Hallowed Haleakala

Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii

Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii

It takes a spectacular mountain, and will power too, to get me off the sunny exotic beaches of Maui and up to the stark, remote, and cold summit of Mount Haleakala.  But I have found the beauty and sacredness of this mellow mountain call me up every time I visit this Hawaiian Island.


With an elevation of 10, 023 feet, this volcanic mountain (only three eruptions in the past 900 years) holds a beauty and elegance all its own.   Haleakala National Park consists of the crater and its environs, and many wilderness areas.  Haleakala Highway, the road that leads to the summit, is well-paved with many hairpin turns and switchbacks, and boasts flora, fauna, and astonishing views.  There is a popular tourist event involving a bike ride down from the summit at sunrise, so the road is often peppered with biking tourists.  It is best to allow a full day for going to Haleakala, including the long drive up and back; and I recommend bringing food, water, and clothes for all seasons.  At the summit there is a visitor center and spectacular views as pictured here.


Amakihi on Haleakala

Amakihi on Haleakala

I go to Haleakala to look for birds.  The native forests of all the Hawaiian Islands have had a troubled past.  The predominant ecological theme is native versus non-native of birds, mammals, and plants.  Small island ecology is different than large land masses, because of the land limitation.  Despite the dedicated efforts of Hawaii’s finest scientists and naturalists, there are many problems with preserving the native wildlife.  As a result, many native Hawaiian birds are either extinct or nearly extinct, and what remains can only be found in the mountains and forests at higher elevations.  This is why birders head for the mountains.


Everyone I know who goes to Maui has never been to the mountains.  There’s no snorkeling, diving, whale watching, boogie boarding, burgers, or umbrella cocktails up there.  That’s exactly why I go…for a special taste of native Hawaii.  Aloha!


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander




21 thoughts on “Hallowed Haleakala

  1. You’re a tough cookie Jet! I understand, that’s the best way to see what most don’t! Interesting! Thank you! 🙂

  2. I would love the mountain trek. I am not a beach lover so the mountains seem like my place to be. Sad the birds are going extinct. I would think there would be much worth saving there too. It seems there is a lot for science to research. Your first image looks like a painting it is so beautiful. You do so much traveling to many exotic places. Is it for your books or relaxation or both?

    • It is sad to watch the birds there going extinct. I have been going to Hawaii for nearly two decades now, and some of the birds I’ve seen there no longer exist. 😦 But there is much going on to extend those that remain. Many beautiful birds exist in Hawaii that are not native, and I appreciate them too. To answer your question, Donna, I travel for my books and for relaxation too; and I favor the tropics and warm places. Thanks for your visit and comments. 🙂

  3. Breathtaking. Although there’s something to be said for umbrella drinks on the beach :-), it would be a shame to miss this spectacular place. Thx for sharing, Jet.

    • Knowing that you are a frequent traveler to Hawaii, Nan, I recommend a visit to Maui too. It is indeed breathtaking up on Haleakala, and you can get those umbrella drinks and plenty of beach life on the shores too. Thanks so much. 😀

  4. Agree…..it’s a beautiful sight. Several years ago I wanted to show my then teenage kids, only to be engulfed in a thick layer of fog that started half way up and just got worse. We couldn’t see anything and the kids still like to tease me about it, but I saved the day by stopping for some zip-lining near the bottom.

  5. The expansive view over the crater is breathtaking !!! Great textures and tonalities !!! You very well know,dear Jet,where to find rare beauty and wild life ! Gorgeous the bird as well,nicely framed amongst the foliage !!! Love and hugs, Doda 🙂 xxx

    • I’m delighted you enjoyed this adventure in the Maui mountains, Doda. We were hunkered down inside a shrub to get the Amakihi shot! Your comments and enthusiasm are very much appreciated. 🙂

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