Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui is not what you might expect from a park in Hawaii… it’s not about sunning yourself on a beach or snorkeling. Instead, something even more interesting awaits you: some of the clearest skies on Earth and gorgeous tropical rain forests, and perhaps the world’s most beautiful drive connecting these disparate portions of the park.
Its true: the night skies from on top of Haleakala are so clear due to rare clouds and markedly little light pollution that governments worldwide jump at the chance to put their telescopes on the 10000 foot peak. So, of course, we got up early to see the stars while they were up and also to watch the sun rise over the clouds thousands of feet below. Seeing these two things happen at once was certainly a highlight we’d recommend to all. Just get there early, because this is no secret - its one of the most popular things to do in the park and many tourists will line up for a good spot to watch from the rails above the crater visitor center.
Our few days on Maui were such a treat, and thanks to free camping in both sections of Haleakala National Park, it’s easy to see Maui on a tight budget!
P.S. And as if all that wasn’t enough, while we were on Maui, we also had the good fortune to find ourselves at the Maui Brewing Company drinking the Imperial Coconut Porter. Do yourself a favor and do the same - it’s to die for!