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Haleakala at Sunrise

TEK224

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I've done the Haleakala sunrise bike ride twice before and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be back on Maui in early Feb. with two friends who have never been to Hawaii before. I'd love to show them sunrise at the top of the volcano. However, one has a medical condition that precludes him from the bike ride (he would ride in the van) and the other is a little nervous about biking down the volcano.

So I was wondering how easy it is to drive to the top of Haleakala? We'll be staying in Kaanapali. I know it would be 1-1 1/2 hour drive to get there. Is the road off of the Hana highway easy to find? My concern is that I'll miss the turn off in the dark and we'll miss sunrise.

Has anyone driven on their own to do this before. I figure it'll also save us about $400.

Also, any good suggestions for breakfast in Paiea?

Thanks!
Terri
 

artringwald

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Anyone in your party have a smart phone? Google maps will get you there even if you miss a turn or two. We didn't have any trouble getting there when we did it, but that was 33 years ago. :D
 

amycurl

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We didn't have any trouble--we did it during a cruise, on the second day in Maui and didn't get lost in the dark, even though we had no idea where we were going. Had a great time. Just dress warmly, because you won't be warmed up by the uphill bike ride! :)
 

barefootnAR

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It's very easy to find, just follow the cars:rofl: Hwy is well marked. The turn off from the Hana road is at a major traffic light with a large sign. A few miles up the road at another light and sign you will turn left. There will be one more left in Kula that is also well marked.
It takes us 1 3/4 from Kihei to the summit. I would allow 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 from Kaanapali. Also you will need to get to the summit 30 to 40 minutes before sunrise. The parking lot at the very top will fill up and the rangers will close the road. The lower lot has additional parking is at the overlook with the small building and restrooms. You can walk up the hill (RedHill) trail leaves form the parking lot for a great view. Besure and take a flashlight. Or you can walk up the road about 1/4 mile to the summit overlook.
 

TEK224

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Great info. Thanks. I do have a smartphone (although I don't always know how smart I am using it :D )

Terri
 

winger

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We got up to the peak where the viewing deck is at about 415/4:30 AM a couple of years ago. It is easy to find - I second using a GPS so you do not take a wrong turn in the dark. There was NOT many cars on the road when we drove up. We also started from Kaanapali - I think there was really only one spot where we veered off course from the GPS, the rest of the drive was straight forward.

One advice - do this drive very close to the day you arrive on Maui (assuming you are coming from the mainland) - your body clock will appreciate it more (with you maybe waking up in the 1:30 AM - 2:30 AM timeframe local time).
 
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As an alternative to sunrise, you may want to consider going up for a sunset. To my knowledge there are NO biking excursions or tours for sunsets, and therefore no throngs of bikers and novice bikers traversing the road. Sunsets can be just as sensational as sunrise, and you will find it less crowded. It will also allow you to drive up leisurely, enjoy the views and feel less hurried because its easier to be early for a sunset, but you cannot be late for a sunrise.

The drive up and down Haleakala is about 36 miles long because it is a switchback. It is a two lane road that consists of dozens of hair pin turns. It can be a lot of fun (unless someone is prone to car sickness), and there are many great views along the way. Just don't expect to average anything close to a highway speed, and allow at least 45 minutes to an hour once you start the journey up. You may want to stop along the way for photos or change of clothes once you reach some altitude.

Once the sun has set, you will have another 36 mile ride back down to civilization and you will have an appetite. Make reservations for dinner at Mama's Fish House in advance, and you will have a wonderful experience back at sea level as well.
 

TEK224

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Thanks Singlemalt.

Sunset could be a good option, too!

It would be less rushed.
 

newportbeach

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I Second Sunset

We did a programmed bike ride, and my bones are chilly just thinking about being on the peak in the dark waiting for the Sun to rise and warm me up.
 

DeniseM

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This requires getting up in the wee hours of the morning - if you are having breakfast, get up an hour earlier! :eek: You would need to get up about 2:00 am. It would take a tsunami to get me up there at sunrise - especially since it's often socked in with clouds and you can't see anything. It's still gorgeous - and warmer later in the day!

More info - http://gohawaii.about.com/od/mauiland/a/haleakala_dawn.htm
 

nygiants11991

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We just did this, we left the Marriott in Kaanapali at 4:00 and had plenty of time for sunrise and was able to park. It is very cold!!
 

luvgoldns

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We just did this, we left the Marriott in Kaanapali at 4:00 and had plenty of time for sunrise and was able to park. It is very cold!!

So, was it worth it?

I've done it once before and the sunset was unremarkable at best (and not worth it on that particular day).
 

klpca

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So, was it worth it?

I've done it once before and the sunset was unremarkable at best (and not worth it on that particular day).

We've done both the sunrise and the sunset. It was fun both times, but a once in a lifetime experience, imho. (Although the photos of us wrapped up in the hotel blanket freezing our okoles off because we left our jackets in the room are priceless).
 

nygiants11991

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So, was it worth it?

I've done it once before and the sunset was unremarkable at best (and not worth it on that particular day).

There were six of us and some thought it was and others didn't. It really depends on what you feel about a sun-rise.

Some in our group thought it would be better not to rush up for the sun rise and go later in the day to hike around. But those were the "love to hike & explore" members in our group.
 

AKE

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The better view is of the tourists shivering in their shorts with hotel blankets wrapped around them. No-one seems to realize that going up a mountain results in a drop of 3 degrees for every 1000 feet so while its warm and sunny at sea level, its close to winter in the northern states when at the top.
 

daventrina

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klpca

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artringwald

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Poipu is a good place to see a green flash. We've seen it several times at sunset, and even caught one at sunrise. Is it really green? Here's a picture from 2009.

561783860_h5DKn-L.jpg
 

HatTrick

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I was fortunate enough to see the green flash two nights in a row from Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu. Got this shot the second night:

GreenFlash.jpg
 
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