Stay on designated trails. (photo 4) Off-trail hiking can kill plants such as the silversword which has wide shallow roots
No feeding of the Nene. Feeding them makes them tame and tame ones often get hit by cars (photo 5)
Enter on foot - no bikes allowed on trails. Other prohibited activities include: hunting, use of firearms, rollerblading, and skateboarding
Be alert for signs of altitude sickness - nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, headache. The summit is 10,023 ft. (photo 2)
The weather can change suddenly - dress in layers and bring rain and cold weather gear (photo 3)
Wear a hat, sunscreen and sun glasses
Mt. Haleakala is the largest mountain in the Pacific. Of course they count from the sea floor and the usual mountain height is calculated from sea level. Even so it is tall.
The ticket for this tour said not to take it if you had heart or lung problems (because of the altitude) or if you were prone to motion sickness (because of the bus trip up the switchbacks)
I (Beth's son) sometimes have a problem with altitude. I get a headache when I fly and I'm not sure whether that is altitude or just being uncomfortable with flying. I had bumped my head very hard before I took this trip and so I had a headache for the whole trip. Maybe this was the bump on the head - maybe also made worst by the altitude. Be on guard for the symptoms; nausea, headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory conditions should consult with their doctor before visiting the Park. My great aunt came up to the top of Haleakala and had to leave and go down because of altitude sickness.
There was an article in the newspaper recently which addressed altitude sickness and recommended a gradual ascent. The bus trip up to the top of the crater is the exact opposite of gradual. In a 2-hour drive to the summit of Mount Haleakala, a visitor passes through as many ecological zones as on a journey from Canada to Mexico
This piece of warning is very serious business. Haleakala's summit elevation is 10,023 feet (3055 meters). Traveling so quickly from sea level to 10,000 feet is hard on the human respiratory system. If you have a heart condition, or have respiratory problems, think twice before making this trip. Even healthy individuals will find that the rapid climb to the summit can cause slight nausea or loss of balance. While on the summit, take it easy. Walk slowly and sit down for short rests. Haleakala is well worth seeing, but make sure you are one of the visitors who enjoy this unique experience.
The weather on the summit is not easily predictable. Which means it is impossible to predict whether you will be able to view the scenery of Maui from the summit or not. We visited Maui in April and we went to Haleakala the second day of our trip. The weather turned out to be nasty, it was cloudy and foggy and it was impossible to see anything. For short periods of time the fog will part and you'll get a glimpse of the crater enought to make you gasp and than it will all be covered in fog again. So we decided to come to the summit once again and did so on the last day of our vacation, seven days later. This time the weather was glorious, sunny and clear and we were able to hike into the crater and take beautiful pictures. There is one more thing that I want to mention: just because you see clouds while driving up the mountain, doesn't mean they won't clear by the time you reach the summit so don't give up early.
The top of Haleakala is amazing, I recommend seeing it either at sunrise or sunset but one thing to be aware of is the temperature: It's COLD!! At over 10,000 feet there's very little atmosphere so the temperature is much lower, not to mention the wind. When we made the drive up there we had long pants, and button down shirts over t-shirts, and tour groups were laughing at us from their thermal parkas! It would be a shame to go all the way up there and have to leave quickly because you're under dressed.
The nene (nay-nay), or Hawaiian goose, is found here on the high slopes of Haleakala. They are famous for not yielding, either out of defiance or just plain stupidity, to vehicle traffic. So, please do your part in helping preserve this endangered animal and yield to it if you see one on the road.
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