Also note that this is 1 reservation per vehicle and the name must match the driver’s license. They take these reservations very seriously. If you’re like me and you didn’t realize a reservation was necessary, there is still hope. 40 tickets will also be available two days in advance, at 4:00 p.m. Hawaiian time. They go quick so have the web page open and ready to go at 4PM. Link If you are smart and looking this up now, you can purchase your reservation 2 months in advance and the reservation is $1.50. There are other guidelines, so definitely check the above link out. You do not want to wake up at the crack of dawn to realize they will not let you up. To get into the park is an additional 25$ per private vehicle. The receipt is good up to 3 days if you would like to do anything else here like the 7 Sacred Pools and hiking on the other side of Mt. Haleakala (definitely recommend).
You want to get there around 5AM. By doing this you give yourself time to use facilities and get find a good spot to view and capture the sunrise. Depending on where you are coming from this can be 1 hour to 3 hours.
3. Clothing Attire
You would think being on a tropical Island that shorts and tank tops are good for wherever you go right? NOT HERE! You are at an elevation of over 10,000 feet so it can go below 34 Degrees Fahrenheit. I would recommend layering with a winter jacket and even gloves if you are setting up a tripod to take pictures. We brought the comforter from our hotel since I was unaware of the weather! I would also suggest bringing a second set of clothes to change into for the rest of your day.
4. Gas up
Once you start to go up the mountain there are no gas stations in sight. We gassed up, got coffee and snacks for our way up. These snacks and drinks came in clutch, being there is nothing for purchase once you get there! Even a quick bathroom break could be good at this point.
5. Enjoy the Show
Don’t forget to have your camera and phones charged to get stunning pictures!
6. Plan other Ventures
Plan other ventures while you are here. A lot of people do bike tours, visit the lavender farms, and do additional hikes around the crater. There is a lot to see that you missed on the dark drive up here.
Items to Bring
- Warm Clothes for sunrise (layer up) winter jacket, gloves, hat, room comforter, etc.
- Second set of clothes depending on how you set up your day after the sunrise. (bathing suits, flip-flops, snorkel gear, sneakers, sunscreen, etc.)
- Camera or phone with full battery and car chargers
- Flashlight to see. There are no lights at all, so to get up to the summit would be rather difficult without a phone flashlight at the very least!
- Water and snacks (please do not leave trash)
- Your reservation and driver license
I would love to hear any comments, questions, suggestions of things to add or experiences you had below. Mahalo!