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Haleakala...Sunrise or Sunset? Which would you recommend?

Haleakala...Sunrise or Sunset? Which would you recommend?

Old Jun 6th, 2005, 03:50 PM
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Haleakala...Sunrise or Sunset? Which would you recommend?

If you had to choose between either watching the sunrise or sunset atop haleakala, which would you choose?
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Question. Is descending it a factor after sunset? Is it too dark then to be safe?
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 04:56 PM
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Sunrise. It's a great way to start your day. Watching the sun warm the valley below and getting a full day from your holiday dollars.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 11:17 PM
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We enjoyed Haleakala in the afternoon. There weren't any clouds and we had a clear view of the surreal colors of the crater. We headed down before it got dark and found a place for dinner. (We had a couple places in mind.)

How spectacular the sunrise or sunset is varies from day to day, I've heard, depending on weather conditions. Besides, we saw a spectacular sunrise in Grand Canyon and in Zion National Park on the mainland.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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Before our bike ride down, we witnessed a spectacular sunrise.

Being above the cloudes as te sun rose was awesome.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 07:04 PM
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We figured you could see good sunrises and sunsets from the beaches so went up Haleakala around noon and had late lunch in Makawao afterwards. It's a great drive up there and driving above the clouds was different. After you come down head towards Keokea and Ulupalakua for a while, great views of Makena etc all the way to McGregor point.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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I think there is a significant difference between climbing in the dark and desending in the dark.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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We went mid-morning and it was beautiful. I wouldn't be willing to get up at 3:00am on vacation and wouldn't want to make the drive in the dark (neither up nor down).
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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I have done both .... hands down, the sunrise! The sunset was very nice, but the sunrise was truly awesome! Do check the weather before you leave that morning ... you don't want to make the trip, and then find the weather yukky!
 
Old Jun 8th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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We have done sunrise three times and sunset once. Sunset was a bust. After waiting for about 2hrs, we realized there wasn't going to be one!!!
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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jg- the sun did not set that day?
;-)
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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If you are from the east coast, you will be awake the first few mornings very early--at least we were.
We left Kaanapali at 3:45 and drove up. The stars are amazing on Maui---it was a clear night and the sky was filled with stars. We reached the Leileiwi Overlook at 5:30. We didn't go all the way to the top since we had to meet our bike trip at 8:00 at Rice Park. There is a windbreak at the overlook and there were about 6 other people there. We were bundled up in blankets and this was August.
The crater fills with clouds, the stars disappear and the horizon turns pink. The sun appears and it is blinding. I guess it is even more beautiful if there are a few clouds in the sky, as they also turn beautiful colors. It has been recommended that you stay around after the sun rises, let the crowds head down---it's supposed to be pretty.
We met our bike trip and biked down Haleakala which is a wonderful family memory---we went with Aloha Bike Tours.
We haven't done sunset, but sunrise was really a memorable.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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ROFLMFAO, suze. Nice catch!
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 05:23 PM
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Kristi,

I did not do either. I went after the sunrise, but sill early morning. We really enjoyed it. NO crowds going up or down. No bikers in the way either. The pictures I took from Haleakala during that time were simply beautiful. Here are some details from my trip report....

Day Two:

Decided to awaken naturally. No alarms or hotel wake-up calls. If we see the sunrise atop Haleakala, wonderful. If not, that's ok too. Well, we did not!

We three women awakened and headed out the hotel approx 6:15 a.m. We were all dressed in layers but was warned by the valet that we were not dressed warm enough...uh oh! But come on, it's another beautiful warm day. It couldn't possibly be THAT cold at the top.

We began our drive to Haleakala. Easy drive. Great signage. Winding roads, not that bad. We were basically the only car headed up this time of morning. Took our time and enjoyed the breathtaking views of Wailea and Kihea as we made our way to the top.

About half way up, we began to see bikers making there way down the mountain. They were in yellow protection suits and headgear. Did not look fun to me...LOL Every face I saw was red! We joined some bikers at the first visitors center for a restroom break. Got out the car to a breathtaking view AND...

OH MY GOODNESS! It's cold as hell! BRRR! Wind was kicking! Even the water in the bathroom was cold. Couldn't wait to get back in the car. As we made our way further up the mountain, the temp guage in the car continued to drop. We arrived at the summit at 7:15 to a chilling 45 degrees.

When we arrived to the summit, we were one of two cars there. My mother opened the door to get out, closed it, and said I'll sit here until you all get back...LOL. And she did just that.

My neice and I decided to skip the stairs and run up the incline to the covered area to take pictures because we were freezing. OK, how come I forgot I was at 10K feet and lost my breath. Not sure why I didn't pass out. Once I got it together, I was able to take pictures and just enjoy the ever-changing breathtaking landscape and views in front of my eyes. Not one picture is the same because of the cloud movement. Simply beautiful.

After about 20 minutes we drove down to the visitors center right below. Another restroom stop and took more pictures. Simply awesome.

Began our decent down about 8:15 or so. Arrived at Kula Lodge for breakfast a little after 9:00. Seated by the window immediately upon entering. Because there were three of us, we ordered three different meals so we can do the sample thing. (This will be the case at every restaurant we visit). Our breakfast:
-Waffle w/fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapple, bananas, passion fruit)
-Omelete w/spinach, mushrooms, & shrimp
-pancakes
-bacon
-portuguese sausage
-coffee
-passion, orange, mango juice (YUM!)

With the exception of the sausage, breakfast was awesome. Total incl tip...$51
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 12:52 AM
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Yup. The closer you get to the sun, the colder it gets. Go figure.

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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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I did the sunrise and loved it. I did have to get up early 3am to get there and have a good viewing position, and it was cold. The wind chill factor had the temp around 30. It was a good way to start the day. If you go early in your trip, you will have no problem getting up that early. My in-laws did the sunset and loved it as well. Six of one and half a dozen of another. Remember, it cost $10 to get in the park, but the pass is good for 7 days, so you could do both is time allowed. Have fun.
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