Catch the raw beginnings of how our world was made and tap into where the spirit of Haleakala was born.

Spirit of Haleakala

In the midst of the Pacific Ocean on the island of Maui sits one of the world’s largest volcanoes, Haleakala.

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Haleakala History and Geology

Maui is made up of two volcanoes: the lush Kahalawai (aka West Maui Mountains) form the smaller part while the enormous Haleakala sits on 728 square miles of land that make up the rest of Maui. The last eruption was in the early 16th century leaving giant craters that resemble the landscape of Mars (visit La Perouse to see this last flow.)

Haleakala geology

Haleakala is not like all volcanoes, Haleakala is a shield volcano characterized by its shallow sloping sides.  When you add what you can’t see (below water level) to what you can see, Haleakala is taller than Mt. Everest. Due to the summits high elevation, freezing temperatures, and arid landscape, it’s one of the toughest places in the world for anything to survive. Ice or frost can appear anytime in the year and rainwater is driven straight through the porous rock. The Haleakala Silversword plant is one of the rarest plants in the world found only at Haleakala.

Silversword Haleakala


Cultural Significance

The summit of Haleakala represents a lot of things to the indigenous people of Hawai’i. The spiritual use of Haleakala includes receiving spiritual wisdom. All who visit should strive to become sensitive to the subtleties of nature and learn about the significance of this sacred place. It’s a place of prayer Ala hea ka la – the path to the calling sun.

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Summit Views

Absorb the ambiance of Haleakala. Loaded with an abundance of lookouts, hiking trails, and breathtaking views 24 hours a day, you’ll want to make this drive. Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times to visit, and for sunrise you’ll need reservations if you plan to visit between the hours of 3am and 7am.

Haleakala Views

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Things to do on Haleakala

Another popular Haleakala activity is taking a downhill mountain bike trip at your own pace. No lines, no time table just pure fun.

The hiking is endless.  Most visitors walk along the approved trails at the summit for 30 minutes then double back.  You can go further, but you’ll need to be in impeccable shape and have plenty of water and sun protection.  For the best experience, have expert Haleakala guides take you along the best spots for the best views.

Hana guides

Haleakala National Park actually extends all the way down to the coastline past Hana.  This area’s most popular trail, Pipiwai, is actually at sea level, meandering for 4 miles roundtrip along Maui’s southeast coast to the Waimoku Falls and the pools and waterfalls of Oheo Gulch. The hike takes two to five hours to complete, but you’ll walk away with some stunning photos.

Pipiwai Trail

No matter how you choose to experience Haleakala, weather is key! You can usually just look up towards Haleakala and see if it’s cloudy and stormy, but even if there are clouds, you’ll likely be up high above them!

Haleakala Maui Hawaii