With my wife, we drove up on 7-18 with plans to hike the summit and into the crater, but the summit road past the visitor's center was closed and all traffic was barred, with fines up to $5K. The closure dates matched exactly with our departure dates so we didn't have the option to wait until it reopened. We left, then returned at 3 a.m. the next morning, and made a quick walk to the top and back, in pitch black. We were the 3rd car in the visitor's center parking lot and there were no rangers. We had a flashlight but only used it sparingly so as not to attract attention to ourselves. Back to our car, we then waited for the spectacular sunrise overlooking the Haleakala Crater. Awesome!
We were displeased with the cryptic and half-assed way the NPS "alerted" us to this closure. The website had nothing on it as of 7-16, the day we left, then after we got back to our hotel, they had a closure notice back-dated to 7-8. Furthermore, the only signs along the drive were two electronic ones, one saying "May-Sep, Parking Lot Work" and another saying "Puulaula Parking Lot Closed". Nothing said anything about barring actual foot traffic, and I doubt the average person knows that Puulaula parking lot is the one at Red Hill. It was not until we got to the parking lot that we learned of this closure. The NPS did not even post a guy at this point to alert anyone. The job fell to a construction guy, who was totally cool and personally had no problems with us going up there, but he had a job to do and couldn't allow us.
The people in the visitor's center were less helpful. They simply told us to register our complaint via email, as if that does any good. Plenty of people were as upset as we were. The NPS should have known that Red Hill is as much an attraction as the crater and other areas of the park. To bar it on short notice was in bad form.
Like many people, I am not made of money and we saved and planned for this Maui trip for over a year. Thus, our 3:30 am hike.
Other than this, we had an outstanding trip and Haleakala is truly an amazing place!
Made a quick drive up before catching the flight home.
I drove to the top. Then I got on a rented mountain-bike and rode down the spine of Haleakala (Skyline/Mamane/Waipoli trails). The terrain was really cool. It's like hiking/biking on the moon.
Awesome views with scenic hiking available in the crater.
camped a couple nights at Hosmer Grove campground, walked various trails.
Drove up after spending the morning hiking on the Waikamoi preserve. So even though I didn't hike to the summit, I spent quite a few hours hiking on the side of it. Also the day before I took all day and circumnavigated the entire mountain at it's base (driving of course). Very cool island. I loved the rural less touristy side.
Drove up with my wife during a weeklong vacation in Maui. We had good views of the crater ridges but it was too cloudy to see any of the other islands.
I was prepared with a warm jacket, beanie, and gloves for sunrise. My other friends who laughed at me for packing warm clothing were not laughing anymore.
Not gonna lie...drove to the top. Wish there wasn't a road. Ran around the trails and got some really nice pics.
Rode up in a van for sunrise and then rode bikes down to the ocean. Really cool trip and beautiful views from the top.
That's te way to get up there. I hiked a sizeable portion of the crater that day seing the bottomless pit that is only 65 feet deep and the Pele's Paint Pots. Lots of nene around and the silverswords were blossoming.
Okay sure it was a drive up so I hiked White Hill just to make sure I worked a little. What a beautiful area! Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa were easily visible from the summit.
During a two week trip to Oahu and Maui. Drove up and then hiked down the crater a ways. Would like to hike up it from the ocean sometime...
I had "really" climbed Mauna Kea on Hawaii on the 21st, so I accepted the drive up summit of Haleakala as a reward for all the 65ish peaks that i never could have driven to. Besides I went up for the sunrise, so had an alpine start and put up with horrendous winds waiting to see the sunrise. After Mauna Kea and numerous waterfall hikes i had no desire for any additional hiking on Haleakala. Maybe if i get to go there again...
But, if you hike 1500' (verticle) down into the crater and back out - it's fair to claim the summit.. ;-)
11/7/09 - Another drive-up, but after the 16 hour adventure the previous week I felt I deserved it. Warmer and much less windy than my first two ascents.
11/1/09 - 15:55 roundtrip via the Kaupo Gap trail. trip report
11/7/06 - Okay, so I'm ashamed to sign this since we just drove to the top. But we did hike several miles down the Sliding Sands trail, so that's how I justify it.
Drove up to the visitor center at 9740' just in time to see the sun coming up over the ocean; it was comfortably cool with no wind! Last time I was there, the sunrise was a dull bright spot becoming a slightly less dull bright spot (obscured by clouds), so this time was much better! We hiked down the Sliding Sands trail and out via the Halemau'u Trail to the Halemau'u TH at 7990' (~11.5 miles + lava tube excursion in just under 6 hours). We bumped into someone who showed us the entrance to the underground lava tube near the Holua cabin/campsite, and luckily we had a headlamp. Doing the ~1/4 mile lava tube was the highlight of the day among many highlights! We had arranged for a local friend to pick us up, but a German visitor who did the lava tube and hiked out with us was kind enough to drive us back to the top, when we actually went to the true summit.
Amazing sunset. Full moon kind of killed the star gazing.
Reached the top, whole family sleeping in car, walked up to building on highpoint, drove down to visitors center overlooking the crater. Whole family decided to join me for hike to small overlook above the visitors center with benchmark. A few pics at http://www.willhiteweb.com/hawaii_travel/maui_sights/haleakala_lahaina_hana_300.htm