Haleakala National Park

Haleakala Crater Hawaii Maui

If visiting Maui, then one of the Island’s must-sees is the Haleakala Crater!

Haleakala National Park is a U.S. national park that can be found on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. The park encompasses some 33,265 acres, with 19,270 of those acres being a wilderness area.

Once a part of the Hawaii National Park, that included the volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa, it was created in 1916. In 1961, the Volcanoes National Park was made separate. The name Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian and according to one local legend, Maui (a demigod) made the sun a prisoner there to make the days longer.

The volcano Haleakala, which erupted for the last time between 1480 and 1600 AD, can be found in the park, which is divided into two sections: the Kiphulu coastal area and the summit area. Between the two sections of the park, around 1,450,000 visitors travel there each year.

The main attraction to the park, aside from the breathtaking scenery and wildlife, is the Haleakala Crater, which lies in the summit area. The crater measures an incredible 6.99 miles across, 2.0 miles wide, and just around 2,600 feet in depth. Visitors come to see the various volcanic features such as the large cinder cones that dot the inside of the crater.

Because the park is in a volcanic area, each of the animals and plants that now reside there were transported by pioneers or came there naturally. The flora and fauna that came to the area of its own accord had to travel two thousand miles over sea or through the air to get there.

Once they established themselves, many had to undergo strange adaptations to the environment and resulted in various species that are unique to the area. There are endangered species living in Haleakala National Park than can be found in any other national park in the country.

The Haleakala Observatory is an observation site that can be found close to the visitor’s center. It offers very clear skies and excellent viewing conditions. The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy has managed the site for more than 40 years and conducts astrophysical experiments there.

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