We had the fortune of exploring the Haleakalā crater this week – the “house of the sun.” From the summit one looks down into a massive depression some 11.25 km (7 mi) across, 3.2 km (2 mi) wide, and nearly 800 m (2,600 ft) deep. The interior is like a lunar landscape – unlike anything I’ve ever hiked before – comprised of red sand, black rock and dotted occasionally with the endangered Silversword plants.
In Hawaiian folklore, the crater at of Haleakalā was home to the grandmother of the demigod Māui, who helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky.
The 12 mile hike was listed as a 10 hour day in the guidebook, but it ended up being a leisurely 5 hours – until we hit the 4 mile, 2500 foot ascent out of the crater back to the visitor center. Ah well, what goes down must come up, as they say…<a