I'm not gonna lie.
I've never seen the Haleakala Sunrise for myself.
It's not that I don't want to have one of those time-seemed-to-stand-still moments at the "House of the Sun" (did you know that's what they call this place?), as I witness the most majestic awe-inspiring sunrise that I've ever seen in my life.
But I just can't bring myself to get up at such an uncivilized hour to get there. Just. Can't. Do it.
Did you know that if you go on a sunrise tour, you have to be ready to leave anywhere from 1:30 - 3:00 a.m.? 1:30!!!! ** cough! sputter! ** If you drive yourself, you can "sleep in" a bit later.
Then keep reading, since everything you need to know for a perfect sunrise viewing is right here. I figured if I ever decide to drag my tired self out of bed early enough for it, I don't want to waste it on a sub-par experience. So, here are the results of my exhaustive research - you might as well benefit from it, right?
1) Depending on the time of year, the sunrise time varies. Here is a handy chart of expected times for sunrise on Haleakala:
2) Research your expected drive time and directions the night before.
I recommend you add an extra 1/2-1 hour to any listed drive times in case traffic or road conditions cause delays - you don't want to risk missing the sunrise! Getting there early has another advantage: you'll have a chance to enjoy some stargazing prior to daylight - it's supposed to be incredible!
3) Check the weather forecast the night before.
The sunrise can be enjoyed on a clear day, and even a partially cloudy day. But if you have bad luck and get up there only to see completely overcast skies, you won't see the sun and will be wishing you were still in your comfy bed.
So, don't leave this to chance. You can get the summit weather forecast before you go by calling the National Weather Service toll-free at 1-866-944-5025.
1) Dress warmly - temperatures have been known to dip below freezing at that time of day.
2) Bring in your own food and water since nothing will be available for purchase at that hour.
3) It'll be dark when you arrive, so bring a flashlight to help you find your way around up there.
4) Fuel up your car with gas the night before since nothing will be open so early in the morning.
5) Bring your camera so you can capture some great pics! Also, make sure the batteries are fully charged.
Going on a tour is an easy way to see the sunrise. You'll have no
worries about getting there on time, or getting lost in the dark. And, you can even try to snooze a bit on the way there.
This one is what I call the super-ultra-deluxe tour. You get a 7-8 hour professionally narrated tour in a 6-8 passenger Deluxe Limo Van for a little over $200 per person. It includes:
This one costs about half the price of the above "super-ultra-deluxe" tour. You get a 5-6 hour tour in a 25-passenger deluxe touring vehicle. The tour includes:
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