Catch a Sunrise from Pa Ka'oao (White Hill) on Haleakala

Haleakala National Park Visitor Center

Catch the sunrise from one of the highest points on the Haleakala summit crater. Mark Twain called it "the sublimest spectacle of his life." Most mornings there will be clouds below you over the Pacific ocean

Haleakala means "House of the rising sun" and is a wonderful description of the mountain. Haleakala is a large dormant volcano that makes up ~75% of the island of Maui. On the slopes of Halekala are rain forests, pastures, endemic birds, the endangered but beautiful silversword, and a summit that has one of the best sunrises in the world.

This spot will have fewer people (although you will not be alone) than the visitor center or summit house. However, the views are just as good if not better than the more popular spots. To get here begin hiking from the visitor center to the right up the trail. You will circle around the cinder cone as you climb the couple hundred feet to the top. After just a couple minute you will be at the to and enjoying one of the most unique vistas in the world.

Pack List

  • Camera/tripod
  • Warm clothes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Smile
Show More
RT Distance 0.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 200 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Debated doing it glad we did

We really debated doing this because it was a long drive and you have to get up super early. I am so glad we did. It was one of the coolest things we saw on Maui. The sunrise is spectacular. I would recommend showing up at least an hour before sunrise. There are limited parking spots at the top and if you are late they shut it down and you will have to watch from lower lots. In addition I thought the colors for sunrise were best about an hour before sunrise. There are a ton of people so showing up early also helps to get the best spots.

Sunset

Not a morning person so I went for the sunset rather than sunrise and I think it was beautiful. It is quite touristy and busy at sunrise and sunset but a beautiful place for pictures.


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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