Stop 9: The Road to Haleakala
No visit to Maui is complete without driving to the top of East Maui volcano, often called Haleakala Volcano (Haleakala is actually just the name of the summit crater). In addition to the climb of more than 10,000 feet and the thin air that greets you at the summit, the views are more than enough to take your breath away. Despite these features, there is an annual running race from the coast to the summit -- all 37 miles and 10,000 feet!
Close to the Park Entrance, one can look out over the Central Valley of Maui and see Kihei (Stop #7) , West Maui and Lanai are in the distance.
Now this looks either great fun or utter madness, depending on your spirit of adventure! One of the great tourist activities on Maui is to rent a special bicycle and ride all the way down from the summit to the coast. Several tour operators offer package deals that include a car ride to the top, a special bike (with EXTRA strong brakes) and all the riding gear such as a helmet that you need. Now all you need are the nerves to set yourself going.
At the Park Headquarters on the road to the summit, you can sometimes find flowering examples of silversword plants. These bloom only once, but have wonderful flowers. Compare this plant to the many examples on the Crater floor that we can see at Stop #10.3 , photo #1.
From here you can continue on to Stop 10 on the ground, or you can pick another point from the Maui Virtual Field Trip page.
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Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze