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Haleakala Afternoon

Haleakala Afternoon

Haleakala is the 10,000-foot dormant volcano that accounts for much of the east half of Maui. The ancient Hawai`ian name means "House of the Sun" which they applied to the summit only — today the name is generally used for the entire volcano. Note that the volcano is considered "dormant" — meaning that although it has not erupted recently, theoretically it could erupt again. Of course, it is monitored for any activity that might occur and appropriate warnings and closures would be handled by authorities.

In ancient Hawai`ian lore, Haleakala was the home of the grandmother of the demigod Maui. According to legend, Maui lassoed the sun because it was traveling too fast across the sky, preventing Maui's mother, Hina, from being able to dry her kapa cloth. The sun agreed to slow down and Maui released it from the lasso.

A good switchback road climbs all the way to the summit where one can see fantastic views of the caldera and numerous volcanic cones. At the peak, there is a "Science City" collection of telescopes and other instruments that are used for astronomy and monitoring of orbiting objects. Note that is much cooler here than at sea level — bring a jacket or sweater. Also, take it easy because the atmosphere is thinner — walk slowly and drink plenty of water.

If you would like to see Haleakala at night, click here.

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haleakala, hawaiian