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Sunrise At Haleakala Volcano - Restless Heart
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Sunrise At Haleakala Volcano

Sometimes fate helps you out, you had plans to do one thing and then you end up doing something much better. Sometimes you meet just the right person in your adventure at the right moment. And that is my favourite part of travel – the things I find myself doing that I didn’t plan and the people I meet and have an adventure with even if it’s only for a few days or hours together.


At 4 AM on a Saturday morning in Maui, my alarm went off. My roommate and shuffled about the room in the dark grabbing our backpacks that we packed in a drunken haze the night before. At midnight during the keg party the night before, she had asked me if I wanted to drive up to the summit of Haleakala Volcano with her to see the sunrise. Yes, absolutely, I’d said and we’d hurried to our dorm to pack our bags and try to sleep a few hours.


We crept out of our room and out the hostel into the night in our hiking shoes and raincoats to get to her rental car. We drove quiet down the empty streets, stopping at the 24-hour grocery store for snacks and coffee.


After passing through the park entrance the road became winding as we made our way up the volcano. Being a new driver I was glad she was driving as I was a bit scared by the narrowness and sharp curves and steep drops. We talked to keep ourselves awake as we drove up in the dark.


We made it the parking at the top, already quite full and headed to the path to hike up to the summit. It was cold, chilly even for me who was used to the north and though I was wearing a sweater and rain jacket.

Once at the top, we waited in the dark on the cold rock, amongst the others all quietly waiting for the sun.




It didn’t disappoint, it crept in slowly, pink, gold and lilac streams of light against the blue sky revealing the crater below us. It was beautiful and slightly eerie to be on top of this volcano, so high up looking down at the crater still shrouded in mist and cloud, with the light slowly blooming around us.





We stayed a while letting the sun warm us up, climbing out onto the rocks overlooking the crater to take pictures and talking to people we met up top.




After we drove back and we were so tired, I kept feeling myself almost fall asleep but luckily the view on the way down was lovely, revealing all kinds of plants and birds that we hadn’t seen when we drove up in the dark.


We ended our little morning adventure by stopping at our favourite Maui discovery, Farmacy, which has the most amazing healthy and colourful pitaya/dragon fruit smoothies and acai bowls. I literally went there for breakfast every morning since it was near the hostel. I still have cravings for those acai bowls.


I was supposed to have hiked the crater with the Banana Bungalow and then watched the sunset, which also would have been amazing, but in the end, I’m glad I jumped on the opportunity to drive up and see the sunrise. The activity with the Banana Bungalow ended up being canceled due to there being too much rain the week before and so the path was washed out so I lucked out on having a great roommate to go with!




  • Two Small Potatoes

    18.08.2016 at 08:26 Reply

    Sunrise at Haleakala is definitely a stunning experience. It feels like you’re truly on top of the world as the clouds float by below. Glad it all worked out for you!

  • Briana

    18.08.2016 at 09:18 Reply

    Fantastic pictures, love this! What an awesome experience.

  • blondemoments

    18.08.2016 at 09:45 Reply

    this view!!!!! that looks so amazing. sunrise on a volcano is also on my bucketlist. i hope i can do that soon!

  • SheWentToSpain

    18.08.2016 at 10:25 Reply

    Wow, what an amazing sight! Good for you for sucking it up and waking up at 4am, that view is worth it. I’d love to do this! Great photos!!

  • ericatheis

    18.08.2016 at 14:32 Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this. When I go hiking I usually prefer to stay off crowded trails, but watching the sunrise from the top of a volcano seems like something I’d want to do with other people who I could oooh and aaaah with 🙂

  • Jessica

    18.08.2016 at 17:40 Reply

    Haha first I love the story! I love when random and spontaneous adventures happen, because they are always THE best. And I agree, that is one of my favorite things about traveling, the people you meet and connect with, even if it’s only for a short while, it’s still very meaningful and memorable. And that sunrise looks incredible, you lucky duck!

  • Nina

    18.08.2016 at 19:08 Reply

    For views like that i would easily wake up at 4 am:)

  • Joanna

    19.08.2016 at 05:46 Reply

    The sunset looks absolutely stunning. I love how high you are and how the sun rays are breaking gently through the clouds. It was definitely worth waking up early and do the hike.

  • Urvi

    19.08.2016 at 10:03 Reply

    watching sunrise and sunset are my favorite part of the trip. I still remember I use to go to watch sunset when I was in Seattle. You must be glad that you went for sunrise. Beautiful pictures

  • Restless Heart | The Most Badass Hostel I’ve Ever Stayed In – Review of Banana Bungalow Maui

    15.10.2016 at 11:46 Reply

    […] Saturday that I was there due to wet weather so I ended going with a friend I met at the hostel. (yay, friends you make in hostels!) […]

  • worldinsidemypocket

    10.11.2016 at 14:53 Reply

    Sounds like such an amazing experience! Haha, I’m definitely prone to agreeing with things I regret early in the morning but the early start definitely seemed worth it. Such beautiful views <3

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