It’s pretty simple… without volcanos there would be no Hawaii. So I suppose it’s fitting that both National Parks on Hawaii center around volcanos. We are heading for Hawaiian Volcanos National Park on the Big Island next. But first we explored the stunning Haleakala National Park on Maui, which features Haleakala volcano.
As Elizabeth will explain in her post next Monday, there are really two faces of Haleakala. The east side slopes down to the ocean and catches all the rain. It looks like a rainforest and we saw gushing waterfalls everywhere. On the western half the volcano is much drier and barren. There are two huge valleys cut into the crater walls that are now where clouds love to gather and ooze into the crater of Haleakala National Park. The summit tops out at 10k feet, but if you counted everything under sea level it would be 29,703 ft (675 taller than Everest).
Haleakala hasn’t erupted since the late 1700s, but they say it could resume activity any time. It’s current 2nd phase of volcanic activity is less explosive and lava has flowed out in a number of places inside the crater to make the smaller cinder cones.
Overall, our experience at Haleakala and the landscape itself was indescribable. So see for yourself!